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Suffolk Center for Speech


Understanding ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, also known as ADHD, is a learning difficulty experienced by both children and adults. In children it may be characterized by an inability to sit still at school, difficulty staying focussed, impulsive outbursts in the classroom, tantrums at home, and trouble staying organized. Whereas in adults, it may manifest into difficulties with continuously staying focused, prioritizing, planning, and completing projects. People with ADHD might also struggle with social skills and develop a negative self-image that can lead to acting out.

With all these negatives it may be hard to find some positives, however, there are strengths associated with ADHD. ​​For example, people have observed enhanced creativity, problem-solving skills, greater imagination, and a better sense of humor. Additionally, people with ADHD often have a high activity level, which can translate to a greater ability to persevere in the face of difficulty. It also gives them more energy to engage with the world around them.

It is important to know that ADHD is not a limiting diagnosis, there are accommodations and modifications one can make to their everyday life to deal with the symptoms and challenges that come with ADHD. For children, it is helpful to receive information in chunks and know to take breaks when they feel their attention span is reaching its limit. Encourage them to find a friend to study and do work with to go over this information with. Additionally, teach children to use active reading strategies, like making notes in a margin, underlining, or highlighting! As children with ADHD may struggle to follow a storyline or keep track of important details. For adults, they may feel that writing is a hard task. They may become frustrated when they lose their train of thought or feel as though they cannot write fast enough to get all their thoughts down on one page. It is most helpful for adults to use a computer when typing notes or using a speech-to-text feature. This allows them to get all their thoughts out and then go back to review for grammar checks. Most importantly for both, move around often when needed. Know yourself and take the breaks to release the excess energy.

-Paige F


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