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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

Ann Leverette

ADHD and Technology

By Ann Leverette

Low, Medium & High Tech In her first blog for ImpactADHD, Technology Series: Part 1, Ann Leverette set the stage…

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Safety Zone

Create a Safety Zone

By Diane Dempster

Can You Handle The Truth? Sometimes it’s difficult for our kids to be honest with us. They are afraid of…

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If Linda Roggli Had Known Then

By Linda Roggli

We all want to do the best for our children, but sometimes we just don’t know how. When her son was young, Linda Roggli didn’t know, either. But now that her son is grown, she knows how she’d handle a “do-over.” Thankfully, we can all benefit from her words of wisdom …

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Laurie Duplar

ADHD Family Support

By Laurie Dupar

Non-ADHD siblings are not often talked about, yet they are an important part of families with ADHD. Studies show that siblings of children with ADHD experience disruption, chaos, unpredictability and exhaustion – just like their parents. At times, they may feel neglected, unprotected and powerless. This is particularly true when they are expected to “take care of” or “look out for” their siblings.

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Summer is an Opportunity

By Matthew Weneta

It’s hard to believe summer is around the corner, but thankfully Matt Weneta takes the stress out of planning for…

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Kellie Huff

Selecting the Best School for Your Child with ADHD

By Kellie Huff

When all the accommodations in the world are still not working, how do you find out what options you have…

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Carrie Heller

Join the Circus

By Carrie Heller

At the age of eight my parents sent me to a summer camp that happened to have circus as one…

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Mark Bertin

ADHD & Mindfulness

By Mark Bertin

Exercise Good Judgment For parents, mindfulness offers a way to take care of yourself and provide your children with a…

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Joan Teach

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say: With LOVE

By Joan Teach

For families living with ADHD, impulsivity is often at work on an hourly or daily basis. As parents, we are…

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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.