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

posted: Friday August 21st - 9:30am

“I Feel Like a Loser at 21”

Young adults with attention deficit are sometimes at a loss to boost their self-esteem. Here are some ways to do it.

I am 21 years old and was diagnosed with ADHD at 14. I feel like a loser. I barely graduated college, and I have had trouble holding on to a job. Many of my friends are doing well. I feel like crap. How do I get out of the gravitational pull of low self-esteem? Dr. Wes: You don’t have to hang out long with ADHD people to...
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posted: Tuesday August 11th - 2:22pm

“But I Hate Sports!” How to Get Your Video-Gamer Outside

“My son’s playdates comprise playing video games for five hours on a Saturday. He’s a nerdy kid — no sports, 130 IQ, ADHD, non-outdoors person — any suggestions?”

I am a big believer in a healthy play diet that balances all of a child’s activities — academic, athletic, artistic, gaming, etc. However, everyone is different. Sometimes, the kids who want to play sports five hours a day could benefit from improving their digital literacy. A healthy play diet also provides opportunities for creative and unstructured play, but some kids simply don't have a creative...
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posted: Monday June 22nd - 9:00am

How Can I Break My Child’s Minecraft Obsession?

When your child gets sucked into an addicting game, battles often ensue over time limits on screen time. Here are some strategies, apps, and tools for achieving Minecraft moderation.

Q: “Our 8-year-old recently earned the opportunity to play Minecraft after a year of waiting. It has been a great motivational tool and I like the imaginative/creative aspect of it. However, it frightens me to see how his interest in this game has quickly turned in to an obsession, and how isolating it is becoming for him. We try to make it interactive by playing as...
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posted: Thursday May 21st - 1:58pm

The Neuroscience Behind Video-Game Addiction

“Does any current neuroscience investigate whether and how different kinds of games affect the brain? Do different games affect their brains differently?”

There is no question that playing video games affects the brain. In existing studies, neuroscientists have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRIs) to see how video games can change the structure of the brain. And the results show that video games can improve brain-based skills and help kids with ADHD. Researchers Daphne Bavelier and Shawn Green have demonstrated that playing action-based video games can improve processing...
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posted: Thursday May 21st - 1:40pm

Are Car Racing Games Eroding My Child’s Brain?

“My son loves car racing games. I find them mindless and a waste of time. Should I be concerned about their impact on a child with working memory and executive function issues?”

Racing games like Mario Kart are actually one of the best game genres for teaching problem-solving skills, creative thinking, and fine-motor skills. But because they are so much fun, some kids want to play them for hours on end, diminishing the cognitive benefits they might otherwise derive from playing. There are two main types of car-racing games: - Simulation games where the player is usually placed in the...
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posted: Thursday May 21st - 10:02am

"Neat Tricks" — Tips for Daily Decluttering

I heard that doing a little decluttering every other day keeps a room from getting too messy. But I like to do things in a fit of hyperfocus all at once. Any suggestions for me?

Let’s make a distinction here. If you want a tidy home, you must spend some time daily on maintenance neatening. For decluttering, though, your hyperfocus is perfect. Set aside a day every few months to “weed” a chosen room before moving on to the next. Leave time at the end of the day to take the culled stuff to its forever home — the curb, the...
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posted: Thursday May 21st - 9:57am

Sending an ADHD Packrat Packing

My ADHD husband is a pack rat who can’t part with anything. How can I get him to stop spreading his junk all over the house?

Your husband is a “just in case” guy, so labels are paramount in your home. “Junk drawers” won’t work for him. Your storage must have clear designations — “tool drawer,” “office supply cupboard,” and so on. He may feel more comfortable about throwing out a random paper clip if he knows supplies are locatable and plentiful. At worst, he will be able to put the paper...
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posted: Thursday May 21st - 9:49am

Table the Clutter: Organizing a Shared Space

I am a 41-year-old ADHD mom. I work at the dining room table for my job on weekends. Everyone leaves stuff on the table, so when I sit down to work, I have to spend time cleaning it up before I start. Can I prevent this from happening?

Put a piece of masking tape across the dining room table and designate the side farthest from foot traffic as “Mom’s Desk,” giving your family a visual boundary that their stuff shouldn’t violate. Empty a nearby cupboard to store a caddy for your office supplies (charger, stamps, pens, and so on), so you can set up and stow your “desk” easily before sitting down for a...
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posted: Tuesday May 19th - 1:53pm

Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder

Sharon Heller, Ph.D., answers frequently asked questions about sensory processing disorder (SPD).

1. Is sensory processing disorder (SPD) a condition that can be passed down from generation to generation? Yes. Sensory processing disorder often runs in families and does have a genetic component. I hypothesize that the genetic component may be a sensitive constitution from weak liver functioning that interferes with the release of toxins from the body. The toxins build up and impact the nervous system. 2. Can...
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posted: Monday May 18th - 4:41pm

Alzheimer's and ADHD: Is There a Link?

I’ve heard that people with ADHD have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Is this true and, if so, are there any natural therapies that will help me protect my ADHD brain from dementia?

The link between ADHD and Alzheimer’s is based on only one study that has structural flaws. Another study did not show any link between ADHD and Alzheimer’s. I think it is premature to assume that people with ADHD have an increased risk of dementia, without more research. I am not an expert on the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, but to reduce one’s chances of developing...
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