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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

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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high school

Why High School is REALLY HARD!

By Diane Dempster

Step Into a High Schooler’s Shoes Most people in the workforce have one job, with fairly consistent functions, and one…

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It’s Not What We Do, It’s How We Do It

By Diane Dempster

Don’t Forget About The Journey “The ends justify the means.” “Outcomes measurement.” ”Getting to the finish line.” Our focus as…

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Laughter Is The Best Medicine (And You Can’t Overdose)

By Rick Green

An ADHD diagnosis can be alarming, upsetting, frightening. “What’s wrong with my child?” we wonder in fear. It’s no laughing…

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Taking ADHD/LD from Stress to De-Stress

By Jerome Schultz

Kids with ADHD are constantly bombarded with demands that put them in overdrive. They wonder why school is so hard—so…

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5-Keys to Unlock Executive Dysfunction in ADHD Kids

By Sucheta Kamath

Unmotivated, unaware, scattered and disorganized children are often thought to be lazy (and unintelligent). In fact, they typically struggle with…

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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.