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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD


Provide a basic understanding of what ADHD is, and what it is not. ... Forgetful. Easily distracted. Needs constant supervision ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Tips for Understanding and Managing ADHD in the
  • Presented by Brett L. Patterson, M.A.

Goals for This Presentation
  • Provide a basic understanding of what ADHD is,
    and what it is not.
  • Attempt to answer any questions and dispel any
    myths that many people have regarding ADHD.
  • Introduce some guiding principles for dealing
    with ADHD behaviors.

ADHD Exposed
  • ADHD is identifiable via behavioral, not physical
    characteristics, making it more likely to be
  • Misperceptions
  • Behaviors that directly result from ADHD are not
    primarily attributable to poor parenting, lack of
    discipline, low motivation, or intentional
    trouble making.
  • Not everything that fidgets and/or behaves
    defiantly is ADHD.

What Is ADHD?
  • Neurobehavioral disorder marked by
  • Inattention
  • Difficulties controlling impulses
  • Excessive motor activity (hyperactivity)
  • Be awarethe mere presence of these behaviors
    does not mean the child has ADHD.

Indicators of ADHD as a Developmental Disorder
(Barkley, 1995)
  • Seen in early child development
  • Behaviors clearly distinguish child from non-ADHD
  • Occurs across several situations (though not
    necessarily in all of them)
  • Behaviors persistent over time
  • Child not able to perform at age-appropriate
  • Not accounted for by environment of social causes
  • Related to brain function
  • Associated with other biological factors that can
    affect brain function (i.e. head injuries,

Things We Can See (aka, Common Complaints)
  • Difficulties sustaining attention
  • Daydreaming
  • Child doesnt listen
  • Always losing things
  • Forgetful
  • Easily distracted
  • Needs constant supervision
  • Child doesnt finish anything he/she starts

Common Complaints (contd)
  • Problems with impulse control
  • Impatient/Difficulties waiting for things
  • Always interrupting others
  • Blurts out answers
  • Doesnt take turns
  • Tries to take shortcuts on many tasks (including
    chores, homework, etc.)

Common Complaints (contd)
  • Hyperactivity
  • Always on the go
  • Squirmycant sit still
  • Talks too much
  • Frequently hums or makes odd noises
  • Unable to put the brakes on motor activity
  • Child has two speeds asleep and awake

What Do These Behaviors Have in Common?
  • Problem isnt as much sustaining attention as it
    is sustaining inhibitionthis is the hallmark of
  • Inhibition a mental process that restrains an
    action (behavior) or emotion
  • Problems of inhibition are not a matter of
    choice, but are instead a result of what is (or
    is not) going on in the childs brain

ADHD and the Human Brain
  • Portions of brains frontal lobe are responsible
    for Executive functions
  • Consolidating information from other areas of the
  • Considers potential consequences and
    implications of behaviors
  • Puts brakes on (inhibits) impulsive reactions
  • Initiates appropriate response to environment

ADHD and the Brain (contd)
  • Research suggests that in in children with ADHD,
    these executive areas of the brain are
  • Increasing the activity level in these areas of
    the ADHD brain have been shown to decrease
    behavioral symptoms. This is the logic behind
    using Stimulant medications as a first line
    treatment for the disorder.

Common Stimulant Medications
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
  • Amphetamine/ Dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
  • Pemoline (Cylert)

Things That Look Like ADHD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hearing problems
  • Visual problems
  • Seizure disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Autism
  • Learning disabilities
  • Parenting problems
  • Substance use
  • Medication side-effects
  • Lead poisoning

Ten Guiding Principles for Raising a Child with
ADHD (Barkley, 1995)
  • Give your child more immediate feedback and
  • Give more frequent feedback
  • Use larger and more powerful consequences
  • Use incentives before punishment
  • Strive for consistency

Ten Guiding Principles for Raising a Child with
ADHD (contd)
  • Act, dont yak!
  • Plan ahead for problem situations
  • Keep a disability perspective
  • Dont personalize your childs problems or the
  • Practice forgiveness

In Using These Principles, It Is Important That
the Parent
  • Pause before reacting to the child
  • Use the ensuing delay to remember all 10 guiding
    principles (post them around the house if
  • Choose a response that is consistent with the

Additional Tips for Managing ADHD Behaviors
  • Pay positive attention to your childcatch them
    being good
  • Give effective commands
  • Short, sweet, and straightforward
  • Limit the number of tasks to 1-2 per command
  • Maintain clear and consistent expectations
  • Communicate realistic consequences for inability
    to meet expectations

Tips for Managing ADHD (Contd)
  • Manage the childs environment
  • Limit distracting influences during times when
    child is asked to be on task (i.e. homework)
  • Maintain a regular and predictable daily
  • When eliciting childs input, limit (but dont
    eliminate) the number of choices available to
    him/her to 2-3 options

Tips for Managing ADHD (Contd)
  • Be patient
  • Be persistent
  • Be understanding
  • Most importantly, remember to differentiate the
    behaviors from the child
  • Bad behaviors are not synonymous with a bad child

Resources Available to Parents
  • Children and Adults with ADD (CHADD) a family
    support organization that provides a variety of
    services. ( or the Central OK
    chapter phone number is 405-722-1233
  • There is a plethora of readings available to
    those interested in obtaining more information on
    ADHD. One that I have found particularly useful
    in working with parents is Taking Charge of ADHD
    The Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents, by
    Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D. (1995)
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