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

posted: Tuesday May 24th - 6:16pm

Can Magnesium Help ADHD Symptoms?

I have heard some good things about magnesium helping ADHD. What do you think?

Because magnesium is a mineral that calms the nervous system, many people wonder if it is helpful for ADHD. There has been some research on the subject. A series of articles, mainly from Poland, in the late 1990s, indicated that children with ADHD had low levels of magnesium and that supplementing with the mineral might improve ADHD symptoms. There was no control group used in these...
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posted: Tuesday May 24th - 6:09pm

Chasing Depression Away Naturally

I have been diagnosed with ADHD and moderate depression. Are there any natural therapies I should try that will improve my depression?

There are a number of integrative natural treatments that can be helpful for depression. The first thing is to look at simple lifestyle issues. Are you getting enough exercise? Are you getting adequate and regular sleep? Do you eat a healthy diet? All of these can make a significant difference in one’s perspective on life. Omega-3 fatty acids may have a positive effect on depression, without...
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posted: Tuesday May 24th - 6:03pm

Do I Need a Coach to Treat My ADHD?

Does coaching fit into a natural treatment plan? Friends of mine with ADHD who exercise, eat healthy, and practice meditation say that they don’t need coaching. What are your thoughts?

ADHD coaching can be helpful, but I don’t think everyone diagnosed with the condition needs it. People with ADHD have a wide range of strengths and weaknesses. Those who have a hard time getting motivated, organized, or sorting out their career might find coaching extremely helpful and even vital. Other people put into place the supports that enable them to succeed without the need of a...
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posted: Monday May 23rd - 5:39pm

What Is a Transition IEP Meeting?

My son is a high school student with ADHD and LD. He has an IEP and his school wants him to attend a “transition IEP meeting.” What is that? He hasn’t attended his IEP meetings in the past, and I am not sure whether he should do so now, since he isn’t really comfortable having an IEP.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) contains extensive provisions about what should happen as students get ready to graduate from high school. This process, called transition, should begin with the IEP meeting that will be held when the student turns 16, although some states schedule the meeting at a younger age. The school is required to invite the student, and, if he doesn’t attend, the...
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posted: Monday May 23rd - 5:31pm

ADHD at Work: Should I Tell My Boss — Or Not?

I recently graduated from college and will be starting my first job. I received accommodations for my ADHD all through school. I am concerned that my ADHD will affect my work performance, but I am reluctant to tell my employer about my condition. I also don’t know what kind of accommodations might help me at work. What do you suggest?

You do not have to disclose your ADHD (or any other disability) to an employer before you are hired. Until you understand the demands of your job, you may not know how your ADHD will affect your daily activities. You might be able to craft your own personal accommodations that will help you succeed, such as closing your office door when you need to concentrate, using...
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posted: Monday May 23rd - 12:09pm

High-Risk Behaviors for Kids with ADHD: Is This Normal?

My 18-year-old son has had driving accidents and a couple of run-ins with the law. Is this normal for a kid with ADHD?

These behaviors are fairly common. ADHD is associated with a number of risk factors. Compared to their peers of the same age, kids with ADHD whose condition is untreated experience more: 1) accidents, hospitalizations, and significantly higher medical costs; 2) school failure and dropout; 3) delinquency and altercations with the law; 4) engagement in antisocial activities; 5) teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; 6) social and...
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posted: Monday May 23rd - 11:52am

How Can I Keep My Child's Bedroom Free of Clutter?

We have put my eight-year-old son’s mattress on the floor to eliminate his under-the-bed clutter, but the rest of his bedroom is a disaster. Any suggestions?

I suggest you return the mattress to a bed frame. You tried to reduce the clutter by reducing the space, when you should work on reducing the actual stuff. Besides, an eight-year-old will not remove his shoes to walk across a bed on the floor, creating a never-ending sheet-cleaning task for you. Is there a playroom in your house? If so, move all of his toys to...
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posted: Monday May 23rd - 11:21am

How Can I Get Started Homeschooling My Child?

I want to homeschool my daughter. She is a fifth grader, and it breaks my heart to see her struggle in the classroom. How should I get started?

Most states have their own state homeschool organization. Contacting the one in your state is a good first step. Get in touch with your local homeschool groups, as well. State and local organizations can give you the requirements for homeschooling in your state, and let you know about the paperwork you will need to fill out. Homeschoolers can answer questions about the appropriate curriculum and where...
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posted: Friday May 20th - 5:57pm

Screen Gems for Getting Homework Done

My 15-year-old gets sucked into distracting things on the Web when she turns on the computer. This is bad. She does her homework on the computer, too. Help.

This is a problem not just for your 15-year-old, but for adults who spend a good portion of the day in front of a screen. Here are suggestions for you and your daughter: > Give her the power. Try to get her to see the problem in the same way that you do. If you can partner with her instead of dictating to her, she’s more likely...
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posted: Thursday May 19th - 6:06pm

In Sight, In Mind: Remembering Objects with ADHD

"I am a 42-year-old ADHDer. When objects are put in drawers or closets, I forget about them — out of sight, out of mind. So I keep a lot of things out in plain view, which defeats my goal of de-cluttering. How can I solve this?"

The fear of forgetting is a common organizing bogeyman, but we can slay this bad boy with some clever organizing tricks and a bit of trust. Clear bins and open shelving are a great start, but to avoid visual clutter, store your items, including the bins, on shelving. Keeping floors and other surfaces clear will “calm” the space. What about those items that must be tucked...
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