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How To Manage ADHD - A Step by Step Guide

Author: Tony Alavon

How To Manage ADHD - A Step by Step Guide

Book Series: How To Manage... Series


Over six million people have Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) across the world. Each year, more people are diagnosed, many between the ages of 4 and 17. ADHD is a condition that is characterized by a number of recognizable features that allow physicians to make a diagnosis. Although it has been linked to neurodevelopmental problems that can begin prior to a child entering into preschool, it is most noticeable in the school setting where children are required to apply their attention and focus to the topics at hand, and are unable to do so. Let's look at an overview of ADHD so that you can have a better understanding of what causes this condition, the symptoms of this disorder, and provide a brief overview of some of the treatment options.

Understanding ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is actually one of the most diagnosed and studied psychiatric disorders that affects both adolescents and children. It can also continue on as these children become adults, affecting the quality of their lives for many years. There is no known cause for ADHD, though there are many probable reasons why it may occur. Physicians and psychologists are only able to treat the condition based on the symptoms that are diagnosed, without actually treating the problem itself.

Common Symptoms Of ADHD

Among children, this disorder is noticeable in their inability to concentrate, and their impulsive and disruptive behavior. According to the national Institute of mental health, up to 5% of the population of kids under the age of 18 diagnosed with this condition share common symptoms. These symptoms may include an inability to remember things, and a tendency to switch their focus from one subject to another. This does not necessarily pertain to materials being taught in the classroom. It can be in other domains. Their attention can be easily refocused by distractions in the room; People that are talking, doors that open and close, or the sound of the clock in the classroom can be very subtle distractions, enough to actually cause these individuals to miss specific details, as well as develop an inability to maintain focus on one particular task. Children will often claim they are bored minutes into a particular assignment. Organizing their thoughts, or completing the task at hand, is virtually impossible for children that have this disorder. The same is true for working adults, especially those with jobs that require focus and attention. Whether this is an adult, or a child, with ADHD, it is a struggle to follow simple instructions, process information, or to understand what is being explained in certain settings.

History Of ADHD

ADHD was once regarded as the typical behavior of unruly children. Kids were often said to be hyperactive, and disciplinary measures were often administered. As time passed, and medical professionals assessed the many thousands of cases that cropped up every year, they noticed a pattern in these behaviors, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or age, similar to common symptoms that were first diagnosed over two centuries before. Dr Alexander Crichton was the first to refer to this disorder as a mental restlessness. It was not until the 1930s when stimulants were used to treat hyperactive children that ADHD was classified as a common and widely prevalent condition. Since, many different types of medications have been developed by pharmaceutical companies to manage the behavior of those that suffer with ADHD. One of the first, created in the 1950s, was methylphenidate, commonly referred to as Ritalin today.

ADHD has been referred to by different labels over the years including, minimal brain dysfunction, and hyperkinetic reaction of childhood. It was not until the 1980s that its formal name of attention deficit disorder or ADD was first coined, and later hyperactivity was added to the definition, creating the title Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder we use today.

Treatments For ADHD

Many treatments have arisen that are derived from both pharmaceutical and psychological backgrounds. In many cases, both medications and psychosocial treatments are administered simultaneously in order to address the condition more effectively. In regard to medical treatments that are often prescribed, doctors will often use antidepressants and stimulants to effect a positive change. Psychosocial treatments administered by trained behavioral therapists may involve cognitive behavioral therapy, and also neuro-feedback treatments that allow psychologist to assess how bad the problem is, what procedures need to be administered, how to properly treat this disorder using therapy instead of medications.

Now that you have a basic idea of what attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is, let's go into a little more detail about the origins of this condition, why it begins, and then move into the symptoms to look for, the treatments that are used which are the most effective, and what you should do if you believe your child, or even yourself, is currently suffering from this psychological condition. Let's begin with whether or not you should utilize the help of a trained physician or psychologist for your child, or if you should rely upon holistic therapies instead.

Chapter 1 - Top Myths About ADHD

The first thing that you need to realize about ADHD is that it can affect everyone. It is a condition that is more prevalent throughout society; it can be caused by diet, lifestyle, or the family that you were born into. Regardless of why it is there, it is very real, and adults just like kids can have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Second, ADHD cannot be cured simply by disciplining people. For decades, hyperactive kids in classrooms were disciplined, many of them taken to the principal's office and punished with a paddle board. Once that became socially unacceptable, other forms of punishment were administered such as standing in a corner for younger kids, missing recess, or facing detention after school

Third, many people have the misconception ADHD is a condition that will simply go away. They believe that children will outgrow the symptoms associated with ADHD, and that it is nothing more than a behavioral problem and inattentiveness as a result of their age. Modern medicine, however, has shown that it is an actual condition that must be treated using pharmaceutical, natural or psychological means. Without effective treatment, there is the chance that a child will retain this problem up through adulthood, which is why it must be addressed as soon as it is detected.

Fourth, there are some who believe that ADHD is a fabricated disorder used to excuse bad behavior. Many detractors claim parents use ADHD to justify their poor parenting skills and failure to instill discipline. But ADHD is an actual condition that needs to be treated so that it can be managed or resolved.

Finally, the last misconception is that the medication that is often prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is able to cure the actual condition. This is based upon the false assumption that it is really a disease. ADHD is not a disease, nor does it have a specific cure where someone can get an injection, or take pills, to find relief from this disorder. It takes a very special step-by-step procedure, involving a couple different strategies, to help those that have this disorder live with it, and potentially, get past all of the debilitating side effects that it can cause in their lives.

Now that you understand some of the most common myths associated with ADHD, let's take a look at some of the possible treatments for this condition, specifically medical treatments that are available and holistic therapies that can be used to help people find relief.

Chapter 2 - Medical VS Holistic Therapies For ADHD

One of the most common questions that is asked about the treatments for ADHD is whether or not you should go with something that is medically based, or if you should consider alternative treatments and therapies. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a functional impairment of the brain. Inside the brain, there are literally millions of neurotransmitters, and those that involve the use of norepinephrine and dopamine are the ones that are directly related to the manifestation of the symptoms.

Norepinephrine And Dopamine

You are probably familiar with dopamine, the feel-good hormone, produced when you are working out hard, or what many long-distance runners attribute to "runner's high". When you have plenty of dopamine flowing through your system, you're able to feel better than you do normally, which is why so many people become addicted to running, cycling, or anything that will cause this particular hormone to be produced in their bodies. Norepinephrine is also a neurotransmitter, and it specifically helps people concentrate and stay focused. Although it is similar in its chemical structure to dopamine, it has the opposite effect of not producing euphoria, but a sense of cognitive alertness. It is often the cure for those that suffer from hypertension, capable of increasing vascular tone. It is also a stress hormone, and capable of affecting the amygdala, a pair of almond shaped temporal lobes within the brain, located within each hemisphere, which are responsible for regulating the emotions that we feel, but more importantly, the ability to make decisions. The combination of these two hormones, when they are being produced in excess, is a person will feel happier and also have heightened awareness and concentration skills. Within these hormones are at a deficit, ADHD symptoms can manifest, which is why so many doctors prescribe certain medications to increase their levels.

Pharmaceutical Treatments For ADHD

There are three specific types of medications that are used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There are those that are short-acting, intermediate, and those that are long-lasting formulas. Specifically, they are stimulants that are able to affect the production of hormones such as norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. They also work directly with the central nervous system, and by stimulating your CNS, these hormones can be produced affecting a positive change in those that suffer from this psychological condition. You have to remember that a psychological condition has an underlying problem, one that is usually based upon hormonal changes within the body. In this way, by stimulating the production of norepinephrine and dopamine with drugs such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta and many others, all of which are FDA approved, it is possible to help people get this condition under control.

Holistic Treatments For ADHD

ADHD can also be controlled by avoiding pharmaceuticals and using holistic treatments. These treatments are not be FDA certified, but because so many thousands of individuals experience positive results using them, it gives people an option especially those who have an adverse reaction such as vomiting, nausea, often associated with these particular types of drugs.

One of the best holistic treatments available today used more by medical doctors than any other holistic alternative treatment is the use of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids also referred to as HDL cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein are able to effect a positive change in the people that suffer from ADHD. Well known universities such as the Maryland Medical Center have been using omega-3 fatty acids to treat arthritis, to prevent cancer, and heart disease. The reason that these are beneficial for those that have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is that these lipoproteins are used extensively in the construction of the cells of the human brain. They play a very crucial role, specifically in the creation of strong cells within the brain, which is only possible with high density lipoprotein. Conversely, for those that ingest large amounts of LDLs, low density lipoproteins, the cellular structure of brain cells can be compromised dramatically. These may be familiar to you simply because they are considered bad cholesterol, that which gets into your arteries, causing them to clog up, leading to high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease. Due to the fact that they naturally reduce inflammation, they have been very effective with those that suffer from many different mental conditions such as depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and also ADHD. They are able to work because the body is able to use these cholesterol based proteins to construct brain cells which are much more proficient at producing high levels of neural connectivity, something that is very low in those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Therefore, by taking omega-3 fatty acids which can be found in most forms of cold water fish such as salmon, or by getting them from nuts or seeds such as Chia, both children and adults have seen a marked improvement in their condition, and the diminishing of the very common symptoms associated with this mental disorder.

Therefore, if you are not doing well with any of the prescription drugs, and the side effects are causing you to feel ill, you might want to consider introducing omega-3 fatty acids into your diet in order to get a handle on your ADHD, or provide them for your children in their daily supplements to see if you will notice a change in their ability to concentrate and also behave. Using these natural remedies are very safe, but there are also many other ways to deal with this condition outside of using high density lipoproteins. In the next chapter, we will look at innovative ways that people have devised in order to treat ADHD outside of using pharmaceutical or psychological treatments that are most commonly used today.

Chapter 3 - Innovative Ways to Succeed With ADHD

Instead of placing your child on Ritalin or Adderall as your doctor may recommend, or using holistic methods such as natural supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, many people like to take a more practical approach that is more congruent to what they believe will help the mouse. There are several strategies that you can test the waters to see if you can help treat this condition without any type of supplements or drugs. Let's look at a few of them that have shown great promise, strategies that many parents use today in order to get their children to have better behavior and proper focus.

Improve Your Relationship

Instead of looking at this as a psychological disorder that is simply the result of chemical changes within the mind of your child’s, you might want to look at what might be causing these imbalances, and one of the largest problems that most people face with their kids, especially in their adolescent years, is having a strong relationship. For instance, we all know that stimuli from our environment can cause chemical changes within the body, and those changes can affect the way we think and our mood. An example of this is having a bad day, and then noticing that your subjective perception of the world is augmented dramatically, based upon the stimulus in your environment. Events of the day, especially stressful ones, can lead to the overproduction of cortisol. This is a stress hormone that is released when a person is feeling upset, confined, or even angry, and whose purpose is to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Therefore, this outside stimulus has actually caused a hormonal change within the body by simply reacting to the things in your life. In the same way, imbalances within the brain that lead to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may also be based solidly in a problematic relationship that you may have with their children. By simply sitting down with them, talking about what is bothering them, and allowing them to release all of that inner turmoil, this can increase dopamine production within the brain, a key factor that is missing within those that have ADHD, something that you can fix by simply having a heart to heart conversation.

Mastering Their Mind

Another strategy that people often use is helping their kids have a focus that is outside of the normal routines. For instance, if kids do not like school, or if they are bored at home, you might want to consider some type of alternative activities that can redirect the attention of their mind. Whether you create a motivational plan such as planning for a trip that you can take together, or helping them understand that their choices do have significant outcomes and consequences, you can work with them in regard to doing something that makes them happier, but most importantly, it focuses their mind on something new. Many studies have shown that the reason that many kids have ADHD, as well as adults, is that their daily routine is not exciting enough, or meaningful in some way. In the same way that drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall are used to stimulate the central nervous system, you can achieve the same goals by doing things that make your kids happy, which will increase the amount of dopamine that is produced in their body, helping them to feel better and more stimulated throughout the day. This could be a combination of what many call playful productivity, doing something fun for a change. The reason that they are always looking at something to do other than the task at hand is that they are probably not happy with what they need to do. By giving them a goal to strive for such as a special trip, or something that they have always wanted, a gift that you can give to them if they display proper behavior, this can redirect their mind on something else other than the drab boring routines of the day, which allows their brain to be interrupted, more feel-good chemicals to be made, which can only lead to a more positive situation that does not require the use of any type of supplement or drugs.

Finally, you might want to involve them with something in the community where they can interact with people that they do not know. It has also been shown that kids that have ADHD typically sustain this mental disorder as a result of routines, and also interacting with people that they know. Once they understand the buttons that they need to push, in order to generate the desired response, you can either medicate them so they are not looking for ways to become distracted, or you can do things with your kids that are out of the ordinary, fun filled events that may be taking place in the community, even ones that they are looking forward to doing at some point in time. The goal is always breaking the pattern, distracting the mind so that new patterns conform. By working on your personal relationship with your kids, getting them to focus on an objective that is meaningful to them, and interacting with people that they do not know, you can't successfully change the production of the hormones within their body, increasing the ones that they need, thereby affecting a positive change with their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

You might be wondering why this should even be considered if all you have to do is get a prescription for the drugs that will help with this condition, or take supplements that can do the same. For some people, there are valid reasons why ADHD treatments are not desired, valid reasons that we will now discuss.

Chapter 4 - Are ADHD Treatments Safe?

Once you start to look at the many different pharmaceutical treatments that are available for those that suffer with ADHD, you might realize why so many people are afraid of taking them. If you have ever seen those commercials on television where the narrator is talking about the small amount of benefits for the drug that is being promoted, followed by an enormous list of potential side effects, the same is true for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medications. These commercials may seem comical for those that have heard them, watching the beautiful scenery and happy people in the background, all the while the awful side effects are being listed one after the other. If this is your child, or if this is a medication that you need to take to handle your ADHD, these are side effects that you will certainly want to avoid.

Side Effects Of ADHD Medication

For those that are prescribed these types of medications, they may also have associated disorders. It's not just about having learning disabilities, or a desire to not pay attention in class, but there are many disorders that are directly connected in some way to this condition. For instance, science has shown that those that have ADHD have a higher predisposition to developing Tourette's syndrome. They may also have mood disorders such as a bipolar disorder, or a major depressive disorder, all of which may lead to abnormal amounts of anxiety in their life. Trying to deal with this on your own, you may become addicted to other substances. Many people that have this problem often become addicted to other drugs like opiates to attain a sense of euphoria, something that is missing from their life because they do not have enough dopamine in their system. Likewise, people that smoke cigarettes extensively, or are alcoholics, may also have an inability to focus or even feel-good about themselves. But all of this pales in comparison to the side effects that you may experience when taking ADHD medications.

Some of the more common side effects with many of the more popular drugs such as methylphenidate or Concerta include problems with your heart such as irregular heartbeats, vertigo, aggressive behavior, unusual muscle or motor tics that develop, a buzzing or ringing sound in your ears, and problems with high blood pressure. Physically, you may notice that you may bruise much easier than you ever have before, developing purple spots that will last for several weeks or months. You may also experience rashes, and your immune system may be compromised causing you to develop sore throats, fevers, and all of the other symptoms associated with the common cold or flu. There are side effects that are not as bad such as feeling nervous, having problems sleeping, or you may experience a dramatic weight loss. Vision problems have also been reported, along with nausea and vomiting, usually the result of your body not being able to process these pharmaceutically created drugs into your system.

This is why so many people avoid these types of drugs, as well as many other pharmaceutical drugs that are available today. If it is not natural, you always have the possibility of creating even more problems for yourself that are both physically and mentally debilitating. As mentioned before, there are natural remedies that can help address ADHD, one of which is omega-3 fatty acids. Others have taken zinc as part of their daily supplements, an essential mineral that can also help boost your immune system. Iron is also commonly noted as a deficiency within those that have ADHD. It would seem that in the same way that metals are conductive, able to convey electrical current, in the same way these trace minerals are necessary within the brain in order to enhance the ability of neurotransmitters to send signals. There are also herbs that you can take such as ginkgo biloba, one that is often recommended for those that are suffering from problems with their memory. Lemon balm extract has the ability to not only help with ADHD, but can help with anxiety, depression, and even physical pain. Regardless of which one you take, or if you take them all, you are going to benefit from the side effects associated with these natural supplements. The primary difference between pharmaceuticals and natural remedies is that the side effects almost always tend to be positive.

You might be wondering if these alternative treatments for ADHD are beneficial for only kids, and if there are also viable treatments for adults. Science has shown that all of these natural remedies are capable of helping anyone, regardless of their age, with the symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There is one question that may not have an answer, a question that is relevant to every person that suffers from this mental condition. Does this affect males or females more? In the next chapter, we will address this question and provide the answers.

Chapter 5 - Does ADHD Affect Males Or Females More?

When looking at the many different children that are diagnosed with this condition, there is a 3 to 1 ratio where boys are typically more likely to develop ADHD than girls. This has been a commonly accepted figure by most medical professionals, as well as psychologists, that is, up until a few years ago. What many people realized was that there are different aspects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, with the most notable and recognizable ones primarily being attributed to boys. An example of this would be boys that are extremely disruptive within a classroom setting, unwilling to listen to simple instructions, such as completing assignments or listening to what the teacher has to say. These are easily recognizable, but the ones that are not, are also part of this disorder. Remember, this is called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, yet most people only report or recognize the hyperactivity aspect of this condition. The other half relates to attention deficiencies, not being able to focus, not so much the result of rebellion, but an inability to do so. Most of the girls that are diagnosed with this condition almost always have problems with focus. It could be as simple as being very forgetful, or easily distracted, all symptoms that are part of ADHD. The more that doctors and psychologists began to look at the many other symptoms such as misplacing things, being very disorganized, and an inability to follow through and complete assignments, it is clear that both males and females can develop this condition equally, yet will express symptoms of this disorder in different ways based upon their gender.

It has also been thought that those that are looking for this disorder are not going to be as attentive to things as simple as poor concentration or an inability to pay close attention to detail when completing assignments or following simple instructions. By looking at these more subtle aspects of ADHD, it is clear that most of the kids, as well as adults, suffer from several of these side effects, divided equally between both boys and girls and expressed in different ways. Therefore, the more modern definition of what this disorder can do is that it can equally affect both genders, but is disproportionate in the types of symptoms that are expressed based upon the gender of the person that has this condition. Based upon these new findings, doctors and psychologists are able to now easily diagnose both boys and girls that have this condition, and also implement strategies that can address the symptoms of ADHD, allowing them to get the help that they need right away.

Once you have looked at the many different symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you will realize that one of the most difficult symptoms to treat is not always hyperactivity. In fact, this one symptom alone seems to be a primary indicator of those that are starting to show symptoms and signs of having ADHD in their lives. The next chapter will address one of the very first symptoms that both males and females can express, and if treated immediately, can prevent all of the other symptoms from occurring when using psychology, pharmaceuticals or natural remedies.

Chapter 6 - Inattentive ADHD Treatments That Work

If you have recently noticed that your child is having difficulty listening to what you have to say, or if their teachers have expressed the same concerns in regard to getting assignments done, or following simple instructions, it could be that these are the beginning signs of ADHD starting to affect their life. Once the levels of dopamine and epinephrine begins to diminish within their bodies, the brain will react accordingly which begins with not being able to properly focus. Dopamine is actually produced in the brain, in several areas, a neurotransmitter that is a chemical that connects nerve cells to other nerve cells. The more that you have of this in your brain, not only will you have a better sense of well-being, but your neuronal connectivity is going to be much higher, allowing you to more easily focus. The same can be said for epinephrine, which is also called adrenaline. Like dopamine, it is also a neurotransmitter and a hormone that is excreted into the body, and is necessary for the function of the autonomic nervous system. This nervous system is responsible for many vital functions including the function of your organs, your respiratory rate, and your ability to digest food properly. Once a deficiency in epinephrine occurs, not only will this affect your body in a negative way, but it also is directly connected to your ability to process information. Therefore, when both of these hormones start to diminish, this is the beginning of ADHD. And since both of these are directly connected to your ability to process information, one of the very first symptoms is going to be an inability to focus.

What will happen after this is your body will start to experience problems from the lack of epinephrine, and with your bodily functions not operating at optimal levels, your body will begin to stress. This stress will release a number of different hormones including cortisol, which can affect your immune system, possibly leading to developing illnesses that you otherwise could avoid. This bodily stress is going to cause you to feel bad, and the only way that a person can compensate, without even knowing why, is to react or respond in inappropriate ways. Think of this as being out of balance, trying to maintain your balance, and moving in very awkward positions to prevent yourself from falling down. This is exactly what is occurring within those that have ADHD, when they are experiencing symptoms such as fidgeting, an inability to stop talking, or staying still for any reason. These are all side effects of not having proper amounts of dopamine and epinephrine in your body, something that pharmaceutical remedies, psychological sessions and natural supplements can help restore.

So if you are able to get things back into balance, and address this one simple symptom, you should be able to help yourself, or your child, prevent all of the other symptoms associated with ADHD from occurring. However, for most parents, when they start to notice that their child is experiencing many of the symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, they will start to notice many more other than an inability to focus or a short attention span. In the next chapter, we will look at what all of these symptoms are, and specifically look at the difference between ADD and ADHD, conditions that can adversely affect your child's ability to function.

Chapter 7 - Differences Between ADD And ADHD

When parents start to look at what ADHD actually is, they may run into a little bit of confusion. There are two conditions that your child may be suffering from. One is called ADD and the other is called ADHD. Let's look at the similarities and differences between the two and how you can easily determine whether or not your child has either of these, and if so, which one they actually have.

ADD Or Attention Deficit Disorder

As this condition becomes more widespread as a result of chemical changes within the body, something that may have to do with environmental stimuli, the food that we consume on a regular basis, or simply genetic changes within the population, it is clear that diagnosing either of these conditions is becoming more prevalent, and knowing the difference between the two is very important. If your child is suffering from attention deficit disorder or ADD, the signs and symptoms are going to be very similar to those with ADHD. The notable difference is going to be the absence of hyperactivity. For those that have ADD, specifically looking at kids better in school, it is connected to what many professionals refer to as a maladaptive disorder. This means that a child will not be able to pay close attention to what it is they are supposed to be doing, and will likely make a considerable amount of mistakes when turning in schoolwork. While in class, they will not be able to stay on task for very long, even if it is in a group setting. Some teachers may actually believe that the child is being rebellious when he or she appears to not be listening, yet in reality they don't have a capacity to do so due to deficiencies in certain hormones within the body. This will also be connected with failing to follow simple instructions, finish their work on time, and will almost always be completely unorganized. The combination of all of these symptoms working together, along with forgetfulness that is extreme, are all indicative of a boy or girl that is suffering from ADD.

ADHD Or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

On the other hand, kids that are suffering with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, they will have all of the aforementioned symptoms and several more. In fact, the symptoms associated with hyperactivity are often the ones that cause parents and teachers to notice that a child has this disorder because they are so obvious. Examples of symptoms associated with this condition include children that are constantly squirming in their seats. They are very fidgety, not able to sit or stand still for very long, and will probably be the kids that are moving around the most on the playground during recess. While they are playing, it's never going to be a very quiet time, with most of them expressing themselves very loudly in a verbal fashion. They are notably on the go, and even in the classroom will be the first ones to blurt out answers, regardless if they are right or not. Taking turns, waiting in line, or waiting for their turn to talk are not traits associated with these individuals. The same is true for adults that are very impatient, not willing to have long conversations, and that would prefer to not stand in long lines at grocery or department stores. This combination of inattentiveness, combined with hyperactivity, is the very definition of someone that suffers from ADHD. It is only by stimulating the central nervous system, getting epinephrine and dopamine producing at higher levels, can this condition actually be controlled or potentially resolved.

Now that you understand the difference between these two conditions, it needs to be noted that many people that suffer from attention deficit disorders are often not recognized unless they are very noticeable. Most kids that have ADD simply are ignored, regarded as being obstinate or inattentive, not suffering from any type of hormonal imbalance. For this reason, if you believe that your son or daughter has this condition, or if an adult believes that they have this disorder as well, they should seek medical help from a trained doctor or psychologist that will be able to provide them with the medications and psychological support necessary in order to keep this condition under control. Since it does not actually have a known causative agent, the best that any medical professional can do is to address the symptoms of the condition. This is why it is so important for early detection to occur so that it can be controlled at the early stages before it develops into something worse.

Now that you have a better idea of the difference between ADD and ADHD, it's time to look at how to deal with children that have this particular condition. Instead of going to the doctor to get a pharmaceutical drug, or taking your child to a psychologist, you might want to start treating this condition at home the moment that it begins. The following chapter will introduce several ideas or strategies that you can use at home in order to help your son or daughter resolved this condition.

Chapter 8 - How To Deal With ADHD In Children

Let's say that you are sending your kids to school, realizing that the teachers and counselors are well aware of what your child is currently dealing with, and that they are able to implement the proper strategies and techniques that can help deal with ADHD kids appropriately. However, the moment that they come home, you might be wondering what it is that you were going to do in order to properly handle your kids. If they are smaller, it's much easier, but as they reach their teenage years, and their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not getting any better, you're going to have to know a few techniques on how to handle them while they are at home. Of course, you more than likely have your kids on some type of medication, or they are taking natural supplements that can help them. You may also be taking your children to the local psychologist so that they can provide their medical expertise in regard to helping them process, moving toward an alleviation of this disorder. Here are some tips you might want to consider utilizing when your kids are at home, even if they are on some type of ADHD medication so that you will have the ability to not only handle them while they are at home, but to help them become better as a result of these techniques.

Learning To Listen

Your first response to a child that is obstinate, that is full of energy and seems to have no desire to listen to anything that you have to say, you might want to use a reversal technique, one that is utilized by trained psychologist in an attempt to stimulate more hormones within their system, and also reprogram them to becoming more attentive and better listeners. The key is to do what you want them to do, a reflective technique that tends to work most of the time. If you want your child to listen to you, you are going to have to listen to them, and through the process of what is called reciprocation, you'll start to notice a discernible change in their behavioral patterns all because you are taking time to listen to what they have to say. The first choice with most parents is to be an authoritarian, barking out orders, and expecting them to be complied with right away. However, an authoritative approach is something that many parents have a problem with because it takes away this type of authority, placing you both on almost equal levels. Obviously, you are still going to be the parent, but you need to listen to what your kids really have to say. The mere act of listening to them, sitting down and taking time out of your day is going to put their defenses down, and in doing so, it will make them happier, stimulating more dopamine and epinephrine production, moving toward developing a more compliant and manageable son or daughter.

Involve Them In Your Schedule

The next technique is also going to seem a bit odd, but a technique that must be implemented by parents that have kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Of course you will do things with your kids on a regular basis, some more than others, but you need to make sure that they know they are part of your schedule. It is not enough to simply tell them you're going to do something with them that is fun on the spur of the moment. You need to tell them that you have planned a special activity that involves both you and them. In the same way that these pharmaceutical drugs can stimulate the central nervous system, causing more of these hormones to be produced that can regulate this condition, the simple act of including them in a schedule with you publicly makes them feel special, and as a natural byproduct, dopamine and epinephrine are going to be released into the body.

Implementing What The Psychologist Says

One last thing to consider is the fact that most psychologists will have a plan of action, one that you might not readily agree with. They have years of training, working with hundreds or thousands of different kids over the course of their career, so you can probably assume that they know what they are doing. It really doesn't matter what they are asking you to do, save for something that is completely outlandish. Simply follow the recommendations that they are presenting, and also ask for some confirmation of what the end objective actually is, so that you can for comfortable with implementing their techniques. An example of this would include the aforementioned examples such as including them in your schedule, and listening to what they have to say. Your psychologist may also tell you to not punish them when they are acting inappropriately, but instead redirect their attention to something else. In fact, most trained psychologists that deal with kids that are suffering from ADHD will almost always implement the redirection technique. What you are trying to do is break the pattern of what it is that perpetuates their inability to focus, and once that mental pattern is broken enough times, they will need to choose something else to do. That's why reinforcing good behavior, not focusing on the bad, is really key to helping those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. In combination with the many different natural supplements that they can take, or pharmaceutical products that they may have a prescription for, you can move them toward a more positive behavioral pattern that will not only help them become better at school, but much more manageable at home.

For most of this book, we have been discussing what needs to be done when kids have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In the last few years, it has been readily accepted that adults can also have this condition. Although it is not as prevalent within adults, it definitely does occur, and the strategies that are used might be a little different. This has to do with the age of the person that has ADHD, and understanding what tactics to use to effective positive change when you are dealing with an adult and not a child.

Chapter 9 - ADHD and Adults

The diagnosis of ADHD in adults is a relatively recent phenomenon. For years, most people did not believe that this was an actual condition that needed to be treated even with kids. Therefore, you can imagine that when an adult is ill tempered, has trouble focusing, or is unable to understand simple instructions, most people attribute this to having too much going on in their adult life. Fortunately, modern medicine has determined that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is something that many thousands of adults suffer from today. By recognizing that this is a condition that adults can have, proper treatment options have been developed that can help these individuals become more attentive, less aggressive, and enhance their cognitive abilities.

Symptoms Of ADHD With Adults

You will notice that there are many similar symptoms associated with ADHD in adults when compared to the symptoms that kids will have in their life. Some of them include not being able to follow simple instructions, remembering information properly, concentrating on the task at hand, organizing things, or getting their job done either at work or at home. Without having a way to manage these problems, they can get out of control, sometimes compromising their ability to do their job, or have a positive relationship with their family. If they are going to school to get a degree to get a raise at work, it's just not going to happen if they have ADHD to deal with. Since 8 million adults have this problem, you can assume that many different medications and psychological strategies have been developed that can help adults that cannot focus, or that have behavioral issues. Let's look at some of the problems and behavioral disorders that adults will have when they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Some of these symptoms will include substance abuse such as becoming an alcoholic or a chain smoker. If they are in a relationship, their commitment to that relationship could be stymied because they are unable to focus on anything. Procrastination is definitely a symptoms look out for, along with mood swings and a very low self-esteem. They will probably have a very low tolerance level for anything that frustrates them, difficulty controlling their anger, and may experience bouts with depression. Essentially, these individuals will become bored very easily, deal with anxiety on a regular basis, and impulsiveness is probably a way of life. Some of these symptoms are found with kids today, but when dealing with adults, different methodologies must be implemented in order to get control of this problem.

Social Related Impairments

Just as children in school are primarily going to have problems with their behavior, and their ability to focus, adults also have a couple problems when they have ADHD that are going to be worse than others. The first is going to be socially related impairments that can prevent them from self-actualizing and becoming better than they are right now. For instance, if they have the opportunity to take a promotion, they may choose not to take it even if they are fully skilled and capable. Adults can drive, and therefore driving violations are very common with those that have ADHD because they are going to be impulsive and impatient. And since adults can purchase cigarettes and alcohol, they may find comfort in using these in excess simply because they are not able to deal with their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. All of this can relate to social problems, which will happen at home, specifically with their significant other. Likewise, their interactions with people at work, or even their closest friends, can be compromised because of these bad habits.

Diagnosing Adult ADHD

Although an adult will probably go to a doctor in order to get a proper diagnosis as to whether or not they are suffering from this condition, you can actually diagnose this on your own by looking at changes in personality and emotional changes that can affect mood swings dramatically. Most childhood onset ADHD cases continue on, although some kids may never have it until they reach adult age. Adult onset ADHD is becoming more common, and therefore doctors are doing several different things in order to treat this condition. The first thing that a doctor will recommend is a full physical exam and blood tests so that they can see what is going on inside. If they can't find anything wrong with your physical body, hormone levels, or anything related to problems with your biology, psychological testing will be the next step. A psychologist will be able to go through a checklist of common symptoms associated with those that have adult ADHD. Based upon their findings, and comparing that with what may have been discovered by your family physician, they can create a game plan for taking care of this problem.

Medications For Adult ADHD

Many of the medications that are prescribed by medical doctors for kids that have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are going to be the same for adults. This is because these medications affect the same areas of your body and brain, as well as your central nervous system, to effect a positive change. Adults will get prescriptions for Adderall XR, Vyvanse, Focalin XR and Concerta to name a few. All of these are designed to stimulate the central nervous system, forcing your body to create more dopamine and epinephrine, allowing your body to finally have balance with the neurotransmitters that are missing, bringing balance back into your life. Unfortunately, this is not always the case because of the many side effects that are associated with these meds. It is very common for people to vomit within 30 minutes of taking some of these medications, something that is similar with anti-anxiety or drugs designed to help with depression. In the same way that SSRIs are going to prevent the uptake of serotonin, making it more assessable within the brain so that neural connections will be enhanced, having more neurotransmitters like epinephrine and dopamine will enhance the way that you feel, and your ability to think and process, which is why so many physicians will prescribe them to see if they work.

But for those that are not able to take these medications, and if natural remedies such as omega-3 fatty acids which can be found in fish oil, flaxseed, or even Chia seeds which are very popular today, you might want to consider an approach that does not involve adding supplements or pharmaceuticals into your system, moving toward a more psychological approach. The following chapter will discuss some of the top psychological treatments that are available for both kids and adults. This makes sense since this problem originates in the brain, and by changing things at a psychological level, similar, if not better, results can be obtained.

Chapter 10 - Psychological Treatments For ADHD

The most utilized form of psychological treatment for ADHD, especially with kids, is called psychosocial treatments. When kids have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, this type of behavioral therapy seems to be more of a permanent solution than simply giving kids pharmaceuticals to treat the symptoms of the condition. If you think about it, if you have an infection, your doctor will give you an antibiotic to treat what is causing all of the symptoms that you are experiencing. Sneezing, coughing, and vomiting are not what need to be addressed. The infection must be addressed, and as a byproduct of doing so, the symptoms will dissipate or vanish. In the same way, since ADHD is a condition that originates in the human brain, and can be affected by outside stimuli, one of the best ways to treat this condition is to use a combination of medical intervention in the form of ADHD meds like Ritalin, in conjunction with behavior modification techniques that can address the actual problem.

How Behavior Modification Works

When you start to work with a psychologist, the first thing that he will do is observe your child and his or her behaviors. Once this has been studied, and analyzed by the psychologist, they will be able to create a behavior modification check list. First, it will define what the problem is, in this case attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Second, the psychologist will begin by teaching the parent what they need to do at home, primarily because the child spends most of the time with his or her parents. Third, depending upon the nature of the problem, the psychologist will have a working relationship with the administrator at the school where the child is currently attending. They will then be able to work with the teachers that have the child every day, or if the child has an aide that works directly with them, the psychologist will sit down with this individual in order to set the parameters for proper interactions with the student in order to effect a positive change. Finally, there will be routine meetings between the psychologist and the parents, teachers and/or personal aide so as to modify the behavioral plan, and make sure that the medications that are being administered are all working together to help the child recover from this condition.

Typical Psychosocial Treatments

There are many different behavioral modification strategies that can be implemented, all of which will deal with inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. By modifying their behaviors, not only will their ability to interact at a social level improve over time, but so also will their grades. One has to remember that the success of this type of treatment program is largely based upon whether or not the parents, and those in charge of the child at school, are going to follow the behavioral modification plan to the letter. Any deviation from what the psychologist has prescribed as the best course of action can cause the plan could backfire. By following what the psychologist has presented, the child will begin to show signs of paying more attention, understanding information presented, and hopefully get along with other students and teachers. Working together, psychosocial treatments are really the best option for targeting the actual problem, what is going on inside the brain and mind of the student suffering with this condition, so that positive changes can occur.

Drawbacks To Psychological Treatments

The main drawback to this type of treatment is found in the inability of the teachers or parents from actually reprimanding the child. Most of these behavioral therapy techniques involve positive reinforcement and redirection. The theory behind psychosocial treatments is that you are establishing new routines. The goal is to redirect the child when they are not paying attention, not to reprimand or punish them when they are not listening or behaving. This can be very taxing on those at the school, as well as the parents when they are taking care of their child at home. For those that are old school, where spankings and punishments are necessary to properly mold a child into a fully functional adult, this type of child management is simply not applicable. Therefore, it does work for most kids that suffer from ADHD, but the drawback is that some students will actually learn that they have quite a bit of leeway when it comes to making mistakes, and may abuse this to their advantage.

At the end of this book, we are going to present what may very well be the best way to manage ADHD with kids and adults using a step-by-step guide that can help anyone that is dealing with someone that has this condition, we need to present some of the top myths in regard to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that many people believe before we can show you what may actually be a potential cure. As mentioned before, ADHD is not an illness but is merely the result of a hormonal neurotransmitter imbalance within people that is causing the side effects associated with this condition. By understanding what ADHD is not, you can then see clearly why the following step by step procedure is going to be the best in regard to controlling this debilitating condition.

Chapter 11 - How To Manage ADHD - Step By Step Procedures

This step-by-step procedure will be presented as if you are trying to help your child get treated for ADHD. Assuming that you have noticed many of the symptoms associated with this condition, and you have received reports from teachers at school of inattentiveness, or inappropriate behaviors, you will want to follow these steps in order to help your child deal with this condition. It should be noted once again that ADHD is not a condition that is caused by any type of virus or genetic mutation. It is typically the result of your environment, and the type of foods that you eat, that lead to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Step #1 - Get A Proper Diagnosis

The first step to controlling ADHD is to get a proper diagnosis from a certified doctor that is experienced with those that have this condition, or a psychologist that treats people on a regular basis. They will be able to determine if this is actually what your child has, and once the diagnosis has been made, you will be able to move forward toward getting this condition under control.

Step #2 - Behavioral Modifications

Before you decide to choose medications that may inhibit your child's ability to function throughout the day as a result of the side effects that typically accompany pharmaceutical meds, you should consider working with a psychologist, or a behavioral therapist, that is able to design a treatment plan that can be implemented by you at home, and also by teachers or designated aides for your child, so that progress can be made. Talking with a psychologist at the school, you can then be recommended to someone that your school district works with in order to get into contact with a professional that works with kids that have this problem. By implementing the psychosocial treatments that they will design, and modify over time, you should start to see a definite change in your child's attentiveness and behaviors.

Step #3 - Natural Supplements

The next thing that you should do is get your child started on natural supplements that can help with this condition. The main problem with most kids that have this condition is that they are consuming large quantities of sugar, carbohydrates, and they are also missing HDL-cholesterol. High density lipoprotein can be found in many different types of food including cold water fish, different types of seeds and nuts. By adding omega-3 fatty acids into your child's daily dietary regimen, you should start to see a noticeable change in their behavioral patterns as a result of eating healthier foods, and consuming HDL cholesterol supplements.

Step #4 - Pharmaceutical Medications

Always as a measure of last resort, you should consider using pharmaceutical products that are specifically designed to help stimulate the central nervous system. Products such as Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall have been shown to be effective at helping kids calm down during the day, and become more attentive, as a result of stimulating the CNS. Unfortunately, the side effects associated with these drugs can make them lethargic, less attentive at times, and very sleepy. Talk to your doctor about possibly adding these medications on a limited basis, along with the change in diet, behavioral therapy and natural supplements in order to move toward resolving ADHD in your child's life.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition that can be managed using the aforementioned steps. There is no actual cure, but by following the step-by-step procedures outlined, it can be manageable for both children and adults alike. As long as you are able to take the proper medication, or supplements, in order to increase the amounts of epinephrine and dopamine within the brain, you will be able to improve your ability to focus, not lose interest as quickly, and control your physical behaviors in a much more manageable way. This is true for both children and adults alike, and once you are able to implement these strategies on a regular basis, you'll soon realize that ADHD blog or controls you or your children, but that it is a manageable condition that has the potential of eventually going away. Hopefully you will be able to use these simple step-by-step strategies to successfully help your children manage ADHD, or perhaps manage this condition in your own life, helping you to overcome attention deficit hyperactivity disorder once and for all.