• Decrease in ability to concentrate tendency for mind to wander.

• Inability to focus – considered a daydreamer, not paying attention.

Difficulty setting goals, completing tasks or assignments.

• Becomes overloaded with too many assignments at once. Many times nothing gets accomplished or only portions of the work are completed.

Difficulty sitting still for long periods of time. May appear disruptive or agitated.

Poor organisational skills – leads to lost homework, missing articles of clothing, forgotten appointments, frustration, and family chaos on a daily basis.

• Individuals with ADHD miss social cues – seen as rude or insensitive by others.

Difficulty making friends or acting appropriately/comfortably in social situations.

Self-esteem is very low. People with ADHD are labeled the “space cadet,” the bad kid, the stupid kid, the forgetful, messy, disorganized person, and the “good for nothing” failure!

Life planning skills are limited or unrealistic.

• There is a known increase in risk-taking activities where individuals behave very bold and fearless. This can lead to dangerous consequences such as auto accidents, drug and alcohol experimentation, and other dangerous activities.

• Tendency to hyperfocus – this is good when working on a deadline, but detrimental when there are other priorities left behind when hyperfocusing.

Co-morbid (co-existing) conditions are often present. These conditions need to be identified and treated.

Non-ADHD family members become frustrated with the ADHD sibling, parent or spouse. They need to be educated on ADHD and learn coping mechanisms to reduce their own stress and be of help to those with ADHD. Family coaching or family therapy can be helpful.

Parents of children with ADHD have a high stress level. Anger may increase especially when child is extremely hyperactive or has oppositional behaviors. Their stress needs to be managed and they need a support system.

Many parents of children with ADHD have ADHD themselves (diagnosed or not). They
benefit from organisational skill building to manage family life.

Depression is frequent in adults. They have lived with low self-esteem and failure for many years and continue to “beat up” on themselves emotionally.

Difficulty in keeping a job is common. Intelligence and creativity may be high, but organizational skills and task management are lacking.

• Adults need to seek out jobs that match their interests and will accommodate their ADHD. Inappropriate career choices lead to frequent changes and a poor work record, making it increasingly difficult to “try again.”

Siblings may resent the attention the child with ADHD receives.

Positive reinforcement and verbal communication are critical in building self-esteem and providing a safe environment for learning social skills.

• Maintaining a positive ADDitude and sense of humor is very important to the success of treatment.