TWO answers you need to know about ADHD right now: with video links to THE leading ADHD researcher

So you just found out you or your child has ADHD and you are looking for some information.  You've been to a thousand different websites and your head is about to explode with tons of information...most of which is unhelpful.  You just want to know, in as few words as possible, just what the heck this means to you and is this going to be a major issue or something, and you've had every piece of advice from "medication is the key" to "all they need is a good whoopin".  You are fed up and just want to know the truth already.

Well, you are in the right place.
What is ADHD anyway? (follow the link for a great video)
  • ADHD is one of the most widely researched disorders affecting students today. 
  • For students in school ADHD is Characterized by a greater attention to surroundings that takes away student attention from instruction and education (IDEA Act, 2004) But it is so much more
  • ADHD Causes symptoms like, Impulsive behavior, inability to focus for long periods of time, and something "similar to hyperfocus" at times
  • ADHD can run hand-in-hand with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and other symptoms that are even more serious than inattention.
  • It affects approximately 3-7% of the school age population in the United States. (Sigelman & Rider, 2006)
Can ADHD be treated?
  • Current evidence based treatments for ADHD in Children & Adolescents include:
    • stimulant & other types of medications
    • behavioral interventions
    • parent training
    • school-based interventions.  (Raggi & Chronis, 2006)
    • Multimodal Treatments that include multiple "layered" methods of treatment
  • Several medications help with symptoms of ADHD such as, Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Dexedrine, Cylert, Adderall, and others. 
  • There are several other activities that you can do to improve symptoms also (tune in for more on this later)
  • Medication can help improve things such as on-task behavior, compliance, task completion, task accuracy, and the ever-important impulse control. (Raggi & Chronis, 2006)  
  • Behavioral interventions consist of parents, teachers and children learning specific techniques and skills that will help improve the ADHD child’s behavior and may include such things as individual or group counseling, psychobehavioral or cognitive behavioral therapy, self instruction, social or parenting skills training, and support groups. (Sigelman & Rider, 2006)
  • Most Behavioral management programs are carried out in home and school, and include or should include training of parents and teachers. Parents and teachers then use the skills in their daily interactions with children with ADHD, resulting in improvement in the children's functioning in the key areas noted above. (Sigelman & Rider, 2006) 
  •  The most effective treatment plan for ADHD at this point in time has been shown to be Multimodal Treatment, which is like "layering" treatments in order to overwhelm the disorder. (this doesn't mean more meds) 
  • Multimodal Treatments such as a combination of Behavioral, and Contextual Interventions, along with appropriate medical treatment seem to be the best practice in helping students and adults find successful outcomes in academics and in overall performance including behavioral and social components. (Sigelman & Rider, 2006) (Faraone, 2005) (Barkley, 1998)
  • You can live and cope with ADHD and grow to become very successful.  In fact, a lot of people with ADHD have traits that can LEAD to success.  Good Luck, and sign up to follow this blog by email to learn more about ADHD and other learning differences, including Strategies, Coping Skills, and Questions to ask your teachers or doctors...AND MORE!!

Barkley, R. A. (1998). Treatment of Childhood Disorders: Second Edition. New York: The Guiliford Press.
Faraone, B. &. (2005, July 16). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. www.thelancet.com , pp. 237-248.
Raggi, V. L., & Chronis, A. M. (2006). Interventions to Address the Academic Impairment of Children and Adolescents with ADHD. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review , 9 (2), 85-111.

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