Diagnosing and Treating ADD and ADHD in Children
Guest post, from
It’s difficult to watch our children or grandchildren struggle whether they’re young or old. We scratch our heads and ask, “What’s wrong with them, why can’t they just…?”
And I believe they would if they could. But it’s up to us to look deeper to sense and see what’s not working at home or in school.
It’s been said that the ADD/ADHD diagnosis has been assigned to individuals far too often. However, when you see your child or grandchild suffer from notable frustrations that children with ADD/ADHD exhibit, it may be time to seek help.
Types of ADHD & ADD
The diagnosis has recently been divided into three types: One being “predominantly inattentive.” This form goes undiagnosed the most. The child may seem shy, in their own world, have trouble focusing, avoid long mental tasks, is forgetful, tuned out, unable to pick up details, loses things, and makes careless mistakes while struggling to follow through with instructions.
The second is “predominantly hyperactive.” This is where you witness that overflow of energy and impulsivity. Thinking out loud, constantly interrupting, fidgeting, tapping, getting up at inappropriate times, unable to operate quietly, while seemingly always on the go are characteristics.
The third is “combined presentation.” Here the child exhibits both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.
What You Can Do to Support ADHD Children & Families
In my recently released book, When Living and Learning Hurt: Making Now Better, So Later Will Be Easier, Chapter 16: Parenting Toward Peace of Mind, addresses numerous ways that help both the caregiver and the ADHDer. It’s a contextual reality. We’re all in the same canoe. When anyone is jumping or jolting everybody has to adjust.
During my 35 years in private practice, I haven’t known one child who wakes up telling themself, “Today I’m going to make mistakes, annoy people just by being me, then stumble and bumble emotionally, socially, and academically in front of everybody.” This, however, is often the experience of the three different types of ADHDers. It hurts a child privately to know they’re a disappointment at home and in the classroom.
The best way to help a child or anyone for that matter-is to help them feel better about themselves. And we can help ADHDers shift to a more peaceful sense of self-regulation. There is anger management, behavioral management, and medication management, but I like to install hope management.
We mustn’t continue to pathologize and stigmatize feelings or behaviors often associated with the ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Today, technology and culture intrude and vie for our attention, often making emotional and behavioral self-regulation difficult for all of us.
And we need to acknowledge the interaction between our emotions, physiology, and environment before medicating, which interferes chemically with the individual’s brain physiology. We can learn to steer our minds, rather than our minds steering us. Although it takes patience and willingness to do the heavy lifting, it is so worth it.
For the most part, we are all born transformable. And we are the only species that bring the future into the present often creating anxiety and apprehension. For the ADHDer learning, a language of comfort will solidify hope and build resilience through their daily commute.
More About the Author, Scott W. Thomas:
During the past two years, the pandemic has fertilized anxiety, uncertainty, and doubt. Depression and loneliness have exponentially increased, leaving children and adults, not knowing what to do next. The pandemic aside, these are common experiences of children and adults with ADD and ADHD. The author knows this story all too well.
In second grade, Tom’s teacher strapped a piece of masking tape across his mouth sitting him in front of the class, because, in her words, “He won’t stop talking.” During his post high school planning his counselor informed him “You are not college material, and you better learn to run a cash register.” Tom knew if he could learn how to learn his way, things would work out. And they have.
Unlike other books in this genre, these writings will make you laugh, and resuscitate your spirit. The author’s education, training, and clinical experiences, coupled with his candid personal history is a compelling read. We can find parts of ourselves in all of it. Most importantly the book will inspire you to understand yourself, and others from different perspectives.
You will learn about the newest discoveries in interpersonal neurobiology, and psychology, combined with ancient wisdom, taking you on a fascinating path of self-discovery. It may surprise you to realize that “getting better,” has more to do with letting go, than holding on. This journey will help you learn how to make now better, so later will be easier.
“When Living and Learning Hurt: Making Now Better, So Later is Easier” is available wherever you purchase books online and on Amazon.
You are invited to this special event:
Eva Reynolds Fine Arts Gallery
6285 W. 135th St, Suite 340
Overland Park, KS 66224