All You Need to Know About ADHD

All you need to know about ADHD

All You Need to Know About ADHD

(Meta: 6.1 million Americans have ADHD which impairs attention and affects learning. Dr. Roseann encourages behavioral therapy for ADHD)

With ADHD, what you see is not often what you get. The main manifestations of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. An untrained parent may label the child a “bad” kid. They may see the behavior as purposeful, the kid as lazy and just not listening.

A psychologist, however, may dig deeper by checking under the hood, monitoring brain activity with a QEEG Brain Map, and seek to provide evidence-based solutions.

You may think you know what ADHD is but here is what you need to know about ADHD.

ADHD is not as rare as you think. 6.1 million Americans have ADHD. Three hundred eighty-eight thousand are children aged 2–5 years old. 2.4 million are aged 6 to 11, and 3.3 million are aged 12 to 17. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls largely because they tend to get identified sooner due to hyperactive behaviors.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a chronic, lifelong neurological disorder resulting from different factors, including genetics. It is characterized by difficulty sustaining attention and poor executive functioning. ADHD can significantly impact an individual’s ability to focus, learn, and function socially in school or work.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

Common ADHD Symptoms

While many people find it difficult to focus and stay alert, individuals with ADHD struggle with this on a deeper level. Because their brain has slow focused brainwave activity their brain is slow to absorb new information that is of low interest to them, they often tune out or miss things. This can lead to a lot of frustration from those around them.

Restlessness is among the common ADHD Symptoms. People with ADHD struggle with starting, continuing, or finishing tasks. They don’t see the big picture, so starting new, repetitive tasks such as cleaning the closet can be daunting. Also, staying focused on a job or finishing a project is difficult because their brain is understimulated. They must work hard to keep engaged when doing something “boring.”

ADHD is a problem that goes beyond simple distractibility. Many people mistakenly believe that ADHD means a child cannot focus. However, one of the symptoms of ADHD is hyperfocus. When an ADHD child shows a deep and intense concentration on an area of interest, parents may think, “My child can focus when he likes something, so he doesn’t have ADHD!”

This can be quite confusing for parents who don’t understand why they can focus so intently on one task they enjoy and can’t on anything else.

This prevents proper identification and treatment of the condition. Children with ADHD are often very verbal and bright, which allows them to compensate in school for their communication difficulties.

Forgetfulness frequently occurs because they can’t always remember when they’re not paying attention. They may be present, but their minds aren’t focused on the task. This can interfere with everyday life for children and adults with ADHD.

People with ADHD also tend to be impulsive. They may blurt out things without thinking, get emotional quickly, or make rash decisions that can have negative consequences. When they are in the moment, they may not be able to see all the potential solutions to their problems.

Helping a kid with ADHD

ADHD in Kids

Kids with ADHD are more likely to be full of movement and unable to sit still, as well as “zone out” and be distractable. They may struggle in school as they cannot focus on the lectures or do their homework. Simply getting started on a task can be the biggest hurdle.

In a novel, Percy Jackson struggled with ADHD and dyslexia at a young age. In the end, his hyperactivity enhanced his battle reflexes, allowing him to survive countless combats.

A child with ADHD may:

  • Daydream frequently
  • Lose things a lot or forget them
  • Squirm or fidget
  • Talk too much or are verbally impulsive
  • Make careless mistakes
  • Take unnecessary risks
  • Have a hard time resisting temptation
  • Have trouble taking turns
  • Have difficulty getting along with peers
  • Have difficulty following multi-step directions
  • Have trouble starting or completing tasks
  • Have trouble with listening

ADHD in Teens

Teens with ADHD may be impulsive and say things without thinking or make rash decisions. Because they lack executive functioning they don’t always see the end result and may not think things through.

Juno, the title character of the 2007 coming-of-age story, often acts or speaks without thinking — and ends up with uncomfortable and even life-changing results. She faced the consequences of her actions, although her confidence, quick-wittedness, and desire to do good saved her.

While this outcome may be extreme, some kids with ADHD can be very impulsive and that gets in the way of school, family, and social functioning.

How is ADHD Diagnosed?

If you think your child has ADHD, make an appointment with a licensed mental health professional. You will also want a Physician to do a checkup, including a vision and hearing check, to rule out other possible problems.

To diagnose ADHD, therapists and doctors start by asking about a child’s health, behavior, and activity. They talk with parents and kids about the things they have noticed. Your provider might ask you to complete checklists about your child’s behavior and give a copy for your child’s teacher to fill up. Getting a picture of your child’s behavior at home and school is necessary.

After getting this information, doctors diagnose ADHD if it’s clear that:

  • A child’s trouble with paying attention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity go beyond what’s usual for their age.
  • The behaviors have been going on since the child was young.
  • The behaviors affect the child at school and home.
  • A health check shows that another health or learning issue isn’t causing the problems.

Many kids with ADHD symptoms also have learning problems, oppositional and defiant behaviors, or mood and anxiety problems. Providers usually treat these with ADHD and may also refer a therapist or psychologist and a psychiatrist if needed.

How Is ADHD Treated?

Treatment for ADHD usually includes:

  • Medicine activates the brain’s ability to pay attention, slow down, and foster self-control. *This should only be considered after therapy, supplements, neurofeedback or other non-medication alternatives
  • Behavior Therapy to develop the social, emotional, and planning skills that are lagging with ADHD.
  • Coaching for Parents to learn the best ways to respond to behavior problems that are part of ADHD.
  • School Support for teachers to be encouraging to students with ADHD
  • Neurofeedback to regulate brainwave activity

Left untreated, ADHD may lead to low self-esteem, depression, risk-taking behavior, and conflicted relationships.

ADHD Therapy

Mental Health trailblazer Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge encourages behavioral therapy for ADHD as this has been proven effective by studies and clinical trials and has no side effects. Meanwhile, ADHD Drugs almost always have side effects and may lead to dependency and the need for higher doses later on.

Neurofeedback for ADHD

Neurofeedback is a safe and effective technology that calms the brain. It treats ADHD, Anxiety, OCD, and learning issues.

This non-invasive therapy helps train the brain to function while rewarding the brain for creating an appropriate pattern through reinforcement.

During a session, the brain learns to self-regulate, which calms the nervous system, reducing or eliminating symptoms.

With neurofeedback training, the brain learns to self-regulate with better connectivity and timing, which results in improved learning, increased focus, and feeling calmer.

How Can Parents Help?

Acceptance and involvement are the first steps to addressing ADHD. Your child has a condition but it doesn’t define them! It can be managed to live a happy and successful life.

  • Be involved. Learn all you need to know about ADHD. Follow recommended therapy visits and manage the condition at home and in school.
  • Work with your child’s school. Meet with teachers to find out how your child is doing.
  • Parents with purpose and warmth. Learn what parenting approaches are best for a child with ADHD. Initiate conversations and focus on your child’s strengths and positive qualities.
  • Connect with other. You are not alone. Connect with other moms and build a support system.

Common ADHD Myths

What is ADHD? Different people may have other answers. Dr. Roseann goes through the many beliefs surrounding ADHD to confirm what is true. And what is not.

ADHD is a Learning Disability.

Myth. ADHD is a neurological condition that impairs attention and affects learning. However, it isn’t a learning disability.

ADHD Results from Poor Parenting.

Myth. There are many factors leading to ADHD, including genetics and food.

Positive parenting techniques that focus on teaching help manage a child’s ADHD symptoms. However, the condition isn’t necessarily caused by “poor” parenting.

Children with ADHD are always hyperactive.

Myth. ADHD can manifest in different ways. Some kids can be very hyper, while others are very unfocused or a mix of both.

ADHD Symptoms worsen with sugar, highly processed foods, and caffeine

Fact. People used to have a healthy relationship with sugar. However, the high amounts of sugar in food and fast food led to health problems, including ADHD. The presence of fast food is almost in concurrence with rising cases of High Blood Pressure and Diabetes and a shortening attention span. On the flip side, a nutrient-rich diet with ample servings of fruits and vegetables can improve attention and mood and calm the brain.

Medication can help people who have ADHD.

Fact and Myth. Medication can activate the brain’s ability to pay attention, slow down, and foster self-control. However, it almost always has a side effect and the research says that after 3 years A medicated person with ADHD is indistinguishable from a person who is unmedicated.

Other science-backed ways to improve attention include Neurofeedback, exercise, mindfulness, and an anti-inflammatory diet.

There are different types of ADHD

Fact. ADHD is a single disorder with three different types: primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive/impulsive, and combined. Each person can present differently.

The primary inattentive type is characterized by distractibility without hyperactivity.

The primary hyperactive/impulsive type manifests through impulsive and hyperactive behaviors without distractibility.

Combined type results in impulsive behaviors and distractibility.

A combination of factors cause ADHD.

Fact. ADHD results from a combination of genetic inheritance and genetic mutation that interfere with how the nervous system uses nutrients, dysregulated brain waves, premature birth, head injury, and prenatal toxin exposure.

Only young boys have ADHD.

Myth. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed because of their higher rate of observable hyperactive behaviors. However, girls can have ADHD too.

CDC (2022). What is ADHD?

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html

Kid’s Health (2022) ADHD

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/adhd.html

Always remember… “Calm Brain, Happy Family™”

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime.

Are you looking for SOLUTIONS for your struggling child or teen?

Dr. Roseann and her team are all about solutions, so you are in the right place!

There are 3 ways to work with Dr. Roseann:

You can get her books for parents and professionals, including: It’s Gonna Be OK™: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child’s Mental Health, Teletherapy Toolkit™ and Brain Under Attack: A Resource For Parents and Caregivers of Children With PANS, PANDAS, and Autoimmune Encephalopathy.

If you are a business or organization that needs proactive guidance to support employee mental health or an organization looking for a brand representative, check out Dr. Roseann’s professional speaking page to see how we can work together.

Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of media outlets including, CBS, NBC, FOX News, PIX11 NYC, The New York Times, The Washington Post,, Business Insider, USA Today, CNET, Marth Stewart, and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.”

She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider (CMHIMP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach. She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).

© Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2022

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