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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

Parenting A Child with ADHD

Parenting A Child with ADHD: 2 Steps to Lighten the Load

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Learn To Thrive I am inspired by every opportunity I have to spend time with a group of parents who…


Organizing Students for Academic Success

By Michelle Grey & Michelle Cooper

Here we are – in the US, we are over halfway through the school year. Report cards are on the…

ADHD kid disappoints

How to Handle It When Your Spouse or ADHD Kid Disappoints You

By Diane Dempster

I noticed it for the first time early on in my marriage. And then again with each of my kids.…

effective parenting

Effective Parenting Tips for ADHD Children

By Rudy Rodriguez

4 Steps from Rudy Rodriguez Many parents of ADHD children are eager to learn something — anything — that offers…

Help My Child Concentrate

How Can I Help My Child Concentrate

By Diane Dempster

Tradition Calls for… Do you wonder, “How can I help my child concentrate?” Most of us want to figure out…

Teen Ready for Coaching

Is Your Teen Ready for Coaching?

By Jo Ann Skinner

Your teen is disorganized, continuously late, struggling with getting school assignments done and turned in, and not exactly thriving. So,…


ADHD and Teen Drivers: Behind the Wheel with ADHD

By Ann Shanahan

Of all possible risks, including illness, substance abuse, and even violence, none is more likely to cause serious injury or…


My Kid? A Leader? YES!

By Diane Dempster

Leadership When my son was a teen, he and I attended the national ADHDAware event, a “leadership” summit. Being surrounded…


Brain-Based Treatments for ADHD – What Parents Should Know

By Jim Otis

Do you know what’s happening in the brain of someone with ADHD? When you are making the complicated decision about…


(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.