ADHD Awareness

ADHD Awareness Month Image credit: https://www.adhdawarenessmonth.org/

October is ADHD Awareness Month.

Having two children who were diagnosed in the last year, with ADHD and anxiety I wanted to shed some light on what ADHD actually is and share my story.
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ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and it is neurodevelopmental disorder that affects concentration, attention span and impulsivity. It is 3-4x more common in boys but also affects girls. It is the most common mental health disorder of childhood.  The average age of ADHD diagnosis is 7 years old, with symptoms first appearing between the ages of 3 and 6. In the USA there has been a 42% increase in ADHD diagnosis’s over the last 8 years. (source: Heathline)
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Having ADHD and parenting someone with ADHD is certainly no easy task. Since my children’s diagnosis, I have joined every local ADHD Facebook support group, bought books and have been reading and researching as much as I can. Talking with fellow parents has helped immensely as it has been crazy to find out just how many people I know who are dealing with the same situation.
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One of the biggest outcomes of the diagnosis has been “labelling” it is something we feared and in some ways held us back from getting a diagnosis sooner.  We also thought that if they were diagnosed, then it was our fault they had ADHD. That perhaps in utero, I was too stressed or did not eat the right foods or we did not parent well enough. We soon realized that, that our kids needed the best chance possible of living with ADHD. We all needed to be able to put a “name” to the behavior.  I myself am able to process things better when I have less unknows. Once I am given something concrete to work with I am able to organize my thoughts and dive into solutions via research etc.
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Do you remember what it is like when you get stressed and overwhelmed? How you make mistakes easily, become forgetful or misplace things, impatient, frustrated you just feel like shutting down?  That is how someone with ADHD feels on a regular basis.  Terry Matlen who is a therapist (with ADHD herself) specializes in adults with ADHD, particularly women, she describes ADHD as “Its a chronic sense of overwhelmed. It feels like you’re being attached in all areas of your daily life — like sounds,  and lights, and sensory things can be overwhelming”. Matlen is the author of Survival Tips for Women with ADHD. 

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There are a lot of misconceptions about ADHD.  Here are 5 common MYTHS:

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  1. People with ADHD are just lazy and need to try harder

    FACT: People with ADHD can’t just try harder. The reason they struggle is because of their differences in the way their brain functions and how it is structured.
    “Telling someone with ADHD to “just focus” is like asking someone who is nearsighted to just see father. source: Understood
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  2. Everyone with ADHD is hyperactive

    FACT: Hyperactive is one of many possible ADHD symptoms. Not everyone with ADHD have the same symptoms ie. are hyperactive.  Those that are not hyperactive are usually referred to have a different type of ADHD called ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
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  3. ADHD is a learning disability

    FACT: ADHD is not a learning disability. The symptoms can affect the chills way of learning though. ie. not being able to focus on learning.  Some learning disabilities can co-occur with ADHD though.
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  4. You can outgrow ADHD

    FACT: Some symptoms can lessen and disappear as a child gets older, but most kids do not completely outgrow ADHD.  Often kids learn coping skills as they get older and are able to manage their symptoms.
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  5.  ADHD is caused by bad parenting

    FACT: ADHD is caused by brain differences, not bad parenting. But some people see kids fidgeting, being impulsive, or not listening and assume it’s due to a lack of discipline. They don’t realize that what they’re seeing are signs of a medical condition, and not the result of something parents or caregivers did or didn’t do. (source: Understood)

     

    There is no consensus on what actually causes ADHD. It is believed that the most likely cause is genetics. If there is a family history of ADHD then there is an increased chance you will be diagnosed. (Source: Camh)
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    Disclaimer: As an Amazon  Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  I get commissions for purchases made through certain links in this post. 

    Tina Evans

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