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Guiding parents and teachers to navigate the challenges of ADHD

ADHD is a medical condition marked by developmental delays in children and teens, and often leads to challenges in parenting. It tends to be greatly misunderstood by medical and therapeutic providers, who may develop treatment plans that rely on medication as a sole source of treatment to the exclusion of behavior management training in parenting. Parenting interventions are effective, recommended, and have been proven to improve symptoms for children and teens. Most experts agree that ADHD is much (cont'd below)

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Leading Articles about Managing ADHD

Making the Shift Towards Understanding Opposition

By Adrienne Bashista

How many times have you thought these things yourself about your child? He’s doing it to get attention. She’s trying…

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adhd kids collaboration

5 Steps to Improve Cooperation with Your Kids with ADHD

By Sharon Saline

Are you pulling your hair out trying to think of ways to reduce your frustration and improve your ADHD kid’s…

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Mornings and Teens

Mornings and Teens with ADHD – Can They End in "I Love You"?

By Diane Dempster

There’s Hope for Teens and Mornings! I just dropped off my Senior at high school. I’ve done it every day…

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Taking ADHD/LD from Stress to De-Stress

By Jerome Schultz

ADHD/LD and Stress Kids with ADHD are constantly stressed by demands that put them in overdrive. They wonder why school…

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Seeing Good Intentions

Seeing Good Intentions Even When Kids Are Acting “Bad”

By Dr. Kirsten Milliken

“A good intention, with a bad approach, often leads to a poor result.”― Thomas Edison Someone once told me that…

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Stop Child Interrupting in Classroom

Want to Stop Your Child From Interrupting in School?

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Have You Tried Post-It® Notes? As parents, we’re not the only ones who are trying to help our kids manage…

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adhd homework strategies

5 Strategies to Make Homework Easier for ADHD Kids (and Parents)

By Kendra Wagner

Home work. Those two words seem mismatched. Home is where you can chill, be yourself, and get a little break…

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motivators for adhd

Five Motivators to Get Anything Done

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Why They Just Can’t Nearly every parent we work with asks the question, at some point, “Why can’t my kid…

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improving student effort

3 Easy Tips for Improving Student Effort and Motivation

By Ann Dolin

Just as great athletes require regular practice, students with ADHD require practice developing their study skills. Recent studies have shown…

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(continued) more than a ‘deficit of attention.’ Instead, ADHD can appear as a rather complicated collection of symptoms, manifesting somewhat differently for each individual. It may more easily be understood as a brain-based developmental delay in executive function. It can also be confused with or compounded by the many co-existing conditions that are common for people with ADHD, including anxiety, learning disabilities, depression, asthma, allergies, autism, Tourette syndrome, as well as newer (and less-well-known or researched) conditions, such as rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD).

Executive functions are responsible for how we think, feel, and act. They’re how we get ourselves to do (or not do) absolutely anything. Therefore, the symptoms that lead to an ADHD diagnosis are not just whether or not someone can pay attention, but whether they can self-regulate – whether they can decide what to pay attention to, stick with it, finish what they’re focusing on, minimize their impulses, and avoid getting distracted in the process. That’s what makes parenting so difficult.

The five areas most commonly reflected in ADHD symptoms rely heavily on executive function: attention (focus), impulsivity, organization, emotional intensity, and (sometimes) hyperactivity. Again, when kids, teens or young adults struggle with these issues, it can cause significant challenges in parenting.

Whether parents are trying to get life moving in the mornings or just help their kids and teens manage any or all of their responsibilities, ADHD is best treated by a combination of medication and ‘behavior therapy,’ otherwise known as parent management training, or behavior management training. With training, parenting can work with medication (when relevant) to teach children and teens skills in self-management, and ultimately improve outcomes for the whole family.