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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

Best Kept Secret for Treating ADHD: Vitamin “M”

By Kelly Dorfman

Julia’s son, Colin, was attending a famous military college, and she was worried because he had been struggling with ADHD…

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ADHD Parent

A Huge “aha” for the ADHD Parent: Set Realistic Expectations

By Diane Dempster

When Everything Starts to Make Sense Challenges with Executive Function have many implications for the ADDer in your life. One…

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Coping With ADHD

By Katherine Ellison

Katherine Ellison’s Secret Trick Like millions of literally millions of other parents around the world, I cope with ADHD as…

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Manage Morning Madness

Managing Morning Madness

Interview with Michele Novotni

Backpack? Check. Lunchbox? Check. Brushed teeth? Check. You breathe a sigh of relief, rushing your kids to the bus stop.…

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Medicating a Child for ADHD: A Parent Dilemma

By Michael Banov

Choosing to put your child on medication for ADHD is often a difficult and emotionally challenging decision. Parents are reluctant…

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Success with ADD/ADHD: A Strength Based Approach

By David Giwerc

We live in a performance-oriented world.  It’s a world where too much emphasis is placed on identifying a person’s weaknesses…

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Improve Communication

10 Tips for Communicating with Your Child’s Teachers

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Most Teachers Mean Well Sometimes the greatest teachers do not know how best to motivate or support kids with complex…

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Teach Healthy Management to Help Your ADD/ADHD Child

By Edward Hallowell

How easily the gifts of ADHD are lost on a child amid negative comments from doctors, teachers, and even loving…

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Stop Taking ADHD Meds

Help! My Kid Wants to Stop Taking ADHD Meds!

By Jeremy Didier

Sometimes I wonder if I actually need my ADHD medication. After all, I made it 36 years without it, so…

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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.