Coping with ADD/ADHD
ADD/ADHD is one of the most common disorders affecting children world-wide. It is also frequently under-diagnosed and misunderstood as a condition. ADD/ADHD also affects the Executive Functioning (EF) processes in the brain, the areas responsible for judgment making, long-term planning, strategizing and execution of plans to create a desired outcome. Many children dealing with ADD/ADHD face additional challenges related to social and psychological development, as well as struggles relating to memory and organization. It may seem daunting, but children dealing with ADD/ADHD can access a wide variety of treatments that can greatly increase their quality of life and teach them coping mechanisms and strategies for working through their condition. Beyond that, children with this condition may be eligible for additional support through the government’s Child Disability Tax Credit.
Today, we are pleased to feature a special interview blog post with registered psychologist and certified Perinatal Mental Health Professional, Chelsea King, to talk specifically about her work with mental health in youth, as well as ADD/ADHD and how it relates to development. We will also hear about some of the treatment options that can be considered to help cope with ADD/ADHD.
Chelsea, thank you for being here today. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Chelsea Bodie (King) and I am a Registered Psychologist in Alberta. I am currently running my own private practice. My area of expertise is child and adolescent mental health. As well as I am Certified Perinatal Professional which covers the perinatal period (pregnancy to 1 year postpartum).
I also run an educational Instagram account with a colleague called Mamapsychologists where we provide information and tips for everything from pregnancy, perinatal, postpartum, and parenting.
Tell us about your experience working with ADD/ADHD Affected individuals?
I have worked both with children and adults who are affected by ADD/ADHD in a therapeutic setting to help with parenting strategies or general coping with the effects and challenges related to ADD/ADHD at both home, work, or school.
What sorts of impacts does ADD/ADHD have on an individual’s family?
ADD/ADHD can be a challenge and have a large impact on family dynamics. Often the behavioural challenges (such as impulsivity, emotional dysregulation, etc) may be overwhelming for family members. Often parents will come looking for support on how to manage the difficulties related to knowing how to best support their child with these challenges (i.e. impulsivity, hyperactivity, distractibility, etc). While children will often be placed in counselling for behavioral support or emotional support for both school, peer, and family life.
What sorts of impacts does ADD/ADHD have on an individual’s school and peer relationships?
Due to the common behavioral symptoms of ADD/ADHD peer relationships or challengings in school are really common. Often children with ADD/ADHD have difficulty relating to their peers and engaging in appropriate socially acceptable behaviour all the time. In addition, the structure of the school/learning setting can be difficult for ADD/ADHD children to remain focused and engaged in during the day.
What sorts of behavioural outcomes or impacts have you seen arise as a result of an individual dealing with the effects of ADD/ADHD?
The main behavioural impacts that I have seen are difficulties with peers or in the school setting, difficulty with regulating behaviours/impulses at home. In addition, difficulty with regulating emotions and being in control of emotions as well. It can also be really isolating if the person has difficulty relating to and engaging with their peers. There can be some positive outcomes with ADD/ADHD as well. For example, some kids are extremely creative and can use that as an outlet. Alternatively, some may have a lot of drive and energy that they can channel in a positive manner.
What sorts of behavioural supports and strategies have you seen that are helpful to individuals learning to cope with their condition?
Treatment options include:
- Parent Training/Coaching
- Support groups
- 1:1 Therapy
- Family Counselling
- Behavioural Management
- Supports within the school (if available)
- Look into additional funding: Respite, FSCD, etc.
What advice would you give to an individual with ADD/ADHD or their family?
Reach out for support and see what options are available for your family. Early intervention, if possible, is best, so if you have questions or concerns don’t be afraid to ask your family doctor.
Having a diagnosis doesn’t mean that you or child can’t go on to have a successful life- sometimes can be learned to be managed as best as possible. Therapy may not be quick and easy but it doesn’t mean you won’t see changes.
Thank you, Chelsea! ADD/ADHD can have wide and varied effects on those with the condition and it can seem like a herculean task to find support. Yet ADD/ADHD is one of the most easily treated conditions affecting children, and many people with the condition live productive and fulfilling lives, especially after receiving multi-nodal treatment. Healthy active living, medication, therapies and positive support structure are all part of managing the condition. However, not everyone with this impairment needs to shoulder the burden alone. Outside of support groups and advocacy organizations, there are also governmental supports, such as the Child Disability Tax Credit.
If you or someone you love is dealing with the challenges of coping with ADD/ADHD, we encourage you to check out some of our free resources below.
Disability Credit Canada has helped thousands of Canadians and their families get the supports they qualify for. We offer free assessments, which you can access anytime by contacting us here.
If you are interested in applying for the Disability Tax Credit, or the Child Disability Tax Credit, You can call us for FREE Assessments and we will walk you through the process step-by-step.