- About Learning Disabilities (LDs)
- About ADHD
- Related Challenges with LD & ADHD
ADHD is a complex disorder. There are many treatment and interventions available to families, but there are four broad areas supported by research.
Education about the Disorder
There are a lot of misconceptions about ADHD. In order to best support the individual, we need to understand the totality of the impact of ADHD on their life and others. When the individual and others in their life (such as family members, teachers, and coaches) learn accurate information about ADHD, they have more insight into the daily struggles, are less likely to assign blame, and are more likely to engage in helpful strategies.
Stimulant medication have been prescribed for decades and continues to be a first-line treatment. Approximately 70-85% of individuals will respond well to stimulants. There are also non-stimulant medications available for those that do not respond well to stimulants. The adverse effects of medications for ADHD are typically mild and can be addressed by changing the dose or medication.
Environmental Supports and Behavioral Strategies
Support System in Place: Because ADHD is complex, the individual will need support from those around them. All of these individuals may benefit from education and training in ways to support the individual: parents, teachers, employers, spouses, coaches, etc.
Environmental Supports: Providing structure, consistency, predictability, clear expectations and limitations.
Behavioral strategies and tools: Supporting executive function skills like time management and organization, as well as emotional regulation.
Self determination and Self Advocacy
Individuals with ADHD often do not have positive feelings about themselves and do not believe that they can set and achieve goals. Self-determination involves self-knowledge, the ability to plan and act and the ability to learn from experience. It is critical to success in life.
To be an effective self- advocate, the following are important:
- knowing your learning strengths and needs
- knowing how you learn best and what accommodations and supports are most helpful
- being able to communicate your needs to others in a positive way
Lifestyle (diet, exercise, sleep)
A healthy lifestyle can help to control ADHD symptoms. Ensuring a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy sleep habits are important measures that can contribute to well-being and success for individuals with ADHD.