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Valuable Things To Know During ADHD Awareness Month


Valuable Things To Know During ADHD Awareness Month

  • Mental Health

Attention-deficit disorders, more commonly known as ADD or ADHD, can be as disruptive but treatable as many physical ailments. The stigma surrounding these disorders, however, can often lead to misinformation, shame, and delay of treatment. More than 6 million children have an ADD diagnosis in the United States as of 2021 as well as an estimated 5% of American adults.

3 Insights for ADHD Awareness Month

October is ADHD month

When is ADHD Awareness Month?

October is known as ADHD Awareness Month. Not to be confused with National Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day on September 7, ADHD Awareness Month is focusing on topics to reframe the narrative around the disorders such as ADHD relationships and communication, ADHD parenting, comprehensive treatment plans for ADHD, and co-occuring conditions with ADHD.

There are multiple types of attention-deficit disorders that can be categorized into 2 types of behavior problems: inattentiveness or hyperactivity and impulsiveness. The former is often correlated with Attention Deficit Disorder, and the latter with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Most people with these disorders have problems in both categories, but some can be inattentive without any hyperactivity symptoms.

Similarly, different genders often exhibit different symptoms. While young boys are three times more likely to be diagnosed than young girls, women are thought to suffer from ADHD and ADD as much as their male counterparts but show different, often more subtle signs of the disorder. Boys often exhibit signs like constant movement and impulsivity, while girls show more internalized symptoms like inattentiveness and low self-esteem.

Why is ADHD Awareness Important?

ADD and ADHD are surrounded by stigma and misinformation. Unfortunately, many still see attention deficit disorders as “not real” or that symptoms like inattentiveness can simply be overcome with more focus.

The ADHD Awareness Coalition, comprised of the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), and ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO), focuses on presenting accurate information through websites, podcasts, and webinar trainings every October to increase awareness and correct some common misconceptions.

“Because ADHD has a range of presentations and a wide range of severity, ADHD is often difficult to understand,” CHADD CEO Bob Cattoi said. “The key is to understand that it is a neurodevelopmental issue. There are resources to help individuals affected by ADHD and those who support them. We’re here to help them move beyond the self-criticism that is often associated with ADHD, and to appreciate the strengths — creativity, curiosity, generosity — that individuals with ADHD bring to our society.”

Attention-deficit disorders are often diagnosed alongside other mental health issues, such as anxiety disorder, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and sleep problems. Many diagnosed also suffer from learning difficulties like dyslexia as well as autistic spectrum disorder, epilepsy, or Tourette’s syndrome.

Though adult ADHD has been rarely studied, some conditions adults with ADHD may also have include personality disorders, bipolar disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Common Symptoms of ADHD

Like many disorders, attention-deficit disorders can present with a range of symptoms, and only a doctor can officially diagnose ADD or ADHD. Symptoms also differ among different genders and age ranges, and your symptoms can evolve as you age.

Some common symptoms of ADD or ADHD include:

  • Having a short attention span
  • Losing things often
  • Constantly changing tasks
  • Verbal aggression like teasing
  • Lack of concentration
  • Having difficulty organizing tasks
  • Fidgeting and excessive physical movement
  • Acting without thinking
  • Interrupting conversations
  • Physical aggression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Extreme impatience
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Lack of attention to detail
  • Unable to listen and follow instructions

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If you or a loved one is experiencing a number of these symptoms, the first step to a diagnosis and treatment is a quick assessment with a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a pediatrician, a nurse practitioner, a neurologist, a master level counselor, or a social worker. Contact us if you are or believe you could be ADHD or ADD.

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.