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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: June 2013

posted: Friday June 28th - 12:26pm

Put the Brakes on Bad Driving

My 17-year-old daughter, who has ADHD, got a speeding ticket this weekend. How can I help her drive more safely?

larrysilverthumb
Her problems with driving might be due to being a teen, not her ADHD. However, we do know that many people with ADHD have difficulty driving safely. Impulsivity causes them to act before they think. Others have problems because they are distracted by things they see or hear while behind the wheel. If your daughter is less impulsive and more attentive when she is on medication, she...
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posted: Friday June 28th - 12:19pm

Herbal Help for ADHD

What is a good herbal supplement for smaller children with ADHD?

There is limited evidence that supports using herbs in treating ADHD. I do use valerian a lot. It calms hyperactivity, but it doesn't improve concentration. Valerian also helps with sleep problems and lessens the "rebound effect" that some kids experience when stimulants wear off. There is a small study that shows that a combination of ginseng and ginkgo helps manage ADHD symptoms, but I do not...
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posted: Friday June 28th - 12:02pm

School Services — Demystified!

I am trying to get my son an IEP at school, but I am confused by the terminology. What are the differences between “adaptations,” “accommodations,” and “modifications”?

Parent Teacher Meeting, ADHD Accommodations
Adaptations What are they: Adaptations are any adjustments in the curriculum, instructional components, environmental elements, or requirements or expectations of the student. Adaptations are part of what teachers do to meet the needs of diverse learners. A good teacher attempts to differentiate instruction and make adjustments to enable all students to succeed. Adaptation Examples Adaptations may involve adjustments or changes in the following areas: > Materials > Methods > Teaching strategies > Pacing >...
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posted: Wednesday June 26th - 10:55am

Is Brain Imaging a Good Diagnostic Tool?

Can brain imaging help in diagnosing my daughter? We think she has ADHD, and the doctor recommended an MRI. Does this make sense?

larrysilverthumb
No, it doesn't. An MRI won't help your doctor diagnose ADHD. At this time, we do not have firm evidence as to the precise areas of the brain that cause ADHD behaviors. ADHD is diagnosed clinically. A professional talks with your daughter, you and your husband, and teachers, and tries to determine the following: Does your daughter show behaviors that suggest that she is hyperactive, inattentive, has...
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posted: Monday June 24th - 10:48am

What's the Right Fish Oil Dosage for My Child?

How much fish oil should my eight-year-old son be getting daily in order to manage his ADHD symptoms? I can’t find any information on this.

We have not determined exact dosages for kids. The studies done on omega-3s for ADHD have used a wide range of doses. I base my dosage on the total amounts of EPA and DHA in the fish oil product. You can almost always find this listed in the ingredients section. For younger children, between four and eight years old, I recommend a dose of 1,000-1,500 milligrams...
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posted: Monday June 17th - 12:15pm

I'll Lose My Job If I Don't Stay Motivated!

I love my job, and I know if I don't do it well, I will lose it. Still, my ADHD makes it hard for me to stay motivated. Can you help?

Beth Main ADHD Coach Blog
We ADDers need constant, visual reminders, or we're apt to forget why something matters when the next bright, shiny object grabs our attention. Try keeping a note, picture, object, or other kind of reminder in your line of sight as you work. Make sure it has strong appeal to your emotions. Most ADDers need external motivation to stay on track. I mean rewards and consequences. Here's one...
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posted: Monday June 17th - 12:01pm

Is My ADHD Husband Lazy?

When I work late at night, I often return home to find that my ADHD spouse didn’t put the kids to bed. They’re asleep on the couch, still dressed. He seems too lazy to get up, read to them, and get them under the covers. What do I do?

MelissaOrlov_120
I hate to hear the word "lazy" applied to someone with ADHD. Usually, that's a misinterpretation of one or more symptoms. Most likely, he has trouble initiating things (is a procrastinator) or is too distracted (gets lost in a TV show). In some cases, people with ADHD don't do things because they don't know what to do first, or they are exhausted. Talk with your husband to...
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posted: Monday June 17th - 11:48am

How to Form Good Habits with Adult ADHD

I have ADHD, and I find it hard to turn goals into habits. How long does it take for an ADDer to do that?

It takes someone about three months to form a habit, whether they have ADHD or not. The best way to form a habit is to create a "ritual" — an activity or set of activities that you keep doing the same way. Say you're always losing your keys in your house because you put them down in different places. Create a ritual set of behaviors: 1) walk in;...
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posted: Monday June 17th - 11:32am

Should I Tell My Parents They Have ADHD?

Now that I know about my ADHD, I think that my parents, both in their 80s, also have it. I wonder if I should bring this to their attention?

MelissaOrlov_120
Since they have made do, I wouldn't bring it to their attention. At this stage of their lives, they probably don't need to make life changes or take ADHD medication. However, if you talk about your ADHD, so that they understand your life and behaviors better, they may pick up on their own behaviors. If they do, lend them your favorite book about ADHD, so they...
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posted: Monday June 17th - 11:15am

Appointment Help for ADHD Adults

I am a business owner with ADHD. Can you recommend a gadget, app, or computer program that will help me avoid being late for meetings?

Sandy Maynard
Any system will fail unless you use it consistently. Some of my clients use an old-fashioned day timer or small notebook for appointments. Whichever system you use, make sure it is small enough to carry with you at all times. When someone asks you if you are free, you can say, "Just one moment — let me check my calendar." The major drawback to a paper...
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