Attention and ADHD
Has your child or teen been struggling with low motivation and procrastination for as long as you remember?
Is homework time a constant struggle where you feel you have to push your child or teen to do the work and you are frequently met with resistance?
Is your child or teen rushing through schoolwork?
Children and teens with ADHD have difficulties with “executive functioning” in areas such as organizing and prioritizing work.
Many children with ADHD also have excessive energy and are constantly “on the go”.
Your child or teen may have ADHD if he or she:
- has difficulty concentrating
- has difficulty organizing
- frequently forgets things
- loses things such as school permission slips, assignments, pencils
- becomes easily distracted
- impulsively does things
- likes thrilling things
- finds many everyday things boring
- has a lot of energy and is constantly moving and fidgety
- has difficulty getting along with peers
- talks excessively and interrupts others
Some children with ADHD have a lot of behavioural challenges and are getting in trouble at school for talking out in class or for fighting with other children or teens. This problematic behaviour can be fairly extreme in some instances and may include skipping school, abusing alcohol and drugs, or getting into trouble with the law.
Your child or teen can be obtaining good grades and still have ADHD. Intelligence is not related to ADHD. If your child is quite bright, then your child’s ADHD may be undetected because your child does not need to study very much to get good grades. It is not until the demands of school become tough, such as in the later years of high school or in university, that grades can suddenly slip as a result of the executive functioning limitations of people with ADHD.
Typically, a psycho-educational assessment is done to assess ADHD. We gather information from parents, children and teachers through interviews, questionnaires and observations. The interview helps us understand concerns, a history of the concerns, and other relevant developmental information. We also review your child’s report cards and conduct a psychological assessment. We then administer a number of tests to assess intellectual functioning, learning style and abilities. You will be provided with a thorough report of your child’s psychological, social, emotional and intellectual functioning including detailed recommendations for school and home accommodations. Our psychologists will help you and your child understand your child’s unique learning style, strengths and relative limitations in academic performance.
Once our thorough assessment is done, many of our children, teens and their parents feel tremendous relief. Once a diagnosis is made, longstanding low self-esteem begins to improve and children and teens think, “It’s not my fault after all”. “I’m not lazy”. “My brain is just wired differently”. Parents also feel relief because they no longer blame themselves for not parenting correctly.
The treatment for ADHD includes teaching skills to children and teens to compensate for the difficulties in executive functioning as well as teaching parents how to coach their children and teens in these areas. For those children or teens who have significant acting out behaviour, we provide parenting advice, tips, and support.