Dyslexia

Mindfulness Meditation Part 6

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Science & Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR; Kabat-Zinnn, 2003) is a meditation-based treatment program applied to diverse clinical conditions. It seems that MBSR improves attention, nonjudgmental attitude and focus on the present.

Nonjudgmental attitude may be related to an emotional response. Emotional resonses are linked to the emotional brain, Mindfulness meditation 6particularly with the amygdala. It has been demonstrate that the response of the amygdala to negative distractors in a sustained attention task is better in experienced meditators (Brefczynski-Lewis et al., 2007). In normal life, negative distractors tend to focus our attention on the future more than in the present. For example, if I am studying for an exam, my fear of fail on the exam, disrupts my sustained attention on what I am learning. At the same time, my attention jumps from the present to the future.

There is a big difference on studying for achieve or pass the test, and studying for learning. In the first condition, you will need a big attentional effort because your motivation is clearly in the future and not in the process itself. The process itself always happens in the present. It can not always be ensured that you will pass the exam with a mindful brain.

 

HOW TO MEDITATE

  • TRY ON SUNSET.
  • TRY WITH FRIENDS.
  • DO NOT TRY WITH RELAXATION MUSIC.
  • DO NOT TRY IN YOUR BED, BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP.
  • YOU NEED TO MASTER THE EXERCISE BEFORE TRYING IT IN VERY BAD DAYS.

 

References:

Brefczynski-Lewis, J. A., Lutz, A., Schaefer, H. S., Levinson, D. B., & Davidson, R. J. (2007). Neural correlates of attentional expertise in long-term meditation practitioners. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(27), 11483-11488. doi:10.1073/pnas.0606552104

Jensen, C. G., Vangkilde, S., Frokjaer, V., & Hasselbalch, S. G. (s.d.). Mindfulness training affects attention—Or is it attentional effort? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141(1), 106-123. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0024931

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Constructivism in the Human Sciences, 8(2), 73-107.

 

If you want to receive more information or to contact with a psychologist, please fill out the contact form:

Reading comprehension Book “Gulliver”. Advanced Level D. Book 1-Spanish

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Cuaderno de comprensión lectora "gulliver" D1

Welcome to the world of “Evotext” or evolutionary texts. It is an easy idea. We have adapted a literary classic “Gulliver’s Travels”, and we have created four levels: A, B, C, and D. Level A is very easy to read and Level D is very difficult. The idea is that if your reading skills improve, you can continue with Gulliver’s stories but the level will adapt to your better skills. The text evolves as you evolve. That means, if Level A seem too easy, you can pass to Level B and so on. There are 20 books, with 30 files in each book.

Here you have an example of  Volumen 1, Level D.  You can also find it  at www.amazon.com

Lectura 1.D:

Mi padre tenía una pequeña hacienda en Nottinghamshire. De cinco hermanos, yo era el tercero. Teniendo yo catorce años, me mandó al colegio Emmanuel, de Cambridge, donde residí tres años seriamente aplicado a mis estudios. Debido a que mi manutención, aún siendo mi pensión muy corta, representaba una carga demasiado grande para una tan reducida fortuna, entré de aprendiz con míster James Bates, un eminente cirujano de Londres con el que estuve cuatro años. Con pequeñas cantidades que mi padre me enviaba de vez en cuando fui aprendiendo navegación y otras partes de las Matemáticas. Yo pensaba que estas materias me serían útiles si debía de viajar, pues siempre creí que, más tarde o más temprano, viajar sería mi suerte. Cuando dejé a míster Bates, volví al lado de mi padre, aunque siempre había querido vivir sólo en una ciudad cercana llamada Leida. Finalmente, con la ayuda de mi padre, la de mi tío Juan y la de algún otro pariente, conseguí cuarenta libras y la promesa de treinta al año para mi sostenimiento en Leida.

Preguntas:

  1. ¿En qué posición se hallaba el protagonista entre sus hermanos?

  2. ¿Cómo se llamaba el colegio al que fue?

  3. ¿Cómo se llamaba el eminente cirujano para el que trabajó como aprendiz?

  4. ¿Qué aprendió con lo que le mandaba su padre?

  5. ¿Cuánto dinero consiguió con la ayuda de sus familiares?

 

If you want more information about the method or about learning disabilities, please fill out the contact form:

Reading comprehension Book “Gulliver”. High Level C. Book 1-Spanish

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Cuaderno de comprensión lectora "Gulliver" C1

Welcome to the world of “Evotext” or evolutionary texts. It is an easy idea. We have adapted a literary classic “Gulliver’s Travels”, and we have created four levels: A, B, C, and D. Level A is very easy to read and Level D is very difficult. The idea is that if your reading skills improve, you can continue with Gulliver’s stories but the level will adapt to your better skills. The text evolves as you evolve. That means, if Level A seem too easy, you can pass to Level B and so on. There are 20 books, with 30 files in each book.

Here you have an example of  Volumen 1, Level C.  You can also find it  at www.amazon.com

Lectura 1.C:

Mi padre tenía una pequeña hacienda. Yo era el tercero de cinco hermanos. A los catorce años me mandó al Colegio Emmanuel donde estudié durante tres años. Como mi mantenimiento representaba una carga demasiado grande para una reducida fortuna como la de mi padre, entré de aprendiz con míster James Bates. El Sr. Bates era un eminente cirujano de Londres, con quien estuve cuatro años. Con pequeñas cantidades de dinero que mi padre me enviaba aprendí navegación y Matemáticas. Yo pensaba que me serían útiles para viajar, pues siempre creí que viajar sería mi suerte. Cuando dejé a míster Bates volví con mi padre, aunque mi deseo era vivir sólo en Leida. una ciudad cercana. Con la ayuda de mi padre, la de mi tío y la de algún otro pariente, conseguí cuarenta libras para mi sustento en Leida y me prometieron treinta más al año.

 Preguntas:

  1. ¿En qué posición se hallaba el protagonista entre sus hermanos?
  2. ¿Cómo se llamaba el colegio al que fue?
  3. ¿Cómo se llamaba el eminente cirujano para el que trabajó como aprendiz?
  4. ¿Qué aprendió con lo que le mandaba su padre?
  5. ¿Cuánto dinero consiguió con la ayuda de sus familiares?

 

If you want more information about the method or about learning disabilities, please fill out the contact form:

 

Reading comprehension Book “Gulliver”. Intermediate Level B. Book 1-Spanish

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Cuaderno comprensión lectora B1

Welcome to the world of “Evotext” or evolutionary texts. It is an easy idea. We have adapted a literary classic “Gulliver’s Travels”, and we have created four levels: A, B, C, and D. Level A is very easy to read and Level D is very difficult. The idea is that if your reading skills improve, you can continue with Gulliver’s stories but the level will adapt to your better skills. The text evolves as you evolve. That means, if Level A seem too easy, you can pass to Level B and so on. There are 20 books, with 30 files in each book.

Here you have an example of  Volumen 1, Level B.  You can also find it  at www.amazon.com

Lectura 1/ B:

 Yo vivía con mi padre y mis cuatro hermanos en una hacienda pequeña. Con catorce años mi padre me envió a estudiar al Colegio Emmanuel. Estuve allí estudiando tres años. Mi padre no tenía mucho dinero para mantenerme, por eso me colocó de aprendiz con un cirujano de Londres, el señor Bates. Algunas veces mi padre me enviaba dinero y con él aprendí navegación porque quería viajar algún día por el mundo. Tras cuatro años trabajando de aprendiz con el señor Bates, volví a casa con mi padre. Entre mi padre y mi familia me dieron cuarenta libras y me prometieron treinta más al año para vivir en Leida.

Preguntas:

  1. ¿Cuánto hermanos tenía?
  2. ¿Cómo se llamaba el colegio?
  3. ¿De qué empezó a trabajar?
  4. ¿Qué aprendió con el dinero que le mandaba su padre?
  5. ¿Cuánto dinero consiguió de su familia?

 

If you want more information about the method or about learning disabilities, please fill out the contact form:

 

Reading comprehension Book “Gulliver”. Basic Level A. Book 1-Spanish

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Cuaderno comprensión lectora Gulliver A1

Welcome to the world of “Evotext” or evolutionary texts. It is an easy idea. We have adapted a literary classic “Gulliver’s Travels”, and we have created four levels: A, B, C, and D. Level A is very easy to read and Level D is very difficult. The idea is that if your reading skills improve, you can continue with Gulliver’s stories but the level will adapt to your better skills. The text evolves as you evolve. That means, if Level A seem too easy, you can pass to Level B and so on. There are 20 books, with 30 files in each book.

Here you have an example of  Volumen 1, Level A.  You can also find it  at www.amazon.com

Lectura 1-A:

Mi padre tenía una casa pequeña. Yo tenía cuatro hermanos. Todos vivíamos juntos con mi padre. Con catorce años empecé a estudiar en el Colegio Emmanuel. En el colegio estuve tres años. En casa tenían poco dinero y por eso empecé a trabajar de aprendiz con un cirujano en Londres. Mi padre me enviaba dinero de vez en cuando. Con el dinero estudié navegación para poder viajar por el mundo.Después de cuatro años trabajando de aprendiz volví a casa. Mi familia me dio cuarenta libras. Me prometieron treinta más al año para poder vivir yo solo en otra ciudad.

 Preguntas:

  1. ¿Cuántos hermanos tenía?
  2. ¿Cómo se llamaba el colegio?
  3. ¿De qué empezó a trabajar?
  4. ¿Qué aprendió con el dinero que le enviaba su padre?
  5. ¿Cuánto dinero consiguió de su familia?

 

 

If you want more information about the method or about learning disabilities, please fill out the contact form:

 

Mindfulness Meditation Part 5

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There are two styles of meditation. The first, is to try to focus our attention on a single object. The second is to monitor our attention in a Mindfulness meditaton 4moment-by-moment experienceBoth of them could be viewed as an attentional training and a possible way to cultivate our well-being. Focused attention meditation is not a passive work. You must constantly and actively monitor the quality of your attention. You must constantly and actively monitor the quality of your attention. In our normal lives, attention jumps from an object to object, without any work. Monitoring implies to recognize that attention wanders away. Then, you must consciously refocus your attention to the chosen object.

Science & Mindfulness Meditation

There are different and specific neural systems associated with meditation. These systems are the neural network for some cognitive functions:

  • Conflict monitoring (cingulate cortex, prefrontal cortex).
  • Selective attention (temporoparietal junction, prefrontal cortex).
  • Sustained attention (right frontal cortex; prefrontal cortex).

HOW TO MEDITATE

  • SIT UP WITH YOUR BACK “STRAIGHT RIGHT”.
  • FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS ON EXPIRATION.
  • STAY WITH FIVE MINUTES EVERYDAY: AT LEAST THREE MONTHS!!
  • DON’T TRY TO GET THE PRIZE. IT’S NOT A COMPETITION WITH YOURSELF.

References:

Corbetta, M., & Shulman, G. L. (2002). Control of goal-directed and stimulus-driven attention in the brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3(3), 201-215. doi:10.1038/nrn755

Posner, M. I., & Rothbart, M. K. (2007). Research on Attention Networks as a Model for the Integration of Psychological Science. Annual Review of Psychology, 58(1), 1-23. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085516

Weissman, D. H., Roberts, K. C., Visscher, K. M., & Woldorff, M. G. (2006). The neural bases of momentary lapses in attention. Nature Neuroscience, 9(7), 971-978. doi:10.1038/nn1727

If you want to receive more information or to contact with a psychologist, please fill out the contact form:

Mindfulness Meditation Part 4

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SCIENCE & MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

In mindfulness practice, we have found two main attentional mechanisms. The first one is centered on focused attention. The exercise consist to focus your attention to an object, usually the object is your breathing.

mundfulness 4_1

The second one is centered on open attention. The exercise consists of an observation of the mental flow but without any identification; as if you were a mental observer of your own ideas and feelings.

mindfulness 4_2

In the study of Moore et al., 2012, they demonstrate that regular and brief mindfulness meditation practice improves the capacity of self-regulation of attention. Meditation group perform better on the Stroop test task. Reaction time was better in the meditation group than in the control group. We hypothesized that working of sustained attention could improve inhibition of response.

HOW TO MEDITATE

  • SEAT WITH THE BOTTON OF THE FOOT TOTALLY IN CONTACT WITH THE FLOOR.
  • FOCUS ON TO EXPIRATE WITH YOUR MOUTH.
  • STAY WITH FIVE MINUTS EVERY DAY: MORNING? AFTERNOON? IT DOESN´T MATTER!! JUST DO IT.
  • DON´T TRY TO EVALUATE YOUR PROGRESSSION. IT´S NORMAL THAT NOTHING HAPPENS.

References:

Jha, A. P., Krompinger, J., & Baime, M. J. (2007). Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 7(2), 109-119. doi:10.3758/CABN.7.2.109

Moore, A., Gruber, T., Derose, J., & Malinowski, P. (2012). Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2012.00018

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Phonological Awareness

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Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects the ability to learn to read, regardless of intelligence or level of education. This difficulty with learning to read is the result of a difficulty to process the Phonological Awarenesssounds of our language (phonological processing). Anthony & Francis (2005) highlight three skills needed to process the sounds of language: 1. to be able to store these sounds in our memory (phonological memory); 2. to be able to retrieve phonological codes from memory (phonological access) and 3. to be able to detect and be aware of those sounds within words that form our language (phonological awareness).

When a child has good phonological awareness, is able to distinguish the sounds of a word separating these sounds from the proper meaning of the word. Otherwise said, is able to conceive a word as the union of some specific sounds, whether these sounds are combined to form a word with a specific meaning. This capability allows children to read words whose meaning is not known and, therefore, read better.

Phonological awareness involves the ability to discern syllables, recognizing the smaller units within syllables (onset-rime units), and be aware of the individual sounds of the language, wich are the phonemes. Phonological awareness is also involved when we manipulate the sounds in of the words, such as substituting one sound for another to form a new word (tookies-cookies), adding and removing sounds from words and blending sounds together to make a new word (Yopp & Yopp 2009).

A good development of phonological awareness in pre-readers predicts later success in learning to read (Ziegler & Goswami, 2005).

If you want to contact a psychologist or receive more information, please fill out the contact form.

References

Anthony, J. L., & Francis, D. J. (2005). Development of Phonological Awareness. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(5), 255-259. doi:10.1111/j.0963-7214.2005.00376.x

Yopp, H. K., & Yopp, H. (2009). Phonological Awareness Is Child’s Play! Young Children, 64(1), 12.

Ziegler, J. C., & Goswami, U. (2005). Reading Acquisition, Developmental Dyslexia, and Skilled Reading Across Languages: A Psycholinguistic Grain Size Theory. Psychological Bulletin, 131(1), 3-29. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.131.1.3

Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and Dyslexia

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Nowadays reading comprehension is the key to be successful in school. Children have difficulties in the early stages of learning to read and the main problem are the phonological skills. Interventions that target phonological skills need to be integrated with the teaching of reading (Hatcher, Hulme, & Ellis, 1994), and it is necessary to understand that a difference exist between dyslexia and maturational delay on reading comprehension. Some studies point out that in countries where children undergo the digital revolution, reading comprehension is worst than other countries. Preschoolers with specific language impairment (SLI) perform worst on tests of reading, spelling and reading comprehension (Snowling, Bishop, & Stothard, 2000), and children with IQ less than 100, have literacy outcomes particularly poor. We can conceptualize a subgroup in the SLI: children with specific SLI-Dyslexiareading impairment.This group shows a substantial drop in reading accuracy between the ages of 8 and 15 years. Another subgroup, over 35%, have reading skills normalized. In the opinion of Bishop, phonological difficulties place children under a literacy failure. Specific reading retardation may account for a poor vocabulary and difficulties in organizing words and syntactic difficulties. Children with problems in phonological route understand words by semantic process. They prefer to use the general meaning of the phrase to understand the word. Another problem that we find in many children with SLI are deficits in verbal working memory. A deficient working memory functioning may account for difficulties in lexical-morphological learning and sentence comprehension (Montgomery, 2003).

Children with dyslexia have a central problem in phonological loop: they have problems in the phonological representation of words and their decodification and also in cognitive processing speed. However, sometimes they have a normal reading comprehension such as dyslexics with high IQ. Dyslexics have difficulties reading pseudowords and this test is the standard for screening dyslexics.

Prevention is one of the keys to help children with SLI. A reading program with highly structured phonic component for 5 years old children is enough to master alphabetic principles and learning to read. In contrast, children at risk of reading delay need an additional training in phoneme awareness (Hatcher, Hulme, & Snowling, 2004).

In 2004 Bishop & Snowling wrote and article about differences between developmental dyslexia and specific language impairment. They explained that dyslexia was reconceptualized as a language disorder with a defficient phonological processing. The authors argued that we need to be aware of semantic and sintactic deficits in SLI. These deficits affect reading comprehension and fluency in adolescents (Bishop & Snowling, 2004).

If you want to receive more information or to contact with a psychologist, please fill out the contact form;

References

Bishop, D. V. M., & Snowling, M. J. (2004). Developmental dyslexia and specific language impairment: same or different? Psychological bulletin, 130(6), 858-886. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.130.6.858

Hatcher, P. J., Hulme, C., & Ellis, A. W. (1994). Ameliorating Early Reading Failure by Integrating the Teaching of Reading and Phonological Skills: The Phonological Linkage Hypothesis. Child Development, 65(1), 41–57. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.1994.tb00733.x

Hatcher, P. J., Hulme, C., & Snowling, M. J. (2004). Explicit phoneme training combined with phonic reading instruction helps young children at risk of reading failure. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(2), 338–358. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00225.x

Montgomery, J. W. (2003). Working memory and comprehension in children with specific language impairment: what we know so far. Journal of Communication Disorders, 36(3), 221-231. doi:10.1016/S0021-9924(03)00021-2

Snowling, M., Bishop, D. V., & Stothard, S. E. (2000). Is preschool language impairment a risk factor for dyslexia in adolescence? Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 41(5), 587-600.

Processing Speed

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Processing speed is one of the major factor in general cognition and a fundamental part of the cognitive system (Kail & Salthouse, 1994).

Slow cognitive processing is linked to academic achievement and several clinical disorders. Vulnerability to information processing load is related to attentional problems. Inattentive children perform poorly on measures of information processing speed (Weiler, Bernstein, Bellinger, & Waber, 2000). Some authors talk about the possibility that inattentive subtype of ADHD (ADD), could be a different group from general ADHD characterized by poor cognitive interference control and slow processing (Goth-Owens, Martinez-Torteya, Martel, & Nigg, 2010). Likewise, attention and speed weaknesses coexist in children with Autism and ADHD, an contribute significantly to the Processing Speed_ADHD_Dyslexiaprediction of academic achievement (Mayes & Calhoun, 2007). Deficits in processing speed are a cognitive risk factor for reading disabilities and ADHD (Shanahan et al., 2006). Children with dyslexia, compared with normal performance children, have persistent problems in naming speed for all stimuli regardless the stimulus requires grapheme-phoneme decoding. In the study of Fawcet (Fawcett & Nicolson1994), performance speed of children with dyslexia at the age of seventeen was close to those with eight years old at control group.

Naming speed can also be modified by medication. Children with ADHD taking methylphenidate selectively, can improve color naming speed but not the speed of naming letters or digits. These findings implicate that naming speed deficits are associated with effortful semantic processing in ADHD, and can be improved but not normalized by methylphenidate (Tannock, Martinussen, & Frijters, 2000).

The relationship between learning disabilities and intelligence is not clear. Children with low IQ scores can be good readers. Poor readers at variety of IQ levels show similar reading, spelling, language and memory deficits (Siegel, 1989).

Another important field is the study of neural correlates of processing speed. Children with developmental dyslexia show deficient phonological processing. When we study the functional networks with rapid auditory processing (RAP), we found functional alteration in left hemisphere frontal regions in prereading children at risk for dyslexia (Raschle, Stering, Meissner, & Gaab, 2013).

Finally, studies show a relation between speed processing, rapid naming and phonological awareness, and all three are related to reading achievement. Poor readers are more slow than good readers across response time measures on the rapid object naming task. Catts et al. 2002, suggest that some poor readers have a general deficit in speed processing, and that speed processing may be conceptualized as an “extraphonological” factor. Naming speed explains variance in reading skills independently of measures of phonological awareness (Bowers & Swanson, 1991).

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Bibliography

Bowers, P. G., & Swanson, L. B. (1991). Naming speed deficits in reading disability: Multiple measures of a singular process. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 51(2), 195-219. doi:10.1016/0022-0965(91)90032-N

Catts, H. W., Gillispie, M., Leonard, L. B., Kail, R. V., & Miller, C. A. (2002). The Role of Speed of Processing, Rapid Naming, and Phonological Awareness in Reading Achievement. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35(6), 510-525. doi:10.1177/00222194020350060301

Fawcett, A. J., & Nicolson, R. I. (1994). Naming Speed in Children with Dyslexia. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 27(10), 641-646. doi:10.1177/002221949402701004

Goth-Owens, T. L., Martinez-Torteya, C., Martel, M. M., & Nigg, J. T. (2010). Processing Speed Weakness in Children and Adolescents with Non-Hyperactive but Inattentive ADHD (ADD). Child Neuropsychology, 16(6), 577-591. doi:10.1080/09297049.2010.485126

Kail, R., & Salthouse, T. A. (1994). Processing speed as a mental capacity. Acta Psychologica, 86(2–3), 199-225. doi:10.1016/0001-6918(94)90003-5

Mayes, S. D., & Calhoun, S. L. (2007). Learning, Attention, Writing, and Processing Speed in Typical Children and Children with ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, Depression, and Oppositional-Defiant Disorder. Child Neuropsychology, 13(6), 469-493. doi:10.1080/09297040601112773

Raschle, N. M., Stering, P. L., Meissner, S. N., & Gaab, N. (2013). Altered Neuronal Response During Rapid Auditory Processing and Its Relation to Phonological Processing in Prereading Children at Familial Risk for Dyslexia. Cerebral Cortex, bht104. doi:10.1093/cercor/bht104

Shanahan, M. A., Pennington, B. F., Yerys, B. E., Scott, A., Boada, R., Willcutt, E. G., … DeFries, J. C. (2006). Processing Speed Deficits in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Reading Disability. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34(5), 584-601. doi:10.1007/s10802-006-9037-8

Siegel, L. S. (1989). IQ Is Irrelevant to the Definition of Learning Disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 22(8), 469-478. doi:10.1177/002221948902200803

Tannock, R., Martinussen, R., & Frijters, J. (2000). Naming Speed Performance and Stimulant Effects Indicate Effortful, Semantic Processing Deficits in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 28(3), 237-252. doi:10.1023/A:1005192220001

Weiler, M. D., Bernstein, J. H., Bellinger, D. C., & Waber, D. P. (2000). Processing Speed in Children With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Inattentive Type. Child Neuropsychology, 6(3), 218-234. doi:10.1076/chin.6.3.218.3156