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ADDitude's top ADD/ADHD experts answer readers' questions about parenting children with, and about adults living with, ADD/ADHD.

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Archives: November 2011

posted: Monday November 28th - 1:42pm

Say What? Translating My ADHD Spouse

"When I sit down to talk with my ADHD spouse, I can't follow him. When I ask him to explain what he means, he hits the roof. What can I do?"

Melissa Orlov, a frequent ADDitude contributor with Dr. Ned Hallowell, writes about ADHD and marriage and offers relationship advice to adults with ADD.
First, try to follow your husband’s words without worrying about specifics. After he’s done, repeat what you think he said. Say, "So you're saying X." If you misunderstand, he'll correct you without feeling like you're attacking him. Then point out that people without attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD) tend to think more linearly than those who have it. This difference sometimes leads to communication trouble and misunderstandings...
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posted: Tuesday November 22nd - 12:51pm

ADHD + Dyslexia = An IEP Struggle

My son has both ADHD and dyslexia, but his IEP team recently said he qualifies for only language impairment help. How can I make sure he gets the help he needs?

ADDitude contributor Robert Tudisco is a practicing attorney with ADHD and an expert on special education law and disability advocacy.
Advise the school of the dyslexia evaluation and request an IEP meeting in writing. Parents should know that, while the school is required to review an IEP once a year, they may request a meeting at any time. Ask the professional who evaluated your son to lay out her recommendations for him, based on the test results. Another option is to invite her to the IEP...
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posted: Friday November 18th - 12:57pm

Higher Dosage, Same ADHD Attention Span

"My daughter's doctor increased her dosage of Concerta from 27 mg to 36 mg to help her inattention at school. There has been no change. What now?"

larrysilverthumb
Talk with your daughter's teachers and pediatrician about the specific behaviors or ADHD symptoms you want to improve. Then track those behaviors to see if the medication is improving them. Concerta, which is methylphenidate packaged in a long-acting form, will decrease inattention if it is caused by attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD). It is important to find the right dose to accomplish this. Your child has been...
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posted: Wednesday November 16th - 12:21pm

A Little More Info, Doc

"My eight-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADHD), but her doctor gave me little information about the symptoms he observed. How do I know which treatment will work best?"

larrysilverthumb
You need more information before deciding which treatment will be most effective for your ADHD daughter. Sit down with her physician and discuss the following with him: How was the diagnosis made? What behaviors did he observe to make the diagnosis? Might the behaviors be something other than ADHD? What treatment does he recommend? Also discuss the ADHD diagnosis with your daughter’s teacher. Does her teacher notice these behaviors in...
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posted: Monday November 14th - 12:17pm

College Accommodations for ADHD Teens

Q: My college-age son with ADHD is home for a semester working on his organizational skills, and so far I don't see a big change. So bright but so disorganized! Should I send him back to college in the New Year?

stephanie_sarkis_icon
Note: This expert answer is in response to a user question posted to the article Is It Executive Function Disorder or ADD/ADHD? A: If your child is not receiving accommodations from his college yet, apply for them through the college's Office of Student Disabilities (or similarly named office). If your son is approved for accommodations, request that he receive extended time on tests, testing in a separate...
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posted: Thursday November 10th - 9:47am

Forgiving My ADHD Impulsivity: Will She Get Over It?

"I have ADHD, and my partner found out that I was sending inappropriate e-mails to my ex-girlfriend. I feel awful, and I have apologized, but she's still mad. Any advice?"

Melissa Orlov, a frequent ADDitude contributor with Dr. Ned Hallowell, writes about ADHD and marriage and offers relationship advice to adults with ADD.
Undermining a partner's trust -- by having an affair or lying about something important -- can damage your relationship for good. The best way to help your non-ADHD partner forgive you isn't to rush her, but to acknowledge her hurt while letting her know that you're trying hard to avoid making the same mistake. In your case, this might include eliminating your ex-girlfriend from your e-mail...
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posted: Wednesday November 9th - 5:02am

Start Small: Money Management for ADDers

"I need a detailed strategy for keeping better track of my money and sticking to a budget. The blanket-statement suggestions that work for the rest of the world don't help those of us with ADHD."

stephanie_sarkis_icon
Because people with ADHD tend to be impulsive spenders and have difficulty keeping track of their finances, it can cause a lot of strife at home. Divide and Conquer I recommend that couples consider keeping separate accounts. This may reduce the conflict over checks not recorded in a checkbook or a money-management program, and impulsive purchases. Call the Professionals I also recommend seeking the help of an financial professional...
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posted: Tuesday November 8th - 2:38pm

My Husband, My Boss?

"My non-ADHD husband is always trying to teach me how to do household tasks, and he doesn’t understand why this upsets me. How do I talk to him about it without getting into a big fight?"

Melissa Orlov, a frequent ADDitude contributor with Dr. Ned Hallowell, writes about ADHD and marriage and offers relationship advice to adults with ADD.
Carefully! Your non-ADHD husband means well, but his "tutoring" suggests that he thinks you're incompetent. Sit down with him during a quiet time, when there are no distractions, and tell him that you love him but that his stream of instructions upsets you. Understand that his urge to "teach" you is probably based on the fact that you tackle chores differently -- in your own ADHD...
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posted: Thursday November 3rd - 9:53am

FDA: ADHD Medications Pose No Heart Risk

"I've read that ADHD medications may cause heart problems. Is this true, and, if so, should I be worried about my son, who is taking Adderall?"

ADDitude's Senior Medical Advisor, Dr. Larry Silver is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
The link between ADHD medications and heart problems is complicated, so let me explain. On the basis of several studies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a 2006 recommendation that a black box warning -- the strongest warning the FDA can give -- be placed on ADHD medication labels, noting the possible risks of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events in children. Soon after, the...
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