How often do we hear the words: “Oh, don’t mind me…I’m just 'ADD,'” or, “Brandon, can you JUST KEEP STILL?” Problems with attention seem to be everywhere around us and right now, while many parents are still schooling remotely, they are noticing attention problems with their kids even more. Before we unload the mysteries of ADHD, would you be surprised to know that those with ADHD possess many gifts? Those talented ADHD individuals are generally extremely imaginative, inventive, caring, tenacious, observant, creative, very energetic, naturals at multitasking, unique solvers of complicated circumstances, super-focused on things they enjoy, with a quick sense of observation and a unique “off-the-wall” sense of humor. Now that you know the pluses, let’s dig a little into what ADHD is.
According to the DSM-5 (The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) criteria for ADHD: People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development”1 Many people are confused between the terms ADD and ADHD. Currently, ADHD is the correct term to use. ADD is a type of ADHD that doesn’t involve constant movement and fidgeting. There are three types of ADHD:
ADHD – Inattentive type = Unable to finish tasks started, easy distractibility, seeming lack of attention, and difficulty concentrating on tasks requiring continuous attention.
ADHD – Hyperactive type = Difficulty staying seated and sitting still; and running or climbing on things excessively; and Impulsive Type = Acting before thinking, difficulty taking turns, problems organizing work, constant shifting from one activity to another.
ADHD – Combined type = Inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive.
Now for the really mysterious part? It is still unclear as to the exact causes of ADHD. Some say it has to do with genetics. Others state it has to do with our toxic environment. Then again, it is believed that there are problems with the central nervous system at key moments of development. What is known about ADHD is that it occurs 2-4 times more in boys than in girls. Boys tend to display ADHD more in the areas of: Hyperactivity, low self-esteem, daydreaming, or being the class clown. Girls, demonstrate attention tendencies by: Being easily distracted, overly talkative, appearing withdrawn and having extreme emotional responses.
Obtaining a diagnosis for ADHD can be challenging. If it’s an official diagnosis you’re looking for, it’s best to wait until age 4+ by contacting one of the following: Educational pediatricians, neuropsychologists, youth psychologists (especially those trained in ADHD), other learning disability specialists (sometimes through schools). Be aware that an official diagnosis for ADHD can be expensive; and try to ponder the main reason you would want it. Is it to receive accommodations for public school? Keep in mind schools are still limited in their abilities to deal with kids with ADHD, as they are dealing with kids with dyslexia and other issues.
There is still much confusion over whether to use medication for ADHD, or not. This topic is a sensitive issue that has seen extremes of opinions over the years. The purpose of this article is not to judge those who are currently using medication for their kids. Please consider the facts from a John Hopkins University longitudinal study from 2019 that indicated that “children on medication for ADHD fared worse over time than unmedicated kids. (The study) tracked the progress of 186 children who were diagnosed with ADHD as preschoolers, between age 3 and 5. After six years of study, 90% of the children still had ADHD, and accompanying behavior and/or attention issues.”2
Are their solutions for ADHD medication? The simple answer, is: yes! You have probably heard of the many types of solutions such as altering one’s diet, getting more exercise, or using timers to stay on task. While some of these can be helpful, how about considering an approach that gets to the root of the problem? Because those with ADHD have a distorted and false/alternate sense of reality, they do not learn the basic lessons of life the way reality actually occurs. Basic concepts such as cause and effect, etc. have not been mastered in the ADHD disoriented person’s imaginary alternate reality world. Because they have never mastered these and other vital concepts of life in an oriented state, it appears to their loved ones that they will never be able to focus, be on time, follow through, etc.
The struggles that come with ADHD can be resolved by means of a Davis® Attention Mastery Program. Those with ADHD are completely unaware they are living in a disoriented state. They have no other frame of reference. Because they cannot change behavior that they are not aware of, they first need to be given the internal tools to be properly oriented. Once they start using these internal tools, they can then master basic concepts that were lost sometime early in life (such as cause, effect, etc.) so that they can begin to take control over their own actions, gain a real sense of the passage of time, and tackle the ability to focus for the first time in their lives. These concepts are then applied to practical life functioning. Now that you have looked at the plus side of ADHD and have more understanding of what ADHD is, you can learn more about getting at the root of the struggle with ADHD, by checking out the following: https://www.freshstartlearningofps.com/attention-mastery-foradd-adhd or https://www.dyslexia.com/
1 The ADD Resource Center – “DSM Criteria for ADHD” https://www.addrc.org/dsm5-criteria-for-adhd/ 2013
2 Dyslexia the Gift Blog “The Meds Don’t Work – Updated” by Abigail Marshall 2019 https://blog.dyslexia.com/the-meds-dont-work/ Liz Bertran Certified Davis Dyslexia Facilitator Fresh Start Learning of Puget Sound www.freshstartlearningofps.com 425-231-9705