I get a lot of questions from parents of kids about whether or not, the child should be medicated. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each child (or adult) has to be evaluated individually & thoughtfully. Usually, it is a matter of trial & error. Finding a knowledgeable Doctor is crucial. If you have any doubt that your Doctor is less than an expert, find someone else.
Here is a helpful article from ADDitude Mag that helps sort through some of the considerations when you are contemplating meds vs. no meds for yourself, your child or your spouse.
People with ADHD tend to get stressed out easily & this often leads to a mental/emotional shut/melt-down. One of the best ways to prevent this cycle is by having direction. If you have ADHD, ask your spouse/parent/teacher to help you prioritize. If you’re the spouse/parent/teacher, know the warning sighs & be prepared to step in with a plan.
Assuming that the ADHDer is open to being directed and has someone to “oversee” them, it all comes down to timing. People w/ADHD can go from 0-99 on the frustration scale very quickly and if you’re not paying attention to the cues, you’ll miss the window to steer them clear of a shut/melt-down. Not surprisingly recovering from the rapid downward spiral and getting back on track is much harder than preventing it in the first place.
My wife’s in London for the week & she LOVES it over there. (Getting worried she might not come back!) While she’s gone, I’ve been reminded how important it is to have a supportive spouse who gets ADHD & has the patience for it. Communication is key. What you say is as important as how you say it. Timing is crucial too.
One of the most important things to remember about any conversation is that sometimes what is said by one person and what is heard by the other person, can be completely two different things. Always clarify and never assume that your words have been received the way that you wanted them to come out. It’s better to spend an extra five minutes being redundant, than two hours fighting about the misunderstanding later.
The first step in coping with ADHD is accepting that you have it. I meet many adults who recognize themselves in my story, yet are hesitant to get diagnosed. I can understand the fear of a positive diagnosis, that confirmation of “yes, you have this thing!”, but when it comes to ADHD, the diagnosis can actually bring relief, clarity & a variety of options to help get life back on track. Have you been putting off your diagnosis? If so, why?
How’s that homework coming along guys? Staying on top of it? I remember when I was in school, I couldn’t do my homework unless I had the music turned way up. My mom thought I was crazy. Now I know that I was trying to create a “mild distraction” so that I could give my attention to my work. Having a routine was important too. What’s your best set-up for getting homework done?
Here is a link to an article on Additudemag.com, giving pointers about making homework time less stressful.
I admit, I was bit too pessimistic yesterday. Although it seems like a lot of media outlets are spouting negativity in regards to ADHD, there are also lots of great, things going on. Importantly, remember that ADHD & other disorders of executive & sensory functions are better known & understood now than ever before. Keep reading and researching. The answers are out there!!
It’s ADHD Awareness week and the only articles that I have seen in the press this whole month have been negative. Over-diagnosis, misdiagnosis, over-medication, bad parenting, lazy teachers…wow! Not a single glimmer of hope on the ADHD horizon! Now I know why I stopped following traditional media in the first place!! So. Anyone has anything positive to share? You know I do! 🙂
Just read another article (from Adelaide, Australia) about parents of ADHD kids talking about the lack of understanding that the general population has about ADHD. Sigh. The worst part? The comments! People are not only ignorant, but just downright mean! And did I mention ignorant? If you know someone with ADHD or a parent with kids who have ADHD, go give them a hug right now. Seriously. They need it!
A lot of people wonder how I got my start speaking and drawing. I was an 18 year old basketball player at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes summer camp where I met Bill Leach, an 80 year old performing chalk artist. Bill and I hit it off and before he passed away he encouraged me to continue on with what he had started 50 years prior. I began speaking to small church groups, but eventually expanded to speaking to school students and ultimately, educators and parents. Always wanting to remember my roots and knowing that a lot of you saw me for the first time at a Christian event, on the weekends I’m going to take a break from my goal of simplifying and finding new things that make ADHD work, and encourage you to check out a blog written by my Road Manager / Chaplin / Old guy – Larry Medcalfe called Seeking God Daily. Come Monday will be back to work on everything ADHD! Hope you enjoy Larry’s blog. God Bless you this weekend.
The argument against ADHD that drives me nuts the most is the whole “poor parenting” myth. Are there parents who don’t do a good job? Sure. But chronic & intense hyperactivity & impulsiveness in a young child cannot simply be dismissed as that. In many cases it is a fine line between misbehavior & ADHD-related behavior, but if there’s any doubt, a visit to a child psychologist makes perfect sense. Don’t let anyone shame you into thinking otherwise, ESPECIALLY if the person doing the shaming has never had any children!!
Don’t forget! ADHD Awareness Week is next week!
To become a useful tool, a fidget has to lose some of it’s “new” appeal first, especially with the younger kids, so let them mess with it until it gets “old”, then allow them to bring it into situations where they need to focus. In this way, it won’t be a huge distraction, just a little one. Small enough to occupy the squirrely part of their brain so they pay attention to what’s important.
You probably know that studies have found a link between diet & ADHD. Kids especially are affected by the kinds of foods they eat, but even adults shouild be watching what they put into their bodies. That said, I love Cheetos. To be “good”, I’ve been buying “natural” cheetos. You laughing yet? Imagine my shock when I discovered that I got suckered in by some good marketing – good, “natural” (as the packaging described them) Cheetos do not exist. Are you reading those labels??
Great article giving tips for managing ADHD nutritionally.
ADHD can be hard on relationships. First, your friend/spouse/co-worker might not understand how the ADHD mind works & draw completely wrong assumptions about your behavior. Second, your low self-esteem could be sabotaging even the best relationships because you’ve come to believe that you’re just not good enough. What can you do?
1. Do not be ashamed to speak up and tell people that you have ADHD. Don’t joke about it (too much!). Ask the other person to hear you out and to reserve their judgment. Bring a printout that lists ADHD characteristics and show the other person. Plant the seed. This is just the beginning of helping educate them about ADHD and what it means to be in a relationship with someone who has it.
2. Sometimes, esp. if you are ashamed and have low self-esteem, it really is crucial to talk to a professional counselor. Some of us ADHDers have lived through years of being told we’re no good: lazy, stupid, irresponsible – those scars go deep. You need to get all that negativity OUT. Please!?
3. Always remember that ALL relationships require work. Some more than others, true, but all the same. Commit to the idea that you want to have healthy relationships. That you deserve to have them and that you can make it happen. As the other person starts “getting” you more, continue working on yourself and building yourself and the other person up. Positive synergy!! That is where it’s at! 🙂
Here’s an article that gives relationship tips for couples.