What is ADHD?
ADHD has three names- hyperactive type, inattentive type and combined type (both hyperactive and inattentive).
Your Hyperactive ADHD child
If your child is hyperactive, you might find they are uncoordinated, frequently bump into things, and have the energy of an energizer bunny. These children might talk constantly, frequently blurt out or not wait their turn and it might feel as if they are always moving.
Just as it might be exhausting for you, it can be exhausting and overwhelming for your child. Unfortunately, children with undiagnosed ADHD, or diagnosed but untreated, tend to have very low self-esteem. You might be thinking- not my child! But, you might need to think again.
Self-esteem can be a tricky thing. A child with ADHD (especially if female) can be the master at disguising how they really feel. They might act like a social butterfly and constantly be smiling, but really, they might just be blending in. An ADHD child is frequently in trouble. They learn to adapt and hide. They do not want more attention than they already cause.
After a day at school, these children frequently act out… even though they might act perfect at school. Is this your child?
Your Hyperactive ADHD teen
If you have a hyperactive teen they might seem like they are always on the go. They might always be moving, and tend to thrive in sports. A teen with ADHD has a lot of energy. As a result, their grades might suffer because they cannot sit still! The school day is just too long for a Hyperactive teen.
Do you notice your teen comes home and needs to get energy out? They might have a lot of trouble sitting down to do homework. In fact they might do their homework standing up, or even bouncing around.
These teens may also act depressed, sad, or anxious. Are you ready for a change?
But my child was diagnosed with ADD
It is now called Inattentive ADHD.
Your Inattentive ADHD child
Imagine going through every day thinking and believing you are stupid, not good enough, worthless. This is a typical day for many inattentive children. They work so hard to keep up, to listen, to focus and they never can quite do it. They grow up feeling that it is so easy for everyone else. And then they might slip into a silent depression, with low self esteem and high anxiety. Your Inattentive child may be hard to diagnose, because they might look distracted or lazy.
Inattentive children might not hear you the first time, they might be distracted, and they might forget your instructions. These kids tend to be really frustrating to parent because they act disrespectful or lazy.
At school, they may miss assignments, tune out the teacher and seem like they are always daydreaming. Other times, an inattentive student will show no signs at school, but they come home exhausted and moody. These kids spent all their energy just keeping up and there is nothing left for home.
Your Inattentive ADHD teen
If you have an inattentive teen, it might be harder to notice. Is your teen a perfectionist or overachiever? These are common signs of an inattentive ADHD teen! These teens have worked extra hard their whole life to compete, or at least keep up with their peers. Frequently they have high levels of anxiety and might even avoid school or friends.
Their grades tend to suffer as the course work gets harder. They might forget their work. They might daydream and have sporadic notes. They might act completely focused but have no idea what is going on. But one thing is for certain, they tend to have very low self esteem, and are frequently depressed.
Frequently, they are only diagnosed because they finally ‘fail.’ By failing I mean, their natural resiliency gives out. This might be low grades, acting out, avoiding responsibilities or even using drugs and alcohol. These behaviors do not just go away, they must be treated with counseling. Your teen deserves this next step, and so do you.
It can’t be ADHD, my child can focus if they want to!
Your Hyper-focused ADHD child
Did you read the above sections and think, my child can’t have ADHD they focus if they want to! Welcome to the world of ‘hyper-focus.’ If your child can fixate and almost obsess on things they enjoy, it does not mean your child does not have ADHD. It means their brain is so overloaded that it can only focus on what is most important to them.
Think of a malfunctioning hard drive. It might be able to bring up the most recent, basic document, but nothing that is complex. The more elaborate files it might slow down, and malfunction. That most recent, basic document for your child might be a meaningless task. This is one of the reasons ADHD children ‘zone out’ while playing music, reading a book, watching tv, and playing video games. Once they find ‘their thing’ their brain can hyper-focus. It actually temporarily reduces their stress and acts as pseudo-medicating.
Think about that for a moment. When your ADHD child hyper-focuses – they are actually self-medicating. This is why it is so important to begin therapy today. Today they are hyper-focusing by playing video games. What will they focus on and self-medicate with next?
Your Hyper-focused ADHD teen
If your teen hyper-focuses you know it. It is the teen that is absolutely ‘addicted’ to their phone, their video game, the t.v., you name it. These are the teens that really struggle transitioning or stopping something they enjoy. A hyper-focused ADHD teen might be unable to transition without a lot of support.
You might be thinking how is this ADHD? A hyper-focused ADHD teen might look like any other teen but the difference is the level of obsession. Yes teens will obsess and focus, but a teen with ADHD cannot stop what they are doing. A teen with hyper-focused ADHD is both a blessing and a curse. If there is something they are really passionate about, or enjoy they will focus and work on it until perfection. That is the key, they might not be able to let it go and work on something else.
Does ADHD really exist?
Can ADHD cause anxiety?
Can ADHD cause depression?
Can ADHD cause a child or teen to act angry all the time?
My Child is not diagnosed, but I think they have ADHD
I specialize in working with and diagnosing ADHD. I complete a thorough assessment with you and your child before recommending a diagnosis.
My child has ADHD, now what?
Counseling works because it is tailored to your specific needs. As we discuss your concerns, we will create a plan that supports your parenting style.
Your child needs a plan that is specific to their personality. Frequently, incentives such as rewards and sticker charts do not work. Sometimes the child loses interest but frequently it is too much for the parent to keep up with. We will implement parenting techniques that work for you. Not ones you will have to remember and keep up with.
I tried counseling before, it didn’t help
I support the family in the treatment of ADHD. I believe that true behavioral change occurs when parents are involved in treatment.
When treating ADHD we will discuss the stages of brain development and why your child may not follow directions or think things through. We will discuss effective parenting strategies and how to implement them. I will teach your child how to share their feelings and frustrations in a way that respects the family while encouraging them to listen, slow down and focus. We will develop a plan with lifelong effectiveness.
Counseling provides the answers, while also providing a system that works.
If you are ready for counseling to work, and to have a more peaceful home, schedule today!