Some adults may have trouble paying attention to conversations. They find themselves chronically late for appointments. They also make costly mistakes that can negatively impact their lifestyle, like paying their bills late or not at all. Time after time, people attribute this behavior to becoming forgetful, but it could be that these individuals suffer from adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as Adult ADHD.
Although ADHD expresses itself as a behavioral disorder in children, adults, too, can suffer from ADHD. Adults who are inattentive, inconsistent, or hyperactive may be suffering from ADHD.
Since many adults may have not had access to medical professionals who were well-versed in diagnosing and treating ADHD while they were children, many may still be undiagnosed. And yes, ADHD begins in childhood and persists throughout a person’s life.
After living with ADHD for so many years, many adults have grown to live with the condition. Many people develop coping mechanisms to deal with their day-to-day problems.
All too often, adults only visit their doctor about their symptoms after a child or a grandchild has been diagnosed. With an earlier diagnosis of ADHD, life can become easier and health problems associated with the condition can be treated.
For people who think they suffer from Adult ADHD, it’s never too late to get medical advice. The following are some common symptoms many people experience who are suffering from ADHD.
Marital problems: Although there are many factors that contribute to marital problems, a person suffering from ADHD will find that they have difficulty in their marriage. They may find that they can’t commit, or they lack the ability to listen to their partner’s concerns.
Lack organizational skills: Individuals who are disorganized or who have trouble finding important documents around their home may suffer from Adult ADHD. With the inability to remain focused, they can easily get sidetracked while carrying out a task, which may lead to their homes being constantly in disarray.
Poor listening skills: When talking to a person with ADHD, many people find that they have to repeat what they say. Often, they don’t recall stories shared by their friends or family members. During the course of the conversation, their attention may have strayed to something else, preventing them from truly comprehending what was said during the conversation.
People who have Adult ADHD have options. Advances in the medical field go beyond developing coping mechanisms to deal with the condition. ADHD Doctors can give their patients appropriate medication and therapeutic services to help them get beyond their condition. The first step for people who suspect they have ADHD is to visit a local ADHD specialist who can diagnose their condition using multiple tests, and then give them the Adult ADHD treatment they need.
There are many signs of ADHD, including inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity. We know that it is difficult for you, as parents, to understand whether it is ADHD your child is experiencing, or if it's just a part of growing up. Our goal is to inform and educate parents about ADHD, so that you know when the right time to contact an ADHD specialist doctor for your child is.
If your child starts showing significant signs of ADHD at home or at school, we believe you should contact an ADHD specialist. If your child seems to be having academic or behavior problems at school, this may be a good time to get in contact with a doctor. Oftentimes, children associated with ADHD have a hard time paying attention in class, listening, organizing, and even remembering things. As a result, your child may be achieving low grades. Typically, parents and teachers notice these behaviors during the child's first few years of school, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, a child can go all through high school having these symptoms when a proper treatment of ADHD may have solved the entire issue. ADHD has also been associated with disruptive behavior. If parents are constantly receiving calls from the teacher about their child being disruptive and are dealing with the same issues at home, it may be a good time to contact a doctor as well.
We also encourage parents to contact a doctor if their child is experiencing any type of persisting mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression. Sometimes, if a child has ADHD, they tend to constantly worry about school, or maybe worry about their parents. In either instance, the child always tends to think about the worst possible outcome of any situation. This is a case of anxiety, which is often associated with ADHD. If these types of issues tend to exist for weeks at a time, it may be time to contact a doctor. We understand that some of these symptoms may be associated with your child's general personality, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms at a severe level, we advise you to consider speaking with an ADHD specialist doctor.
Parenting can be difficult as a general rule of thumb; it can be particularly overwhelming when a child has been diagnosed with ADHD. Consider the following helpful tips if you have a child with ADHD.
1. Make your health and attitude a priority.
Parents are responsible for creating structure and consistency in the home. This becomes next to impossible to do if you are not feeling emotionally or physically well. It becomes far too easy to negatively react to a minor issue when feeling overwrought.
Diet, exercise and stress reduction methods are necessary to maintain a positive outlook. Take time out for yourself with meditation, a nightly bath, or an evening walk - or another routine to help you relax. Get the support that you need. Join a support group for parents of children with ADHD, and speak with doctors and teachers for advice. Take a break if you need it; even when that means a friend, family member or volunteer babysits your child.
2. Create predictable structure in the home.
Children with ADHD may perform better when tasks occur in a predictable place and order. Routines must be established and all adult family members in the home should assist with supporting the schedule.
There are a number of things that you can do. Establish rituals such having your child select clothing for the next day before going to bed, and have book bags prepacked for the following day with all books or materials and placed in the same place every day for easy grab and go. Clocks and timers can be used to help children transition activities and have enough time to get ready for school or complete activities.
3. Encourage physical activity.
Like many young children, children with ADHD have plenty of energy. Physical activities and organized sports can provide an invaluable outlet for them.
Children with attention problems do well with certain sports and physical activities. It is important that the child enjoys the sport and it suits their strengths. Pets are also wonderful additions to the family to reduce stress, and encourage play in young children. One of the side benefits of all of this activity is that children will have an easier time winding down and getting a good night’s sleep.
Still looking for more advice? We are ready to help. Reach out to our team at ADHD Associates for assistance in the treatment and monitoring of children with ADHD/ADD.
Many of you have heard or read about the term "Executive Function"; it may have been used if an evaluation for ADHD was done by a neuropsychologist. What is the relationship between problems with Executive Function and ADHD? Are they one in the same?
Executive function refers to a set of mental skills that includes the ability to:
As one can see, Executive Function problems are asociated with, or are a part of , the clinical syndrome known as ADHD. However, Executive Function problems are not limited only to ADHD; they may be seen with:
The simplest was to think about executive function, is that all patients diagnosed with ADHD have problems with Executive Function, but not all patient with Executive Function problems have ADHD.
I hope that clarifies the issue a little bit.
Mitchel Katz, MD
I often get asked by parents as to the efficacy of non-drug interventions in the treatment of their child’s ADHD.
A recent study in the January 2013 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry outlined the findings of a multinational team of experts, who found no positive effects from psychological treatments including mind exercises (cognitive training), neurofeedback, and behavioral modification training. The researched discovered only small benefits associated with certain dietary modifications (which is consistent with a recent review article that appeared in Pediatrics).
However, one of the coauthors of the study said that parents should not be discouraged and should talk with their child’s physician as “evidence is never a substitute for having a discussion about your own child and wheat is right for your child and your family.”
I remain available to talk to any patient or parent about treatment methods for ADHD.
Mitchel Katz, MD