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Is Adhd A Mental Illness Or Disability

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How Should I Prepare For My Childs Appointment To Discuss Adhd

MY mental health | ADHD and learning disability

If you think your child has a problem with attention, hyperactivity or impulsivity, and it seems that his or her behavior at home and performance at school are being affected, your next step is to see your pediatrician.

If the symptoms are affecting your childs schoolwork, contact the school and request an evaluation. When making this request, be as specific as possible about the type of educational or behavioral difficulties your child is having.

Schools are required to evaluate children if theres evidence of a disability that affects their learning. This evaluation is free and must, by law, include appropriate standardized tests. School testing can lead to accommodations in the classroom. The school will not diagnose ADHD, but will take note of the symptoms and will often assign a designation of Other Health Impaired . Get a copy of the schools report and bring it with you to the appointment with the pediatrician.

If necessary, the family provider may suggest you take your child to a professional who specializes in ADHD and other developmental, behavioral or mental health concerns.

What Makes Adhd Symptoms Worse

Certain behaviors are expected depending on the age of a person. Because the brain doesnt develop at the same rate in everyone, cognitive functions may be poor in some people and not in others. A child 10 years old, for example, might only have the abilities of a younger child 8 years old rather than his or her same age peers. Therefore, as you or your child get older, the problem is not that ADHD gets worse, its that the childs abilities are not developing synchronized with age.

Although ADHD doesnt get worse, the tasks expected of the person become more complicated with age and circumstances, such as increased demands in school, therefore, the problematic behaviors become more problematic. For example, as the child may get a lower grade for turning in late work. Examples of other complications include:

How Is Adhd Diagnosed In Children Teens And Adults

To diagnose a child, the healthcare provider must perform three tasks. The healthcare provider must: 1) identify the presence of ADHD symptom criteria, 2) rule out alternative causes of symptoms, and 3) identify comorbid conditions .

But, the job is not yet done. Certain conditions must also be met. First, the symptom behaviors must be present in two or more settings such as at home and in school. Second, the symptoms must be impairing. Its not just that they occur as everyone engages in these behaviors sometimes. Third, symptom behaviors must have been present in childhood, typically before the age of 12 years. Last, the symptoms cannot be corollaries to another disorder that is not ADHD. For example, sometimes, when a person is depressed or anxious, inattentive behaviors may occur. The clinician will identify ADHD symptoms by asking you questions about your childs behavior s at home and school . Next, your provider will rule out other possible conditions that share some similar symptoms. These conditions include:

  • Anxiety.
  • Lead toxicity .
  • Sleep problems.

A sudden life change may also result in behaviors that could be confused with ADHD).

Sometimes, an adult will recognize the behaviors of ADHD in himself or herself when a son or daughter is diagnosed. Other times, adults will seek professional help for themselves and find that their depression or anxiety is related to ADHD.

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Resources And Support For Young People

If youre a young person looking for support for your mental health, we have a guide on finding support and visiting your doctor.

To find out more about living with ADHD and the treatment and support options available, you can find a range of resources on the ADHD Foundation website. YoungMinds also have a page on the links between ADHD and mental health that you might find useful.

For parents who are supporting a child with ADHD, you can visit the parents section of the ADHD Foundation website. YoungMinds also provide a guide on supporting your child.

Is There Definitive Test To Diagnose Adhd

Is ADHD A Disability?

ADHD requires a comprehensive assessment that includes several components, including standardized testing, direct observation and obtaining a comprehensive psycho-social history.;; A thorough assessment is necessary because other conditions, such as a learning disability or anxiety, may produce many of the same behavioral symptoms commonly associated with ADHD.; Note:; A technology called qEEG, similar to biofeedback, does show very good results in identifying ADHD brain patterns.; However, the technology is expensive and requires very specialized training to administer, so it isnt widely utilized amongst professionals that provide ADHD assessments.

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Other Criteria For Diagnosing Adhd

Other criteria for diagnosing ADHD may include:;

  • some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment before the child reached the age of seven years
  • impairment from the symptoms in two or more settings, such as at school and at home
  • symptoms that cannot be explained by another disorder .

Psychotherapy And Psychosocial Interventions

Several specific psychosocial interventions have been shown to help patients and their families manage symptoms and improve everyday functioning. In addition, children and adults with ADHD need guidance and understanding from their parents, families, and teachers to reach their full potential and to succeed.

For school-age children, frustration, blame, and anger may have built up within a family before a child is diagnosed. Parents and children may need specialized help to overcome negative feelings. Mental health professionals can educate parents about ADHD and how it affects a family. They also will help the child and his or her parents develop new skills, attitudes, and ways of relating to each other.

Behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that aims to help a person change his or her behavior. It might involve practical assistance, such as help organizing tasks or completing schoolwork, or working through emotionally difficult events. Behavioral therapy also teaches a person how to:

  • monitor his or her own behavior
  • give oneself praise or rewards for acting in a desired way, such as controlling anger or thinking before acting

Family and marital therapy can help family members and spouses find better ways to handle disruptive behaviors, to encourage behavior changes, and improve interactions with the patient.

For more information on psychotherapy, see the;Psychotherapies webpage;on the NIMH website.

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Is Adhd A Mental Illness

ADHD is a neurological condition. While it technically falls under the umbrella of mental illnesses most practitioners see it as a behavior disorder rather than a mental illness. ADHD is associated with behavior problems caused by working memory and executive functioning deficits . It also commonly co-occurs with mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, substance use disorder, and learning disabilities. Another term that is gaining acceptance that may more accurately describe ADHD is neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is a term that describes people who think and learn differently.

What Is An Example Of Hypersensitivity

Social Security Disability Claims Based on Adult ADD or ADHD

Prior to discovering my hypersensitivity, I perceived my overly emotional responses as a character flaw. My mom would say, Why cant you get on an even keel? As a child, I didnt have an answer. This added to my already-low self-esteem.

Recognizing their high sensitivity can help people stop feeling bad about themselves, says Aron.

A friend, Denise, diagnosed with ADHD at age eight, had a similar childhood to mine. My parents would say, You need to toughen up. Dont be so sensitive. Dont be so influenced by what others think about you,’ says Denise. I still find, as an adult, that if Im fighting with peers, I immediately take their words and gestures to heart. Im too quick to accept the nasty things they may be saying about me.

Denise is sensitive to environmental noise. I need to get into a forest or a quiet place every once in awhile to calm myself down. I am also overwhelmed by the constant flow of information we are bombarded with these days.

Psychologist and ADHD coach Michele Novotni, Ph.D., says she sees higher levels of physical sensitivities and emotional reactivity in her ADHD clients than in the general population. She told me about a client whose manager made an unkind, unfair remark at work. A person without ADHD may have let the words bounce off of him, but her client, who has a high level of sensitivity, ended up in tears.

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What Are Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities are neurological and are not a reflection of you or your childs intelligence or how hard you are trying. A popular way to describe LDs;is that your brain is wired differently and you receive and process information in a different way.

Learning disabilities can make reading, writing, spelling, and math difficult. They also can affect your ability to organize and recall information, to listen and speak, and can impact your short term and long term memory and timing.

The term learning disabilities is a collective term for a range of specific learning challenges. Learning disabilities are not problems with learning as a result of vision or hearing problems or learning in a second language, etc.

People with learning disabilities often have average or above average intelligence and yet there is a discrepancy between their achievements and their potential. However, with the right support and interventions, they are able to close that gap and demonstrate their skills.

What Can I Expect If I Or My Child Has Adhd

ADHD is a complicated condition with various symptom expressions. If you or your child have ADHD, educate yourself as much as possible about the behaviors that make life difficult. Consider medicines and behavioral treatments. Your healthcare provider will help you with these. He or she will sum up the results of the ADHD evaluation and will recommend appropriate treatment. A combination of pharmacotherapy and behavioral treatment, is generally recommended. A trained behavioral health clinician can give general guidelines for managing your own or your childs ADHD and these can be tailored to your familys needs and your childs strengths and weaknesses.

Also, it is always useful to have appropriate expectations for yourself and your child. Dont expect your child to get out of bed the first time you wake them up, and dont be too hard on yourself if making progress is difficult. It is always best to have your partner and friends help with tasks like organizing and time management. Stay in contact with your healthcare provider, especially if there is a change in you or your childs behaviors, or there is a reaction to prescribed medications.

Two important questions to ask yourself are: 1) “Am I moving forward in the world of action or am I living in my head? 2) “Am I moving closer to my values or am I moving away from what I value?”

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How Does Adhd Affect A Childs Schooling

Children with ADHD are at increased risk for lower academic performance and social problems . They have a greater chance of dropping out of school. Many receive lower academic scores due to problems with attention span, hyperactivity and impulsivity. A very typical problem is displayed by children who do not turn in schoolwork to the teacher even though it has been completed. Many have chaotic book bags. Entry into middle school is especially challenging for children with ADHD because they are now expected to be able to switch from class to class.

What Behavioral Treatments Are Used To Treat Childhood And Adult Adhd

Is ADHD A Learning Disability Or Mental Illness?

The best prevention for ADHD, supported by substantial research, is to use a combined approach of both behavioral intervention and pharmacotherapy. Medicines are not enough to treat you or your childs ADHD. The old adage pills dont teach skills is certainly appropriate here. Thus its best to combine medical treatments with behavioral treatments.

Behavioral treatments for childhood ADHD include:

Behavioral treatments in adults help you navigate the demand of jobs, relationships and educational opportunities. ADHD coaches are trained and certified to assist adults with ADHD to manage the various difficulties of their lives.

Behavioral treatments for adults with ADHD include:

  • Individual cognitive behavioral treatment to enhance a persons sense of self-efficacy.
  • Relaxation training and stress management to reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Behavioral coaching to teach strategies for organizing home and work activities.
  • Job coaching or mentoring to support better working relationships and improve on-the-job performance.
  • Family education and therapy to ensure that everyone in the family understands ADHD and its symptoms.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a learning difficulty caused by a neurobehavioural disorder, and is the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children.;

Attention deficit disorder is a subtype of ADHD. ;The term ADD was formally changed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition to ADHD predominantly inattentive, although attention deficit disorder remains widely used.

  • Short attention span, or being easily distracted
  • Restlessness, or constant fidgeting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsiveness

Many people with ADHD also experience additional problems such as sleep disorders, and may have further learning difficulties caused by their difficulty with holding attention.

ADHD has no effect on intelligence, but some people with a learning disability may also have ADHD.

Children will usually be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist, based on specific criteria. Adults are harder to diagnose because there is no definitive set of age-appropriate symptoms.

Approximately two in five children with ADHD will continue to have difficulties past the age of 18.

What Can I Do About It

ADHD is usually treated with a combination of medication, counselling and self-care.

  • MedicationAdults are often treated with the same kind of stimulant and non-stimulant ADHD medication as children. There is a non-stimulant ADHD medication option, which is a type of antidepressant. Other types of antidepressants may also be particularly helpful for adults who have depression or an anxiety disorder in addition to ADHD.
  • Its important to remember that different medications may not be a good option for all people. Its important to tell your doctor about your health conditions and health conditions in your family. For example, stimulant medications may not be a good option for people with heart, mood, sleep, anxiety or substance use problems.
  • CounsellingCognitive-behavioural therapy teaches you the relationship between your thoughts, moods and behaviours. It has been adapted to help people living with ADHD. A therapist can also help you make changes in your behaviour. These changes help you replace negative behaviours with positive behaviours. This may help you cope with troubling symptoms and improve your relationships with other people. Its also important to learn about ADHD. Learning about any mental illness is usually an important part of any type of counselling. Family therapy can help your entire family understand ADHD.
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    What Could And Should My Childs School Be Doing To Help

    Children with ADHD may qualify for special education services or accommodations under either of two federal laws: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    Children covered by IDEA are entitled to special education services that meet the standards of a free, appropriate education. IDEA also requires that if a childs behavior impedes learning, a functional behavior analysis must be conducted and a positive behavior plan developed. In addition, schools are prohibited from suspending for more than 10 days students whose behavior results from their disability, unless drugs or weapons are involved or the child is a danger to himself or others.

    Section 504 is a civil rights statute that makes it illegal for schools to discriminate against children with disabilities and requires them to provide reasonable accommodations, which may include the provision of services. To be eligible for Section 504, a child must have a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity. Because learning is considered a major life activity, children with ADHD are entitled to protection under the law if the condition substantially limits their ability to learn.

    Children with ADHD may benefit from modified instructions, special classroom assistance, behavior management and assistive technology .

    Research Into Use Of Biomarkers For Diagnosis

    â¨ï¸? Memory Palace vs Disability, Mental Illness, ADHD, Etc.

    Reviews of ADHD biomarkers have noted that platelet monoamine oxidase expression, urinary norepinephrine, urinary MHPG, and urinary phenethylamine levels consistently differ between ADHD individuals and healthy controls. These measurements could potentially serve as diagnostic biomarkers for ADHD, but more research is needed to establish their diagnostic utility. Urinary and blood plasma phenethylamine concentrations are lower in ADHD individuals relative to controls and the two most commonly prescribed drugs for ADHD, amphetamine and methylphenidate, increase phenethylamine biosynthesis in treatment-responsive individuals with ADHD. Lower urinary phenethylamine concentrations are also associated with symptoms of inattentiveness in ADHD individuals.Electroencephalography is not accurate enough to make an ADHD diagnosis.

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    When A Mental Illness And Learning Disability Occur Together

    Having a disability or a mental health disorder are two very different diagnoses. Yet, they are much more likely to occur together. As many as 25% of individuals with a learning disorder, such as ADHD, will suffer from a psychological illness. In a majority of these cases, a learning disability may have contributed to the onset of the psychological illness.;

    Depression is most commonly diagnosed in combination with a learning disability. Sometimes the frustration that coincides with managing ADHD can bring upon overwhelming feelings of hopelessness. In these cases, getting mental and behavioral health care could restore the quality of life for the suffering individual.;;

    What If My Boss Refuses To Make Adhd Accommodations

    Consider hiring a coach to keep your work on track. And ask the boss again a few weeks later. But if your boss starts criticizing your work performance, its probably time to consult an employment attorney about the best way to reveal your ADHD. If you get fired before disclosing that you have ADHD, it will be difficult to make the case that you were the victim of disability discrimination.

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