Raising a child with ADHD can be overwhelming and challenging.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental childhood disorder in which a child’s inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity cause significant problems in functioning at home, school, and social life. According to the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which is a guide that helps medical and mental health professionals diagnose ADHD, inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms must present before 12 years of age and last for at least six months. 

The DSM-5 classifies ADHD into three categories based on symptom presentation. In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, children must have six or more of the nine characteristics in either or both of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria below: 

ADHD – Predominantly Inattentive Presentation

  • Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities

  • Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities

  • Often does not appear to listen when spoken to directly

  • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace

  • Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities

  • Often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to complete tasks that require sustained mental effort

  • Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities

  • Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli

  • Is forgetful in daily activities

ADHD – Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Presentation

  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair

  • Has difficulty remaining seated

  • Runs about or climbs excessively in children; extreme restlessness in adults.

  • Difficulty engaging in activities quietly

  • Acts as if driven by a motor; adults will often feel internally as if they were driven by a motor

  • Talks excessively

  • Blurts out answers before questions have been completed

  • Difficulty waiting or taking turns

  • Interrupts or intrudes upon others

ADHD – Combined Presentation

  • Child meets criteria for inattention and hyperactive/impulsive presentations

Raising a child with ADHD can be overwhelming and challenging, making it crucial for parents to seek out support, education, and guidance from a psychologist. Children with ADHD are more susceptible to developing depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and social challenges. ADHD is also linked to reduced academic performance, substance abuse, and impulsive decision-making that can lead to injury. In working with a therapist at Metta Psychology Group, you and your child will learn key strategies to improve your child’s self-esteem, executive functioning abilities, and academic/social performance. As a parent, you will develop confidence through establishing positive discipline and feedback strategies, increased structure and consistency, school advocacy, and reasonable expectations for your child. Forming a therapeutic relationship will help build your child’s confidence, compliance, and successes, leading to a calmer, more harmonious home.