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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 Medication for Kids

ADHD Medication for Kids: 10 Things Parents Should Know

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Medication for kids with ADHD is a hot-button issue. Over the years, we have talked with literally thousands of parents…

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Managing Emotions with Two Sides of a Coin Principle

By Pam Shervanick

What Do Tantrums and Eye Color Have in Common? A common description of children with ADHD is that they are…

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It All Starts with Sleep

By Ari Tuckman

Somehow it’s still amazing to me how often I wind up talking about the importance of sleep with my clients.…

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child ignoring parent

How to Handle Disrespect and Disobedience from Kids

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Obedience vs. Respect Have you ever noticed that we parents tend to confuse “obedience” with “respect”? News bulletin: they’re not…

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Storytelling Helps Children with ADHD

By Jim Weiss

Storytelling is a powerful way to reach, and to teach, people with ADHD. In fact, research suggests that telling stories…

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ADHD and Gender Differences

By Mary Anne Richey

For the longest time, with focus on hyperactivity, ADHD was considered to be a boys’ disorder. The initial criteria used…

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Help – My Teenager is Under the Influence of Hormones!

By Jeff Copper

When it comes to matters of paying attention, you need to focus on the process, not the result. This is…

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Six Brain-Based Tips to Help Your Child Get Things Done

By Marydee Sklar

Do you constantly nag your child to do homework and chores? If so, you’ve been working really hard as the…

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Parent Self Care: Aristotle Says Go Out and Play

By Matthew Weneta

Note this Wisdom of the Ages: as a parent, you have a right  — actually, a responsibility — to make…

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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.