Thursday, August 14, 2008

Michael Phelps and ADHD

Before Michael Phelps won his gold medals, he received treatment for ADHD. The New York Times recently ran an article about Michael Phelps mother and parenting Michael was treated for ADHD and took Ritalin for two years, starting at age 9. What I found especially interesting about the article is that it illustrates the paradox that teachers and parents find in so many kids with ADHD, that they can focus on certain types of tasks.

" Ms. Phelps watched the boy who couldn’t sit still at school sit for four hours at a meet waiting to swim his five minutes’ worth of races...He always did his swimming homework. “In high school, they’d send tapes from his international races,” Ms. Phelps said. “He’d say, ‘Mom I want to have dinner in front of the TV and watch tapes.’ We’d sit and he’d critique his races. He’d study the turns — ‘See, that’s where I lifted my head.’ I couldn’t even see what he was talking about. Over and over. I’m like, ‘whoa.’ ”

Apparently Debbie Phelps has been hired by Ortho-McNeil-Janssen as a celebrity mother to talk about her experience with ADHD on a Facebook page called ADHD Moms. In her article for ADHD Moms, she gives some great recommendations for working with the school, communicating with the teacher, but also what do to at home to support the student with ADHD, such as structure, exercise, snacks. I did find it interesting that in the article, she states a couple times to "behavior modifications combined with medication" may be helpful. and she herself allowed Michael to come off medications after 2 years. Ultimately, it is sponsored by a drug company.
Interestingly, all of the "Resources" they list show a web address (such as for the American Academy of Pediatrics, but when clicked bring you to ADHD Moms (oversight or poor design?)

Article on Johnson and Johnson site regarding ADHD Moms
Permalink to article by Deborah Phelps for ADHD Moms

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