What Is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by a combination of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Five to seven percent of children are diagnosed with this developmental disorder. Some simply cannot concentrate; others become disruptive, defiant and have trouble getting along with parents, peers, or teachers.

ADHD is controversial: Is it a true disorder or a collection of naturally occuring behaviors that are less tolerated in today’s high-demand world? There are competing theories about what, if anything, triggers ADHD in the brain, although executive functioning (attention, emotion regulation, and decision-making) is invariably affected. Up to 50 percent of children eventually outgrow the condition, but even if so, early developmental delays may create enduring learning problems.

Experts disagree over whether treatment should be behavioral (training of attention, increased play, greater structure) or pharmacological (stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall), although a combination of both may work best.

Work, school, and managing household tasks can be very challenging for people with ADD and ADHD. Fortunately, those afflicted can learn coping skills to work around shortcomings and harness their talents — as many successful people with ADD and ADHD have done.

Recent Posts on ADHD

Here is a Powerful Acronym to Help Your Child Manage Stress!

Kids do better in life when they learn how to calm down and solve problems! Borrowing from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) the word "ACCEPTS" provides prompts for valuable coping skills for children, teens, and adults to handle stress. To help your child or teen better deal with stress, take a look at the power of the 7 skills embodied in "ACCEPTS"

Are Diesel Cars Responsible for Rising Rates of Autism?

A recent study and several previous investigations have found associations between air pollution and autism. These studies suggest increased chances of having a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder following higher exposures to diesel particulate matter, as well as in connection to proximity to a freeway.

Who’s Running the Show? You, Your Kids or Your Doctor?

By Michael W Corrigan Ed.D. on September 25, 2015 Kids Being Kids
Let’s face it, as kids wrestle with behavioral and maturity issues and juggle expectations related to academic and social challenges, some of the behaviors they display can be quite concerning. But guess what? For centuries parents have been capable of helping challenged children overcome semi-annoying and concerning behaviors. How do they do it?

Clutter vs Hoarding vs Collecting

By Barry Yourgrau on September 24, 2015 Mess
"To hell with your problem, whaddya got for me there, baby?”

“God” in a Pill?

An underlying fantasy of those who rely on psychiatric medication—in isolation—without meaningful psychosocial therapies. And—if “God is in the pill,” then the devil must be in the side effects!

Parenting a Child With a Learning Disability

Children with learning difficulties often experience trouble with school and learning. According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, 2.4 million students are diagnosed with a learning disability. Although there is no cure for a learning disability, individuals can benefit from early intervention.

Mindful Parenting for ADHD

Addressing ADHD requires perseverance, flexibility, responsiveness, and an ability to find moments of joy and success during challenging times. All of that is much harder to sustain when you’re mentally swamped by anger, fear, or exhaustion. With mindfulness, you promote your own resilience and well-being not only for your own sake, but because your child will benefit.

Keep It Simple! 3 Parenting Tips for a Healthy Life Balance

As important as intellectual, social, and physical stimulation are to a young child’s developing brain and body, they’re not enough. To thrive in childhood and grow into a happily productive adult, a child needs to find a healthy balance. Dona Matthews, Ph.D., and Joanne Foster, Ed.D., suggest three ways parents can help make that happen.

Testing Your Child For a Mental Disorder

Given the ongoing debate about the legitimacy of the mental disorder labels found in the DSM and the ICD, how should parents think about the "tests" administered to children as part of the current "diagnostic and treatment process"?

Is Picky Eating a Sign of Mental Illness in Kids?

Certain habits increase the risk for depression, anxiety, and ADHD.

Avoiding ADHD’s Wide Net: One Parent, One Child at a Time

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on September 09, 2015 Singletons
The number of children diagnosed with ADHD is staggering and growing. Before you accept an ADHD diagnosis (and stimulant medication), as a parent it is your responsibility to consider what else might be causing your child’s difficult behaviors.

Is Being Normal a Disadvantage in Life?

Society assumes that conditions like ADHD and ADD are a handicap. There is increasing evidence that they are a huge advantage in real life.

Adult ADHD Impacts Kids, Too

By Melissa Orlov on September 07, 2015 May I Have Your Attention
Teens are old enough to have open conversations about what ADHD is (and is not) and how the symptoms show up in other family members.

A Dramatic Rise in ADHD Diagnoses

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on September 06, 2015 Side Effects
Diagnoses of ADHD in school-age children jump 42 percent and the figures overall may be even worse.

Why Blame the Brain When the Problem Is in the Neck?

When a patient complains about depression, a doctor typically focuses on a brain chemistry defect. But other organs can actually be the source of the problem.

Be an ADHD World Changer

By Lara Honos-Webb Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 The Gift of ADHD
You can use feelings of shame or of being different to help you discover where your creative contributions lie.

Bounce Back From ADHD

By Lara Honos-Webb Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 The Gift of ADHD
People with ADHD may fail more than inhibited people because inhibition is in the service of avoiding failure

Waving Sadly and Yet Joyfully Goodbye

By Michael W Corrigan Ed.D. on September 01, 2015 Kids Being Kids
My wife started back to work fulltime. After admirably serving seven years in the trenches of child warfare on the not so tropical resort island known as Imagonna Pullmyhairout, she joined the ranks of the millions who deserve to be awarded a “Stay at Home Mom” Medal of Honor. As a recovering Mr. Mom, this blog is dedicated to all of you Stay at Home Parents.

Law Does NOT Treat ADHD but Medical Intervention Does

By Shimi Kang M.D. on August 27, 2015 The Dolphin Way
There are plenty of us who might not know how to react upon meeting people with ADHD. So what exactly is ADHD? What does it mean for those who have it? And how can we help?

Can Genetics Help Choose ADHD Meds?

Anticipating Better ADHD Med Outcomes with Genetics: How Does It Work?

ADHD Medication May Enhance Hypnotizability

Hypnosis, an enhanced state of inner focus, can be an effective tool for improving a range of symptoms, including those related to mood and learning. The ADHD drug methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin) has been shown to increase hypnotizability in a sample of patients with ADHD and thus may enable patients to benefit from adding hypnosis to their treatment regimens.

How New Research in Psychology is Changing American Homework

By Rebecca Jackson on August 18, 2015 School of Thought
New research is inspiring parents to take a look at the conventional wisdom behind giving children unlimited amounts of time to complete homework assignments. In an interview with Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, she discusses her research and advice for both parents and educators about increasing homework loads in primary school.

Best Practices in the Treatment of ADHD

While the last blog post focused on best practices for diagnosing ADHD, here we turn our focus to treatment best practices.

ADHD "Symptoms" Are Advantages for the Entrepreneur

For the entrepreneur, ADHD traits can be superpowers in disguise.

Handcuff an 8 Year Old

By Kathryn Seifert on August 05, 2015 Stop The Cycle
Should school resource officers be handcuffing children? Most certainly it will be needed until there are sufficient behavoral health services in schools for children with special needs to provide intensive daily services for the most at risk youth and include families in the intervention.

The ADHD Advantage

Medicine should be the last resort, not the first, when a child is diagnosed with ADHD. There are many other ways to help a child function better—even in the classroom. ADHD

Best Practices in the Diagnosis of ADHD

Although there is no medical test for the diagnosis of AD/HD, the diagnosis should not be given without multiple diagnostic steps, which we explore here.

Attempting to Provide Care for Vulnerable Children

In a major study of children aged two to fourteen years in foster care, only 25% of children with severe behavioral needs received any services at all.

A Checklist To Stop Misuse Of Psychiatric Medication In Kids

The exponential growth in the use of psycho-stimulants, anti-depressants, and anti-psychotic drugs often harms children more than helps them. This Checklist to help clinicians think through the necessary steps before prescribing medicines.

7 Keys to Handling Difficult Teenagers

It’s not easy when you have to deal with difficult teenagers in your life, whether they are your children, students, athletes, group members, or employees. What can you do in the face of a challenging adolescent? Here are seven keys to successfully handle difficult teenagers...