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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

Balance in parenting kids with ADHD

3 Steps to Balance in Parenting Kids with ADHD

By Diane Dempster

Many of us seem to be struggling with finding balance in parenting kids with ADHD and other challenges – more…

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Getting Active is More than Just an ADHD Issue

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Let’s hear it for jumping jacks and somersaults! Exercise and getting active is a terrific way to activate the brain…

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9 Tips for Non-ADHD Parents to Motivate Your Whole Family

By Melissa Orlov

Families with children with ADHD often discover that one (or both!) parent has ADHD, too.  And when this happens, non-ADHD…

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7 Strategies for Positive Parenting

By Pam Shervanick

Motivating yourself to do anything is much easier when you focus on the positive.  Being a great parent is no…

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7 Coping Strategies for Raising Kids with ADHD

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Raising ADHD Kids & Computer Crashes? Just hours after Steve Jobs died, my Mac decided it couldn’t live without him.…

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Managing Your Reactions – 3 Unusual Tips for Parents

By Lisa Kaplin

Parents tell me daily that they regret yelling at their children, or using a condescending tone, or maybe pushing in…

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Teaching self control

Teaching Self-Control to ADHD Kids, One Structure at a Time

By Diane Dempster

You Know What Temptation Is Like You walk into your favorite coffee shop for a cup – black, no cream,…

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Control ADHD, Set Good Boundaries

By Diane Dempster

How Do Boundaries Help Control ADHD? Boundaries are guidelines that clarify how we want people to behave around us. Needless…

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creativity in adhd

Creative Minds Crave Structure: Fueling Inventiveness

By Rick Green

Creativity The word conjures up visions of avant-garde artists splattering paint across huge canvases. Dance troops rehearsing wild choreography. New…

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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.