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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

Getting on the Same Page with Parenting and ADHD

Interview with Melissa Orlov

If you or your co-parent has ADHD, or you have one child (or more) with ADHD, then you have likely…

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ADHD Teenager

A Letter to My ADHD Teenager (About to Leave Home)

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

I wrote this (many years ago, now) at 2:00 a.m. when a fit of panic replaced a good night’s sleep.…

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Help with homework

How to Help with Homework: Be a Body Double

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

What It Means To Be A Body Double? Tonight, I helped my daughter with her homework. She was studying for…

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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…

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Top 12 Reasons ADHD’ers are GREAT at Quarantine

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

When you live with an ADHD ++ family of five, it’s never dull – even in quarantine. Parenting in a…

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5 Steps to Take BEFORE Using Technology to Get Organized

By Ann Leverette

Technology Series: Part 1 As a parent, you know you can use technology to help yourself and your kids get…

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Assistive Technology & ADHD: A Guide for Parents & Students

By Joe Tedesco

Technology is all around us, providing for many of the conveniences we enjoy in a modern society. At the same…

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Every Successful Super-Mom Knows

Four Things Every Successful Super-Mom Knows!

By Diane Dempster

*Note to all you Superdads out there: this applies to you too – so read on! About once a week…

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Preparing Students with ADHD for Success at College

By Elizabeth Hamblet

Sending students with ADHD to college can be thrilling and nerve-wracking for parents, especially if they have been providing them…

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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.