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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

dreading school meetings with teachers

Dreading School Meetings with Teachers? Try These 8 Steps

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

A client emailed me in a bit of a panic. She asked if I could offer any words of wisdom…

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ADD is over-diagnosed

Do You Think ADHD is Over-Diagnosed?

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Responding to Ignorance I recently got an email that challenged the increased diagnosis of ADD/ADHD over the last two decades.…

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How to Help Your Kids Ask for the Help They Need

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus and Diane Dempster

Do you want help teaching your ADHD kids to ask for help? To accept it?   Diane: One of the…

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Getting the Right Kind of Help for Your Child – And You!

By Roxanne Fouché

  Parenting is simultaneously the hardest and most rewarding job a person can have. There are extra challenges when you have…

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Fake It ‘Til You Make It!

By Diane Dempster

The Power of Confidence We all know that one of the most valuable things we can give our kids is…

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Are ADD and ADHD the Same Thing?

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

NOTE: ADD and ADHD are often thought to be different conditions, but really, ADD is a sub-set or sub-type of ADHD. Below…

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Parent Self Care: Aristotle Says Go Out and Play

By Matthew Weneta

Note this Wisdom of the Ages: As a parent, you have a right — actually, a responsibility — to make…

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Parenting Advice for Kids with ADHD: Cultivating Resilience

Interview with Alan Graham

Looking for simple, effective parenting advice for kids with ADHD? Try cultivating resilience. Sound hard? Stick with us here. It…

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Managing Summer Stressors: A Message to Moms with ADHD

By Sari Solden, MS, LMFT & Michelle Frank, PsyD

Do you remember the joy you felt as a child on the last day of school before summer vacation? The…

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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.