Will Medication get at this? - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Will Medication get at this?



My daughter's biggest ADHD symptom that is a constant struggle is her lack of ability to:

1. work towards a long goal and challenge herself

2. Only being interested in new things and environments that are novel and losing interest as soon as things get tough

I know that medication helps with focus during school and activities, but can it also help her with finding things less boring or persisting through difficult activities?

She was on medication for a bit, but the side effects were crazy and we stopped. We are considering a new medication, but I want to make sure if we are medicating her that we are getting at the symptoms that are her biggest challenges and not just medicating areas where she is alright.

2 Replies

Those are both typical challenges for ADHD people, so the right medication should help. And both those issues are actually focus related. One sustained focus persisting to a goal and one regulating focus for something you are not interested in.

I’ve been listening to a great talk by Russell Barkley where he explains that just like someone in a wheelchair needs a ramp to get into a building, someone with ADHD has to use helps to compensate for what they lack. He says, for instance, they need to be taught how to break up long term projects into small pieces and be given rewards for achievement that make up for the lack of internal motivation. My husband and I have realized we’ve been trying to fix things—like our daughter’s complete lack of a sense of time—instead of teaching her how to externally compensate—like setting timers.

Everything lbayely said is great!

Medication alone may not single-handedly correct these problems, but it should make it a bit easier to teach her how to handle these problems.

I love Russell Barkley! We also really liked Smart but Scattered, which is actually the only book every mental health professional keeps recommending to us.

Though not an official “disorder” (I think), my son also mimics a lot of the symptoms of Underachievement Syndrome (they only want to do things that come easily to them.) How we handle that is giving him the tools to succeed, teach him how to use them, but don’t do it for him & keep him accountable. He’s very afraid of failing, so we let him falter a little bit to learn it’s ok as long as you learn from it & don’t wallow. We give him chores & responsisbities he can handle - it actually builds his confidence that he is competent. We use a timer & work with him to break down long assignments, but we don’t do assignments for him. Things like that.

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