ADHD is a neurocognitive disorder which manifests during childhood. Approximately 10% of all children meet criteria for ADHD and about half will continue to have difficulties into adulthood. ADHD is characterized by an individual having difficulties with inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity which occur chronically (>6 months), in different environments (i.e. school, work, home, church, clubs, sports), and cannot be better explained by something else (i.e. depression, anxiety, learning difficulties, chaotic environments).

Often times, individuals with ADHD can be labeled with terms like “stupid, lazy, and unmotivated.” The truth is that they are just as smart and hard working as others. What actually happens is the ADHD symptoms get in the way of an individuals functioning so that it takes them more time and effort to succeed. Because of this, those with ADHD may loose interest in challenging activities quicker, have lower self esteem from chronic failure, or develop less efficient coping skills to manage time compared to those without ADHD. They may also find everyday tasks mundane and seek riskier, more exciting activities instead. Consequently, a child with ADHD can be derailed from normal development which can lead to long lasting difficulties.

Although ADHD may cause a lot of difficulties in one’s life, there are some benefits. ADHD can contribute to increased creativity, energy, and sociability.

There are several different treatments for childhood and adult ADHD including medications (stimulants and non-stimulants) and psychotherapy (parent training, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness). The purpose for treatment is target increased functioning and effective skill building. With these, someone with ADHD can build their self esteem and confidence in succeeding with modern life demands. Please discuss your preference of treatment modality with you clinician so that they can best meet your goals.

If your child has one or more of the following difficulties, you may want them to be evaluated by a mental health professional:

  • careless mistakes
  • sustaining attention
  • listening
  • follow multi-step tasks
  • organization and messiness
  • loses things
  • easily distracted
  • fidgets/squirms
  • needs to move around when not appropriate
  • talks excessively
  • remaining quietly
  • interrupts others
  • waiting their turn
  • being “on the go”