Youth & ADHD


What is ADHD?

ADHD is a brain thing; you are not lazy or dumb.  In medical terms, ADHD is a neurological disorder. The way your brain works or communicates is a bit different than most people.  Most often youth with ADHD first find out they are having some problems when they go to school.  Like you, they may have problems with paying attention and focusing on things that are boring or repetitive. They might find that transitions (changing what you are doing or watching) are really hard, especially if they enjoy what they are doing.   ADHD kids, like you, can hyper-focus when things are stimulating or interesting.  Things like video games, watching TV, computer games, Face Book, are common activities that ADHD youth can be very connected to.  The problem with ADHD is not just about being able to focus …… the problem is REGULATING your focus .   ADHD has nothing to do with your intelligence level. People with ADHD are just as intelligent as anyone else.  In fact, if you want to feel great … Google Famous People with ADHD.

These ADHD people have found a way to make all the things you take for granted work for them.  High energy, ability to focus forever if you like it, creative thinking, and plunging ahead to get what you want …… are just a few traits that can be very positive.

I don’t like being different, and who do I tell

You may feel that you don’t want anyone to know you have ADHD.  This is not uncommon, as everyone has something they might want to keep private.  What you have to remember is that people might not know the label of ADHD, but they certainly know the symptoms of ADHD.  School friends can see another person getting hyper, losing ability to focus, staying on task, daydreaming, and sometimes being buggy.  They might not know it is called ADHD, but they know you.  Everyone usually has some sort of challenge.  The more we know about the challenges we face, the better we are at trying to fix them.  We can actually try different strategies to help improve, once we know what is wrong.  When we do not know, that is when we start to feel like we are dumb or just cannot get it.

Your school definitely needs to know about your ADHD or else they will not be able to help by changing or adjusting the school environment.  They will also understand that you are intelligent and just need to write exams differently, or have a quiet place to work.  They may make accommodations for you so you can reach your potential, so that you can show how smart you are.  They will understand when something is not done because you forgot or lost it.  They will know that it is sometimes hard to remember to put up your hand, wait your turn, or to stop daydreaming.  Life at school may become easier.

As well, your friends only know you, for being exactly who you are.  They are still your friends, and accept you as you are; they may love your sense of curiousness, humour, high energy, or creativeness.   Just as you accept your friends, they won’t stop liking you because of having ADHD. In fact, if you can help them to understand you better, your friendship may even improve.  But weather to tell friends or not is completely up to you.  If you feel uncomfortable about sharing this with friends or family, you do not need to tell them; as that is your right.

The other thing to understand is that you are not alone.  Many people have ADHD, and in fact it is very genetic.  That means that most likely someone in your family, be it your parents, aunts, uncles, or grandparents, have ADHD.

Will ADHD Ever Go Away?

ADHD looks differently as you age.  Some people that have a mild level of ADHD notice that the symptoms of inattention and distractibility lessen and that they are no longer as hyperactive as they were in their youth.  Some people though, approximately 60%, continue to have some challenges as they age.  The difference most of these adult ADHD people feel is that they are not as hyperactive.  They also begin to find coping strategies that really assist them in everyday life.

There are many successful people who have ADHD.  Remember that when you find something exciting that you have no problems completing the task.  Many ADHD youth and adults find ways of making a boring task exciting so that they can get it done.  They find ways to motivate and reward themselves for accomplishing boring tasks to reach their goals.

So… the good news is that by learning about ADHD, trying different treatments, and  learning coping strategies that you too can do well in life.   Maybe you will be one of those famous people with ADHD.  Even if you are not famous, you can grow up to have successful careers and happy lives.  Just believe in yourself and keep on trying.  If you feel angry or disappointed … know that with practice you will be able to accomplish what you want.  The important thing is to recognize ADHD, not say I cannot do this because of ADHD.  In other words, do not let ADHD become an excuse for not succeeding.  In fact it might be the very thing that helps you excel!

 

 

Bill of Rights for Children with ADD

HELP ME TO FOCUS…

Please teach me through my sense of touch. I need “hands-on” and body movement. I learn best with all my senses.

I NEED TO KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT…

Please give me a structured environment where there is a dependable routine. Give me an advance warning if there will be changes.

WAIT FOR ME, I’M STILL THINKING…

Please allow me to go at my own pace. If I’m rushed, I get confused and upset.

I’M STUCK, I CAN’T DO IT…!

Please offer me options for problem solving. If the road is blocked, I need to know the detours.

IS IT RIGHT? I NEED TO KNOW NOW…

Please give me rich and immediate feedback on how I’m doing.

I DIDN’T KNOW I WASN’T IN MY SEAT…!

Please remind me to stop, think, and act.

AM I ALMOST DONE…?

Please give me short work periods with short-term goals.

I’M NOT SURE WHAT YOU SAID. I LOST FOCUS.

Please use positive language.  I didn’t forget; I just didn’t hear you in the first place.  Please give me directions, one step at a time, and ask me to say back what I think you said.

I KNOW IT’S ALL WRONG, ISN’T IT…?

Please give me praise for partial success. Reward me for self-improvement, not just for perfection.

BUT WHY DO I ALWAYS GET YELLED AT…?

Please catch me doing something right and praise me for the specific positive behavior. Remind me–and yourself–about my good points when I’m having a bad day.

DO YOU LOVE ME, EVEN WHEN I DO EVERYTHING WRONG?

Remind me daily of how much I am valued. My self esteem can get low.

Contact us today!

Phone: 604 889-6578
E-mail: adhd.bc@shaw.ca

#370 2025 West 42nd Ave
Vancouver, BC V6M 2B5

Directions to our clinic