Children with ADHD: Unlocking the Secrets to Good Behavior – A Parenting Guide

Children with ADHD: Unlocking the Secrets to Good Behavior – A Parenting Guide

For the parents of a child with ADHD, everyday tasks turn into battles—from getting the child out the door in the morning to getting him to bed at night. My son was diagnosed with ADHD at age 6, so I remember what it was like to have a daily tug of war with an attention disordered child all too well. Parents look for help everywhere. They may read one book after another and hear a parade of behavioral experts speak who give them parenting tips that don’t seem to work. The more books they read and experts they seek out, the worse their child’s behavior
seems to get.

“ADHD is a ‘brain difference.’ Your child’s brain works differently than 95% of his peers. So ‘one size fits all’ parenting techniques won’t necessarily fit your child.”

In my practice and in my work with my own son, I discovered a number of techniques and strategies that can help parents improve the behavior of a child with ADHD.

ADHD Secret #1: Parenting Techniques Must Be Adapted to Kids with ADHD

What works for adolescents with ADHD may not work for a seven-year-old with this diagnosis. Likewise, if a behavior modification technique works for 95% of children, that doesn’t mean it will be effective for the 5% of kids with ADHD.

The time out is a classic example of a behavior modification tool that is often misused with children who have ADHD. Timeouts are often recommended to help children with ADHD learn to control impulsive behavior such as talking back, hitting or hyperactivity. However, standard application of this popular intervention may not work in the presence of ADHD.

Parents are usually told to apply 1 minute of timeout for each year of age, thus 6 minutes for a six year old. For a child this young with ADHD, this may be too much time. Psychologists suggest applying the 30% rule to kids with ADHD and learning disabilities, which means that social-emotional development for these kids may be 30% less than their peers. Thus, a 6 year old should be considered to react more like a 4 year old. Therefore, 4 minutes would be more appropriate.

ADHD Secret #2: Use Reward, not Punishment

One of the most important things to realize about children with ADHD is that they respond much better to reward than to punishment. So here’s how to adapt the time out to a child with this diagnosis so that the tool is more effective. If your 6 year old won’t sit quietly in timeout, tell him the timeout is 8 minutes (double the time based on the 30% Rule). But he can reduce it to 4 minutes by sitting quietly. Then watch how hard he tries to earn the “reward.” By moving away from punishment and giving the child a reward, albeit a simple one, you are speaking the language that an ADHD child understands.

Helpful tip: Don’t nag! Help your child to correct errors and mistakes by showing or demonstrating what he should do rather than focusing on what he did wrong.

ADHD Secret #3: Leverage the Child’s Desire for Positive Attention

Children with ADHD usually crave positive attention while being more likely to have a severe over-reaction to negative attention or punishment. Using what is called “selective attention” can be very helpful in increasing appropriate behavior while decreasing inappropriate behavior. Begin to pay attention to appropriate behavior through praise while ignoring inappropriate behavior.  For example, your child is wiggling around and making silly noises while you are helping him with homework. Ignore the behavior and say, “Let’s see how fast we can get this work done.” When he settles down you can say, “Wow!, you are really working hard and look, we’re almost done now.” This may be difficult at first because it’s usually the opposite of how parents tend to respond to behavior. It’s our instinct to jump on irritating behaviors and try to correct them, simply to make them go away. But without knowing it, we are rewarding the inappropriate behavior because, with these children, any kind of attention is better than no attention at all. Even worse, when we ignore appropriate behavior, we don’t reinforce it. So the child with ADHD doesn’t learn that appropriate behavior often leads to positive attention. When you use selective attention, rewarded behavior will increase while ignored behavior will decrease. It’s a parental 180-degree turnaround that can work wonders with a young child who has attention and hyperactivity problems.

Helpful Tip: Inappropriate or irritating behavior should be ignored 100% of the time while appropriate behavior should be praised 70% to 80% of the time at first, and then to less than half the time as things improve. The goal is for the child to gradually be able to control their behavior on their own.

ADHD Secret #4: Teamwork Works with ADHD

You + Your Child = The Team

Most programs for kids with ADHD focus on training parents, which is very important, but these programs do not speak directly to the child. Instead, I recommend that parents and kids work together as a team. For instance, in the Total Focus Program, the parents and the child are shown ways of working together on relaxation exercises that improve concentration and reduce frustration. The exercises are fun, and a chart is kept to track progress. They end up having a good time, improving their relationship and learning new skills together.

Many of the programs for kids that are on the market focus on improving only one skill. But they offer no magic cure.

In my practice, I’ve had success using a broad spectrum of approaches (cognitive rehabilitation, behavior modification and relaxation therapy) that are integrated together with a newfound “I Can” attitude to produce results that lead to major improvements in behavior and learning achievement. When I work with kids and parents, I teach problem solving skills and social skills to improve motivation and self-esteem. By doing this, the child learns to put in the work to achieve the major skills he needs to master: improved attention, concentration, and functions including memory and self-control. As a result, the whole family benefits.

Note:  Current professional treatment guidelines recommend a trial of a comprehensive behavioral program BEFORE mediation for children with mild to moderate ADHD symptoms.  Recent research studies indicate that behavioral interventions not only change behavior they change how the brain looks and works. Total Focus provides a comprehensive approach based on the latest scientific and medical research that is very cost effective:

Parent Education
Behavior Modification Programs for Home and School
Relaxation Training to Improve Emotional Control
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Improve Motivation, Problem Solving Skills and Self-Esteem
Fun Cognitive Rehabilitation Exercises (Brain Training) to Improve Attention, Concentration and Executive Functions
Parent Coached Social Skill Training

Caution: I know parents want a quick fix and are tempted to try advertised products that sound good but usually are not comprehensive (only one type of intervention), not based on research, are expensive and (in the case of some supplements) may be harmful.  If you are willing to invest a few hours of your time per week for a few months to implement this program, you and your child will receive years of success and freedom from daily hassles.

ADHD Secret #5—Young Children with ADHD Respond Well to Touch

Most kids with ADHD need lots of physical contact. Love them by touching them, hugging them, tickling them, wrestling with them.

ADHD Secret #6–Focus on the child’s strengths daily—and more than you would with a child who does not have ADHD

Look for and encourage their strengths, interests, and abilities. Help them to use these as compensations for any limitations or disabilities. Reward your child with praise, good words, smiles, and a pat on the back as often as you can.

ADHD Secret #7—Practice Motor Skill Improvement to Reduce Frustration

Make a game of practicing motor activities that will stimulate them in their development. For example, skipping to music, playing catch or tossing a bean bag at a stack of blocks improves coordination and the ability to follow directions without frustration, giving the child more self-confidence as well.

ADHD Secret #8—Consistency Pays

Being consistent is good advice for any parent. For parents of young children with ADHD, it is vitally important. Exhausted parents crave a “quick fix” to impulsive, unmanageable behavior.  So they tend not to stay with one strategy long enough to see it work. When you use the techniques suggested here, remember that consistency is important to achieving success with a young, attention disordered child.

ADHD is a “brain difference.” You child’s brain works differently than 95% of his peers. So “one size fits all” parenting techniques won’t necessarily fit your child. Your parenting strategies may need to be administered in smaller doses with more emphasis on rewards and on your child’s strengths. I teach parents how to understand the unique traits and behaviors of their child and how to adapt “tried and true” approaches so they will work for their child. I also help parents to develop a positive approach that helps them to be able to develop patience and insight that will result in happier days for parent and child.

Robert Myers, PhD is a child psychologist with 30 years of experience working with children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and learning disabilities and is the creator of the Total Focus Program.   Dr Myers is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UC Irvine School of Medicine.  He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.  He is a member of the American Psychological Association, Learning Disabilities Association of America and CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).  For more information on children with ADHD or the Total Focus program please go to Kids ADHD.          

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Do I Have Adult ADHD?

Do I Have Adult ADHD?

We used to think that children with ADHD “outgrew” it. Now we know most children with ADHD grow up to be adults with ADHD–and most of them have no physical hyperactivity.  (Many had no hyperactivity in childhood, either.)

Especially in this tough economy, unrecognized ADHD can thwart your efforts in school, on the job, and even in relationships. So, if you have ADHD, it’s worth knowing about it now so you can take solid steps to reduce your obstacles to a happier, more fulfilling life.
What are the common ADHD traits in adults? Consider the three current official sub-types of Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

* ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type. This person has trouble paying attention, getting organized, and ignoring distractions but can have little trouble sitting still. Instead of physical hyperactivity, there’s a more “sluggish” tempo, but there can still be less-obvious mental restlessness.

* ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Type. This person has difficulty sitting still and thinking through consequences before acting but finds it easier to focus than the person with the Inattentive type. This is the least common type among adults.

* ADHD, Combined Type. This person exhibits both previous sets of traits, including problems with sustaining attention, avoiding distractions, thinking before acting, and sitting still. This is the most common type.

“Is There a Simple Test for ADHD?”

There is no single test to evaluate for (ADHD). That means no simple online test, no blood test and no genetic test. That doesn’t make ADHD a “squishy” diagnosis, though. Far from it. A large body of peer-reviewed research supports ADHD as a valid medical diagnosis, and so do all medical professional organizations.

Adult ADHD is, however, considered a syndrome: that is, a condition with multiple symptoms that vary among the individuals who have it. Other well-recognized medical syndromes range from Reye’s Syndrome to Diabetes Type II.

The fact that Adult ADHD is a syndrome simply means that the diagnosis must be done with care; there are no “cookie cutter” answers. Finding out if you have Adult ADHD requires consulting with a qualified mental health professional; this person can evaluate your history and current challenges to see if you meet the official criteria outlined in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual.  

What counts most of all is one factor: Are you suffering impairments in any area of life? If there is no area of life where you are experiencing significant ADHD-related challenges–such as with relationships, employment, education, sexual intimacy, or finances–you do not qualify for a diagnosis.

“What Should I Know Before I Seek an Evaluation for Adult ADHD?”

Here are some points to understand before you select a professional to conduct an evaluation for Adult ADHD:

* Adult ADHD symptoms represent an extreme on a continuum of human behavior, much like IQ, weight, or height. To ascertain if a person is “over the line” on this continuum, the evaluating professional must gauge the severity of the symptoms and, most of all, impairment.
* The human brain is extremely complicated. Living with unrecognized ADHD over a long period of time can increase the odds of having a coexisting condition such as anxiety, depression, or substance use disorder.  It’s important to detect the co-existing conditions before embarking on a treatment plan.
* Adult ADHD is often misdiagnosed as depression or anxiety. Some clinicians fail to understand that depression or anxiety might be caused or at least exacerbated by the underlying, untreated ADHD.  This is important, because standard treatments for anxiety or depression (such as certain antidepressants) can actually worsen ADHD symptoms.
* Adults with ADHD typically have no obvious physical hyperactivity. In years past, ADHD was considered a disruptive order of childhood, and its diagnosis was based on observing overt behavior (usually physical hyperactivity).  That means many people fell through the cracks, and only later in life do they discover they have ADHD. Today we know that many people, especially adults, have no obvious physical hyperactivity but instead might have more mental restlessness.
* ADHD can adversely affect relationships, presenting greater-than-average risk of divorce, relationship breakups, absentee parenting, sexual difficulties, and familial estrangement. If ADHD is suspected, it’s good to pursue an evaluation before spending time and money on couples counseling or family therapy.
* Some physical conditions can mimic ADHD symptoms.  Ask your personal physician to first perform a thorough physical exam to rule out conditions that can affect brain function or limit medication choices (such as thyroid, diabetes, or cardiovascular issues).

For all these reasons, it’s wise to make sure you understand the diagnostic process, in general terms, before selecting a professional to conduct an evaluation.

“Who Conducts the Evaluation for Adult ADHD?”

Several types of professionals can make the Adult ADHD diagnosis, including physicians, psychologists, and masters-degree therapists. You want to identify a professional who is:
* Closely familiar with Adult ADHD symptoms
* Knowledgeable and diligent about collecting the pertinent data
* Able to listen closely and ask perceptive questions
* Appropriately licensed or certified for treating ADHD and can distinguish ADHD from other physical or psychological disorders
* Compassionate and caring

If your family physician cannot make a confident referral, contact the closest university teaching hospital.

“What is the Evaluation Process?”

In a nutshell, this is the process:

1.  Data-gathering and interview: The evaluating professional gathers data from sources that include     
* Symptom checklists. Ideally, these are sent by mail to the client well ahead of time, to allow time for thoughtful completion.
* Third-party input. Family members or others in close relationship typically are asked to provide information on the patient’s history and current challenges; that’s because ADHD symptoms often limit or distort recall and self-observation.
* A detailed life history. This includes any head injuries (even “minor” ones) and childhood report cards, if available.

2. Analysis: The professional then compares reported symptoms to the diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

This article by award-winning journalist and Adult ADHD expert Gina Pera is adapted from her bestselling book Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? – a comprehensive guide to understanding Adult ADHD symptoms and its treatment strategies, especially as they affect relationships.
Visit Gina Pera’s blog for more information on Adult ADHD, the official criteria by which the Adult ADHD diagnosis is made, and surprising link between ADHD and sex. You’ll also find free excerpts from her award-winning book.

Reproduction permitted only when all active hyperlinks are included. 2010 All rights reserved Gina Pera.

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Attitude Change and ADHD

Attitude Change and ADHD

Author: Powlin V. Manuel MD, MBA

Attitude is people’s evaluation the various aspects of the social world formed from social learning, classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, and observational learning. Making an assessment of the existing attitude will provide us information to take appropriate measures to change attitude. The existing attitude of the parents, teachers, peers, and healthcare providers affect the outcome of patients suffering from ADHD. Before we can make an effective social change in any specific area we wish to improve, we need to know the existing attitude by different techniques of measuring attitude.  We must have an effective communicator to deliver the appeal for change; we need to have an effective and appealing content for receptive audience for attitude change and effective social change.

Attitude Change and ADHD

Attitude Change

Attitude is people’s evaluation the various aspects of the social world (Baron, Branscombe, & Byrne, D., 2009).  The authors ascribe the following characteristics to attitude.  Attitude formation occurs as a result of social learning, classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, and observational learning. Attitudes are acquired from other people from social learning process. Such learning can involve social learning, classical conditioning, and instrumental conditioning.  Attitudes that are acquired through instrumental conditioning arise from possible rewards and punishments for adopting the particular attitudes; this aspect originally was promoted by Skinner. Attitude formation is affected by agenda setting, framing, persuasion, appeals, and sources of social influence. Continue reading Attitude Change and ADHD

Information on ADD and ADHD – Limit Your Surfing On The Net

Information on ADD and ADHD – Limit Your Surfing On The Net

There is so much information on ADHD and ADD now on the Net that it is a jungle and sometimes, parents get lost and this is more than understandable. My suggestion is to limit your surfing. In this way, the tsunami of information about ADHD in children will become more manageable and you will not be so overwhelmed. Also if you want to adopt a natural homeopathic cure, your time on the Net will be drastically cut as there is no need to worry about health monitoring, side effects and long term risks. Using an ADHD homeopathic remedy cuts all that out as there are no risks at all or side effects. Continue reading Information on ADD and ADHD – Limit Your Surfing On The Net

For ADHD Adult Patients, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Plus Medication Better Than Medication Alone

For ADHD Adult Patients, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Plus Medication Better Than Medication Alone

An adult with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who takes targeted medication combined with 1-on-1 sessions of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is likely to experience significantly greater improvement of symptoms compared to an ADHD adult patient who only has the medication, according to research published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 25th issue,2010 Continue reading For ADHD Adult Patients, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Plus Medication Better Than Medication Alone

ADHD: An Overview

ADHD: An Overview

ADHD is neither a “new” mental health problem nor is it a disorder created for the purpose of personal gain or financial profit by pharmaceutical companies, the mental health field, or by the media.  It is a very real behavioral and medical disorder that affects millions of people nationwide.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders in children and adolescents.  According to research sponsored by NIMH, estimated the number of children with ADHD to be between 3% – 5% of the population.  NIMH also estimates that 4.1 percent of adults have ADHD. Continue reading ADHD: An Overview

ritalin side effects-youtube

ritalin side effects

some youtube videos about ritalin side effects

Cody, age 12, and his grandmother Mary, tell Dr. BJ Hardick of his experience being put on Ritalin in the first grade — “I don’t really remember anything since grade one.” Cody has successfully and safely come off Ritalin and sleeping pills with the help of chiropractic care and the 5 essentials of Maximized Living.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Response to Botany101’s video: This is a warning to those that might come across this, if you leave troll comments. I’m just going to laugh at you. You won’t get a response… and I won’t delete your comments… It’s more or less just going to be a waste of your time. I’ve been having issues with trolls on my video where I talk about being raped. Some really horrible ones, but trolls are kinda like school yard bullies. So I don’t give them the attention they crave. I have been wanting to share this story with you all for a while, because this was a moment in my life that I am not proud of. I’m not perfect, I’ve made mistakes. I wanted to let everyone know the dangers of using the drug, and the possible side effects.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

A straight ‘A’ student, Sal, experiences a random surge of hyperness and takes it out on his Anatomy class. Watch to see if Ritalin is the answer to his problem. Oh, and by the way, do not forget to listen to the gut wrenching side effects of Ritalin demonstrated by Dr. Halford at the end of the presentation. Sal- Salvatore Sanfillippo Dr. Halford- Skyler Halford Director/Editor- Felix Stone

7 Things Every Parent Must Know About ADHD

ADHD is said to affect anywhere from 3 to 10% of school-aged children. Yet despite this number, the word on the street would make you believe that this number is much higher. With anyone and everyone thinking they know about ADHD, as a parent, you must really sort through a lot of rumors and hype about attention deficit disorder.

The following are 7 critical pieces of information every parent must know about ADHD:

1. ADHD is a popular diagnosis

I am fairly certain this will come as no surprise to many parents. ADHD seems to be everywhere today. We hear about medications in the news and throughout various other media outlets. We are also subjected to some people who will tell you that “everyone has a little ADHD.” This is just not true. While it might look like attention deficit disorder, there are very specific criteria that children must meet to be diagnosed with the disorder.

2. There is no known cause

Despite all the research, scientific evidence, and wild theories about ADHD, there is not one universally accepted cause. Most people will tell you that there is a large genetic component, and yet others will have you believe that it is impacted by diet, parenting, and many other conspiracy theories.

While there is no definitive cause, the most popular theory relates to chemical processes in the brain and how certain neurotransmitters are absorbed.

3. There is no cure

Unlike many medical disorders, there is no known cure for ADHD. In fact, the medications that most children are prescribed do not resolve the symptoms, but rather merely relieve them. One professional suggested that medications provide a little extra “horsepower” to help focus less on disruptive symptoms and more on what will help someone be more productive.

4. Mimic symptoms

This one bit of information really frustrates me when it comes to understanding ADHD in children. What frustrates me the most is that this is very rarely spoken about or taught outside of the professional community.

What is this one piece of information?

There are a great number of other disorders, illnesses, health problems, and developmental factors that can mimic the symptoms of ADHD. In fact, there are many that overlap and make it quite difficult for professionals to differentiate and properly diagnose the disorder without a thorough evaluation.

5. Medication only covers up

What most people are never told is that medications only cover up the symptoms of ADHD. While your child might appear to be doing better on the outside, and to people around him, he can still be struggling on the inside.

Since there is no cure, medications only cover up the symptoms and leave many people convinced that their child must be “cured.” As we discussed above, there is no cure and as such, we cannot simply stop treatment or follow-up care with medication alone.

6. Underlying issues

In conjunction with medications only really covering up the symptoms, many people often overlook the underlying issues or problems that many children struggle with in addition to or separate from the diagnosis.

For instance, as a therapist, I used to see many children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. More often than not, what these children struggled with the most had more on their minds than what they had been labeled with.

7. Be careful who you listen to

Consider all the people who have likely told you or suggested to you that your child has ADHD. Out of this group of people, how many of them are qualified professionals? Just because someone is in a professional role (like a teacher or guidance counselor), it does not mean they are an expert on the subject.

Consider who you listen to, and make sure that only qualified, licensed professionals are diagnosing your child with ADHD.

Top products on dealing with adhd

And now I would like to invite you to download an almost 60-minute audio interview available at where one successful professional reveals his personal struggle and success managing his symptoms of ADHD over the last 15 years.

You are also invited to keep up with constantly updated information on ADHD at

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