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To improve academic outcomes, children with ADHD need both medication and non-medication treatments

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Aca­d­e­m­ic prob­lems are extreme­ly com­mon in chil­dren with ADHD, and often the issue that leads to refer­ral for an ADHD eval­u­a­tion.

Aca­d­e­m­ic out­comes can be mea­sured in 2 dif­fer­ent ways — aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment and aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance — and both are com­pro­mised in chil­dren with ADHD. Aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment refers to the infor­ma­tion and skills that chil­dren acquire and is typ­i­cal­ly mea­sured by stan­dard­ized tests. Aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance focus­es on direct mea­sures of suc­cess at school such as grades, grade reten­tion, high school grad­u­a­tion, and col­lege enroll­ment.

An impor­tant ques­tion then, for mil­lions of kids diag­nosed with ADHD and for their par­ents and edu­ca­tors, is whether long-term aca­d­e­m­ic func­tion­ing can improve with appro­pri­ate treat­ment. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning about Learning: an Interview with Joshua Waitzkin

In 1993, Para­mount Pic­tures released Search­ing for Bob­by Fis­ch­er, which depicts Joshua Wait­zk­in’s ear­ly chess suc­cess as he embarks on a jour­ney to win his first Nation­al chessJoshua Waitzkin cham­pi­onship. This movie had the effect of weak­en­ing his love for the game as well as the learn­ing process. His pas­sion for learn­ing was reju­ve­nat­ed, how­ev­er, after years of med­i­ta­tion, and read­ing phi­los­o­phy and psy­chol­o­gy. With this rekin­dling of the learn­ing process, Wait­zkin took up the mar­tial art Tai Chi Chuan at the age of 21 and made rapid progress, win­ning the 2004 push hands world cham­pi­onship at the age of 27.

After read­ing Joshua’s most recent book The Art of Learn­ing, I thought of a mil­lion top­ics The Art of LearningI want­ed to dis­cuss with him–topics such as being labelled a “child prodi­gy”, bloom­ing, cre­ativ­i­ty, and the learn­ing process. Thank­ful­ly, since I was pro­fil­ing Wait­zkin for an arti­cle I was for­tu­nate enough to get a chance to have such a con­ver­sa­tion with him. I hope you find this dis­cus­sion just as provoca­tive and illu­mi­nat­ing as I did.

The Child Prodi­gy

S. Why did you leave chess at the top of your game?

J. This is a com­pli­cat­ed ques­tion that I wrote about very open­ly in my book. In short, I had lost the love. My rela­tion­ship to the game had become exter­nal­ized-by pres­sures from the film about my life, by los­ing touch with my nat­ur­al voice as an artist, by mis­takes I made in the growth process. At the very core of my rela­tion­ship to learn­ing is the idea that we should be as organ­ic as pos­si­ble. We need to cul­ti­vate a deeply refined intro­spec­tive sense, and build our rela­tion­ship to learn­ing around our nuance of char­ac­ter. I stopped doing this and fell into cri­sis from a sense of alien­ation from an art I had loved so deeply. This is when I left chess behind, start­ed med­i­tat­ing, study­ing phi­los­o­phy and psy­chol­o­gy, and ulti­mate­ly moved towards Tai Chi Chuan.

S. Do you think being a child prodi­gy hurt your chess career in any way?

J. I have nev­er con­sid­ered myself a prodi­gy. Oth­ers have used that term, but I nev­er bought in to it. From a young age it was always about embrac­ing the bat­tle, lov­ing the game, and over­com­ing adver­si­ty. Grow­ing up as Read the rest of this entry »

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