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

posted: Thursday November 12th - 9:30am

Coach Strategy: You Have to See Your Challenges Before You Can Meet Them

One ADHD coach uses simple diagrams to help a client stop procrastinating.

A favorite approach to helping my clients with ADHD gain clarity about their challenges is to present the challenge as a drawing or diagram. I often use visual diagrams to show clients the relationships between their thoughts or behaviors and the challenges they face. For many with ADHD, visualizing challenges works better than using words to describe the challenges. My client, Larry, is a good example...
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posted: Monday November 2nd - 9:30am

Happy Birthday, Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA turned 25 years old recently, and here’s how it can help you at the workplace or your child at school.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned a quarter century old recently, so it’s a good time to look at this important law to see how it has changed through the years and what it means now for individuals with ADD, ADHD, and related challenges. The ADA was signed into law in July 1990 and was intended as an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities,...
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posted: Wednesday October 28th - 5:31pm

Fish Oil Substitutes for Vegetarian ADHDers

I am a vegetarian who doesn’t eat fish. What can I take instead of fish oil to get beneficial levels of omega-3 fatty acids for my ADHD?

According to current research, EPA and DHA are the two most important omega-3 fatty acids that manage some symptoms of ADHD. For vegetarians, there are two choices for getting these important nutrients. First, you can use an algae-based omega-3 product. Most of them do not contain much EPA, which is at least as important as DHA for helping to control attention deficit symptoms. I recommend NordicNaturals...
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posted: Wednesday October 28th - 5:26pm

The High School IEP

My daughter had IEP accommodations in middle school, and I want to make sure she has the same accommodations in high school. How do I make sure she does?

Once a student has an IEP, she continues to receive the accommodations and services set forth in that IEP until a new one is created — generally, once each year. It doesn’t matter if a student moves to another school or district, or even from one district to another. The IEP continues unless and until it is changed at a meeting. The beginning of high school...
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posted: Wednesday October 28th - 5:19pm

Stay-Calm Strategies For Job Interviews

I was just diagnosed with ADHD and I am looking for a job. I fidget and my hands shake when I am at a job interview. What can I do to appear more composed?

Beth Main ADHD Coach Blog
Fidgeting is part of hyperactive-type ADHD. Hand-shaking seems more like nervousness, which is to be expected when you’re at a job interview. Either way, you want to appear poised and confident. Mindfulness can help with anxiety. Staying fully focused on what is happening in the here and now can help you calm down and stop your hands from shaking. Many people find that focusing on their...
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posted: Wednesday October 28th - 5:11pm

ADHD Medication Mistake At School

The school nurse gave my son the wrong dose of his medication on two different days. I called the principal and he said, “There isn’t anything I can do about it now.” How can I avoid this in the future?

If the nurse gave your child the wrong dose, the question is, how did that happen? Presumably, your child’s medication is in a prescription bottle with his name and the dosage amount on it. Did the nurse give him someone else’s medication? Did she fail to read the instructions on his medication bottle? Did she fail to keep track of whether she gave your child his...
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posted: Friday October 9th - 4:50pm

Mobile Minecraft Is a Constant Distraction

How can we effectively limit Minecraft when our son 15-year-old son plays it on his cell phone off and on all day. Minecraft interferes with his homework and other activities because it is always there. Any suggestions?

One of the major dilemmas faced by modern parents is how to manage their kids’ smartphone use so that gaming, texting, and social media don’t interfere with homework, learning, and other responsibilities. Not to mention the easily accessible inappropriate content. Many of our kids have devices in their pockets that out-perform the computers we were using when they were born. And many parents have legitimate concerns...
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posted: Thursday September 17th - 2:47pm

How Can We Wean Our Child Off Video Games?

My 12-year-old son plays video games after school for four hours each day, and up to eight hours on weekend days. How do we reduce this to two hours a day? When we try to get him to stop, he goes ballistic.

Parents often report how difficult it is to reduce their child’s time spent playing video games. In this case, there are compelling reasons to make the effort. Research shows that playing video games for more than three hours per day is detrimental to your child's psychological adjustment and academic performance. So capping play time at less than three hours per day, especially on school days, is...
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posted: Monday August 31st - 1:53pm

Meds and Movement

My child’s teachers are always trying to get him to sit still, but he seems to learn better when he moves around. ADHD medication has increased his focus, but is there any evidence that movement does as well?

Your observations about your child may be correct. A recent study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology showed that attention and working memory improved when children with ADHD were more physically active. In other words, their hyperactivity may play a function in increasing learning. Children without ADHD did not learn better when they were more active. This research, especially if confirmed in additional studies, may...
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posted: Monday August 31st - 10:22am

Perchance To Sleep? Overcoming ADHD Sleeplessness

Can you give me a sleep plan? I have tried good sleep hygiene — sleeping in a dark, cool room, unplugging from electronics an hour before turning in — but my mind still races when my head hits the pillow. What can I do?

I’m glad you are improving your sleep hygiene. I would also try learning a relaxation technique. This could be as simple as breathing, taught in many venues. Dr. Andrew Weil’s website has a good example: I would also look into yoga or mindfulness-based stress reduction. Self-hypnosis is an excellent tool for putting you in the right frame of mind for sleep. You can either work...
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