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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

ADHD family

Dinner with an ADHD Family

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Curbing Your Frustration I had one of those classic moments of insight at the dinner table last night. If you…

Stop Your Child From Interrupting in School

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…

Communicating with teachers | school success with ADHD

Communicating with Teachers for School Success with ADHD

By Diane Dempster

The Struggle Is Real It is heartbreaking and frustrating for parents to witness the struggles their children face in school.…

dreading school meetings with teachers

Dreading School Meetings with Teachers? Try These 8 Steps

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

A client emailed me in a bit of a panic. She asked if I could offer any words of wisdom…

teacher training and ADHD

Teacher Training and ADHD: What Should Parents Expect?

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus and Diane Dempster

How much do teachers know about ADHD, and how much should parents be providing information to teachers? What should teacher…


Early Warning Signs of Trouble for Teens with ADHD

By Phil Anderton

Recognize Tipping Points and Take Action Of all the challenges that come with ADHD, perhaps the most frightening for parents…


Parent Expectations: 2 Steps To Success

By Beth Seidel

How do we as parents set expectations for our children or ourselves when at least one of us has an…

family members have ADHD

Help! My Family Members Have ADHD and I Feel Powerless

By Ari Tuckman

The parents and romantic partners of people with ADHD often feel powerless to influence what happens in their family. They…

Dive Bomber Parent

Become A Dive Bomber Parent

By Diane Dempster

Are you a Helicopter parent? It’s easy to become one when your kid has ADHD. It seems that they need…


(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.