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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: December 2012

posted: Friday December 28th - 3:22pm

Time to Come Out?

My husband was diagnosed with ADHD five years ago and has kept quiet about it. Our teens know, but I feel closed off from the support I could get from friends and family if we let them in on the secret. What should I do?

comforting hand on ADHD husband's shoulder
If your teens know about their dad's ADHD, then it's possible that others know it, too. Sit down with your husband and tell him that you feel you need help working through the challenges his ADHD brings to the relationship. Tell him whom you plan to discuss it with, and reassure him that your intention is not to hurt or denigrate him, but to get the...
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posted: Thursday December 27th - 10:31am

School Accommodations: Extended Test Time Explained

I've heard about kids with ADHD or learning disabilities getting extra time on tests. Does the extra time make them miss classwork?

math teacher, adhd and math, classroom, chalkboard
Extended time is one of the most common accommodations used by special-ed students. The amount of time it takes to complete a test depends on the type of test and the child's abilities. In my classroom, students who receive extended time complete the test within the same class period, so no special scheduling is required. However, if a student is unable to finish, I work with him...
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posted: Wednesday December 26th - 8:13am

Clutter 9-1-1

My living room is beyond rescue. The clutter has built up for three months, and I don’t know where to start. How should I begin when I am overwhelmed?

Sandy Maynard
Have a friend, coach, or professional organizer who understands ADHD and clutter help you get started and offer support as you make progress. All of us need to know we are not alone in our struggles! The first step in any organization campaign is to purge. We all have too much stuff, so be prepared to part with things that you don't use. Start slow: Set aside...
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posted: Friday December 21st - 9:47am

Why Don’t I Want to Get Organized?

"I take ADHD medication, and it has helped me focus at work and at home. But it hasn’t helped with my motivation. I still don’t want to clean up or get organized or be on time for appointments. Why don’t meds improve my motivation?"

Lots of people ask this question. It sounds as if your medication is doing what it should do -- improving your focus and your attention to detail, making things easier to remember, and making you more aware of time. However, medication doesn’t necessarily improve your motivation, especially for doing the tasks that you describe. They will probably never be fun. However, if medication makes it easier for...
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posted: Thursday December 20th - 8:29am

"He Won't Accept His ADHD"

My husband won't seek counseling or take meds for his ADHD, even though two of our kids have been diagnosed with the condition. His forgetfulness, procrastination, and inability to keep promises to our children upsets all of us. Help!

ADHD husband with back turned. Wife and young son look unhappy.
Many adults who live with undiagnosed ADHD do not understand the impact their symptoms have on those around them. Your best bet is to start a polite and patient, but firm, campaign to help him understand how his actions -- inactions, in some cases -- affect you and your family. It's important that you approach the subject in a noncritical, nonjudgmental way. If you don't, you...
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posted: Monday December 3rd - 9:40am

Help for My Perfectionist Daughter

My teenage daughter has ADHD, and she is a perfectionist. She feels that she never does a good enough job, and holds everyone in her life to impossibly high standards. How can I help her?

Many ADHDers miss things in conversations, make little mistakes, and feel out of control. Self-esteem problems develop when they fall short of social standards. Some become hypervigilant -- avoiding errors or missteps. This becomes a way to compensate for the glitches that ADHD can cause. It is also a way to attempt to maintain some control in a world that they find difficult to control. Some...
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