Welcome back to this series on ADHD. The goal of this series of articles is to create greater understanding, eliminate the myths and assist individuals who have ADHD to find solutions to improve their work and personal lives.
Ramifications of ADHD can be series! Many adults and children live with ADHD symptoms, but have no idea that they have ADHD. They experience achievement, behavioral, or social difficulties. Their difficulties don’t make sense. They feel smart enough, but can’t perform the way they want. A simple example is that they forget chores and appointments. While this may be something that happens to those without ADHD, it is a chronic, daily occurrence for those with ADHD.
Ramifications for children: A parent may assume their child is disrespecting, lazy and irresponsible, creating a stigma that can last a lifetime for that child. Frequently, children’s symptoms are identified as “not right” or “too wild” by their parents or teachers.
Ramifications for adults: In adults there are problems of restlessness and forgetfulness. For example, Mike, a bright professional, fails a licensing examination and rarely finishes reports on time. His boss attributes his poor performance to laziness. At evaluation time it could mean the difference between advancement and a raise, or demotion, and even dismissal.
These examples are only the beginning listing of the psychological, social, emotional, behavioral and performance ramifications of undiagnosed ADHD!
Step One – Get Diagnosed!
Guessing games and ignoring what might be symptoms of ADHD won’t make it go away. It’s vital to get a proper diagnosis, but many people don’t know which professional to turn to. Let’s take a look:
Who can diagnose ADHD?
You might ask, “ What kind of doctor diagnoses ADHD?
- A pediatrician screens children for signs and symptoms of ADHD. They use interviews, clinical histories, and checklists answered by the child, parents, and teachers.
- A family practice specialist or psychologist performs theses tasks for an adult.
- A psychiatrist investigates difficulties such as ADHD and other co-occurring problems such as depression and/or anxiety. As needed, medication plan is established and monitored. All physicians can prescribe medications and discuss possible side effects.
- School psychologists and other personal commonly identify and screen for ADHD and then make referrals to medical personal when warranted.
Resistance and Negative Attitudes Towards Testing
Some people react negatively to the idea of having any type of evaluation. The following are comments people often make:
- “I’ve never heard of it.”
- “I don’t want to find out that something is wrong.”
- “It won’t make any difference in the long run.”
- “The testing is too expensive.”
But there are sound answers to these comments. ADHD tests can relieve the worry about symptoms. They are important for diagnosis and planning for adults and teens and parents of younger children seeking improved behavior, better school or work performance and productivity, improved relationship building and greater happiness.*
Step Two – Treatment
Among the most successful treatments are behavior modification, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication—alone or in combination. Regardless of age, medication is rarely enough to enable a person with ADHD or ADD to develop their potential and enjoy sustained life satisfaction.
“Other treatments, including individual counseling, play therapy, dietary interventions, treatment for inner ear problems, neurofeedback/biofeedback, perceptual-motor training, sensory integration training, chiropractic manipulations, pet therapy and others have no proven efficacy for ADHD.”
Organizations such as Children and Adults with ADD (www.chadd.org) or Attention Deficit Disorder Association (www.add.org) have a great deal of information and resources to help families, employers and individuals.**
*If you have questions or concerns about ADHD tests, email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
**If you have questions or concerns about ADHD for you or someone you know, contact geri@managingyourmind, or buy Geri’s book, Finding Your Focus: Practical Strategies for the Everyday Challenges Facing Adults with ADD.