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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

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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Consequences for ADHD – Are they Counterproductive?

Interview with Dr. Kirsten Milliken

What does PLAY have to do with consequences for children with ADHD? More than you might think. Psychologist and play-expert,…

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happy family watching adhd videos on laptop

5 Best Videos on ADHD for Parents & Kids

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Parents ask us all the time what are the best videos on ADHD for parents, and for their kids. Generally,…

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ADHD Identity is Connected to Sleep Management

Interview with Dr. Roberto Olivardia

“I don’t know anyone with ADHD who doesn’t have trouble with sleep,” says Guest Expert Dr. Roberto Olivardia, kicking things…

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ADHD Child's Future

Do You Fear Your ADHD Child’s Future? Take A Marathon View

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Are You Catastrophizing? With all of these questions competing loudly for airtime in our heads, it’s no wonder that parents…

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Leverage ADHD in Children and Teens

Interview with Dr. Billi Bittan

As parents of complex kids, we can get a little stuck trying to “fix” the challenges our children face. We…

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holiday routine

Holiday Routine: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

By Diane Dempster

Ever play Jenga? You build a tower of wooden blocks, and then players take turns removing one block from the…

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Stay Calm

Stay Calm For Your Kid to Learn How to Stay Calm

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Cool, Calm and Collected So, you’ve read “Is it Naughty or Neurological?” and you’ve figured out that your child’s behavior is…

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Reducing Clutter Struggles With Kids With ADHD

By Dana Rayburn

A Blessing In Disguise Growing up as the inattentive ADHD child of a non-ADHD mother, I learned some important lessons…

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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.