Let us Talk about ADHD

What is ADHD? 

Let us talk about Attentin-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Your child is recently diagnosed with Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, coomonly known as  ADHD.  Reading that it is a mental disorder affecting functioning and development has you worried. Your mind is thinking: 

My child just got dignosed with ADHD!!!

  Why? Why? What did I do? What can I do?

MY Child just got Dignosed with ADHD!!!! Why? Why? What did I do? What can I do? My child... is a such a wonderful person But who can see it When... He refuses to Meet His PotentiaL DayDreams ALL the Time (OK, MOST of the Time, but still)... Shows a Chronic Lack of Stayin ON Task Is Hyperactive, InAttentive and Senstive My Beautiful Child... What have I done? Where do we go from Noew?" - - Parent of a child who recently diagnosed with ADHD


Take a deep breath. According to Center of Disease Controt (CDC),  about 10% of school-age children are diagnosed with ADHD each year (CDC, 2020). ADHD exists all across the globe ( ), pa anRemeber, this is the same wonderful child you had before the diagnosis. 

Diagnosing Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: 

There is no single asessment or test that can determine presence or absence of ADHD.  The diagnosis requires a comprehensive evaluation by a licensed clinician, such as a pediatrician, psychologist, or psychiatrist with expertise in ADHD. They will use 5th Edition Diagnostic Manual and Statistical Manual of  Mental Disorders (DSM-5), input from teachers, parents and other care givers before making a diagnosis.

Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD


Let us hear from experts from National Institute of Mental Health 


Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperacitivity Disorders

Chronic patten of inattention and / or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or developemt



ADHD can be predpminantly inattentive, prominently hyperactive- Impulsive or combination of both


An Inattentive Type:

  • Easily distracted
  • ApparenADHD can appear in children between ages of 3=6 and may continue in adulthoodt Listening Problems
  • Difficulty following direction
  • Forgetful in daily activities
  • Trouble paying attention to details
  • often makes careless errors in schoolwork
  • Does not complete assigned task
  • Tendency to lose things, toys, notebooks, homework
  • Problems with organization
  • Avoids / dislikes tasks that need mental effort
  • hyperfocused on things they like


A HyperActive & Impulsive Type: 


  • fidgeting & Squirming
  • Problems remain seated
  • Constantly on the go, running around when inappropriate
  • Excessive talking, often at inappropriate time
  • Butts into conversations uninvited
  • Inability to wait for turn
  • Unable to settle in quiet activity
  • frequent touching or handling objectd

Major causes of ADHD

  • ADHD is a disease often Causes of ADHD are unknown, but the current research on ADHD does show genetic links (DSM-5, 2013; Medline Plus, 2020; NIMH, 2016).
  • A child whose sibling or parent have ADHD will have a higher prevalence of ADHD
  • Though parental relations and Socioeconomic class may contribut to severity of ADHD, they are not the cause of it. 

no-reserch-support-as-cause-risk-facors-for-adhd-eating-too much suugar, parents, martial status or socioeconomcal status of parents

major-causes-risk-factors-of-adhd-does include genetic factors, premature delivery, low birth weight, Brain injury, Social Aspects, Prenatal tobacco, alcohol or substance abuse y mom, prenatal / early age exposue to environemtnal toxins











Cultural Considerations:

To avoid misdiagnosis, sociocultul considerations are essential during assessment of ADHD (Garcia et al. 2021).  By praticing cultural humiltity and addressing ADHD symptoms in context of client, a clinician will rule out inattention, hyperactvity and impulsivity caused by other factors (Vinson, n.d.). Historically, African-American children and

Treating ADHD : 

  • Though ADHD is listed as one of the mental disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) , it is not an anomaly or a disease that can be cured.
  • A person can manage the ADHD by medications, psychotherapy, or combination of both.
  • Multimodal treatment has show better results in ADHD management than either the psychotherapy or the medication alone. 
  • CDC recommnetations :
    Children ages 4-6 years
    Children and adolescents 6-18 years

    Recommended treatment for children and adolescents includes


ADHD Medications include Stimulants and non-stmulantsStiimulants such as Methylin, Adderall and Dexedrine shows good reults but has side effects.

Non-stimulants have fewere side effects

Research on changes in diets, Eastern medicine and alternative treatments are ongoing

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)is often used as mode of therapy for ADHD. It is aimed at changing client’s percseption on self, helping them gaining coping skills to deal with lack of executive functioning and self-esttem.
  • Mindfullness, meditation and self-regualtion along with talk therapy are used for psychoeducation.
  • Family places a big part in empowering or demeaning the person with ADHD (Dyken, 2015).
  • Parent training must be customized to the culture and family rather than one size fits all approach (Manos et al. 2017)



What can Parents & Family Do?

  • Listen and respect your child, validate their feelings
  • Treat ADHD from a strength based perspective.
  • Provide Structure at home
  • Keep routine and a schedule.
  • Teach them to self-regulate;  provide necessary tools
  • Organize everyday items and keep everything in its place
  • Advocate for your child at school, home and community at large
  • Collaborate with your child and his medical care team to find out severity of the disorder, treatment goals and plans
  • Explore if your child will qualify under Idea or will have IEP to accommodate his learning needs
  • Rather than allowing the ADHD as a clutch, continue to hold them accountable for their actions. Be clear about consequences and follow through



Whare can I look for more information? 

Click on a tile for more resources



American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Neurodevelopmental Disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.)

Donzelli G, Carducci A, Llopis-Gonzalez A, Verani M, Llopis-Morales A, Cioni L, Morales-Suárez-Varela M. (2019). The Association between Lead and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.16(3):382. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030382

Dykens, E. M. (2015). Family adjustment and interventions in neurodevelopmental disorders. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 28(2), 121–126

Manos, M. J., Giuliano, K., & Geyer, E. (2017). ADHD: Overdiagnosed and overtreated, or misdiagnosed and mistreated?. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine84(11), 873–880. https://doi.org/10.3949/ccjm.84a.15051

National Institute of Mental Health (2013). Attention-Deficit HyperActivity Disorder. Retrieved March 15, 2021 from  https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml

Smith, M. (2017). Hyperactive around the world? The History of ADHD in Global Perspective, Social History of Medicine, 30(4), 767–787. https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hkw127

Vinson, S. V. (n.d.). Evaluating and treating ADHD in African American Children: Guidance for clinicians. ADDitude inside the ADHD mind. https://www.additudemag.com/cultural-considerations-adhd/



This blogpost is created for:

Attention-Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder, a Neurodevelopment Diagnosis

MFT 6102- Pshychopathology, Diagnosis and Treatment

Mentor: Dr. Sharon BUrsky

Institution: Northcentral University