Tuesday, February 3, 2009


When I worked with children who had AD(HD) their parents did not understand that inconsistent behavior was one of the hallmarks of this disorder. Rather, parents reported that their ADD child did not try hard enough and was lazy and irresponsible. Actually, it is now realized that children with ADD are unable to be consistent despite their efforts. One day, an ADDer brings his completed homework to school, and the next day he loses it. Exam grades in a subject can be A one day, and F the next day--very confusing.

Now we know that arousal and attentional levels are variable in ADDers. If stimulant medication and/or serious consequences are used, attent ion to detail and focusing improves. The fact is that ADD children do much better when tasks are truly stimulating to them. Likewise, ADD adults find if the job or school is not stimulating, they are likely to do poorly, and others will say 'He has potential, but is not motivated.'. Often many jobs do not have deadlines , which are necessary for the ADDer. The ADDer can take stimulant medication to maintain a consistent level of alertness and arousal. However, he/she must use strategies as well. ADDers work wel l with a high level of arousal, and when consequences are negative.

One recommendation for ADDers in the workplace is, of course, to find a job that is generally stimulating and a good fit for their brain style. Then the ADDer has to set deadlines by meeting at regularly scheduled times with his professor at school or boss at work.( Failure to show up would be disastrous). This approach can prove successful even if the work is done at the 11th hour ( since ADDers tend to procrastinate). Hopefully, this will help to maintain consistency, especially if he has a coach to remind him of various effective strategies. What do you do to maintain consistency at home, school or work?

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