Struggle with ADHD? Here’s Some Tips!
Are you a “bad” student or do you just have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)? ADHD may be the culprit to understanding why you struggle academically or at work. According to the CDC and the NIMH, ADHD is one of the most prevalent mental disorders amongst children, teens, and young adults, along with a growing concern over anxiety and depression. Understanding your ADHD or your child’s ADHD may be the solution to excelling in your academic or work environment, and can help you grow as a person. I sat down with our very own Nina Kosubevsky, MSW, so that you, our readers, could gain insight into how best to identify your ADHD and overcome it. Read on for Nina’s expert advice and thoughts:
Signs of ADHD in You or Your Child
By now, you’ve likely heard of it. It’s a buzz word that gets thrown around on the news and social media often, but what exactly does it look like and what does it mean for you? I hope by writing this that you’re better able to understand yourself and how you interact with the world around you. Here are some signs you can look for in identifying it:
- Lack of focus
- You might find that you get easily distracted. You also could be experiencing a scenario where you start a task and then move onto a different one, therefore forgetting you even started the first. Or you find yourself in a room wondering what you came in there for. You had to have a reason, right?
- Not being able to sit still
- You’re at school or work and you need to get up out of your chair and do something else. Maybe you go to the water fountain, not because you’re thirsty but because you’ve got ants in your pants. You have to take frequent breaks, just to get away from your desk or space.
- Do you unconsciously find yourself bouncing your legs, twirling your hair, or picking at your skin in some way? Maybe you even doodle during class or in meetings instead of taking notes. This can be an indicator for a number of things, ADHD being one of them.
- Blurting things out or interrupting
- For youths, this can typically show up as constant interruptions in conversations. Maybe you feel like your child isn’t fully hearing you out because they immediately cut you off. You might even have identified this as being ‘rude’ or ‘lacking manners’, but it can often be an indicator that a child lacks impulse control, another key component to ADHD
- Making careless mistakes or overlooking details
- With ADHD, doing mundane tasks takes a lot of effort because you have to focus on them more carefully. As a result of ADHD, this can often lead to mistakes, such as when doing math homework or data entry like filling out forms, and gives the appearance of carelessness. This is often why people can ‘feel’ like a bad student without actually being one.
As a social worker, my role is to help you overcome the challenges that you are presented with as a result of your ADHD, which, as I outlined above, can be many and varied. The first thing to know is that you aren’t alone if this is something you deal with. As Mike said above, it’s a growing problem in our society, and more and more children and young adults face these growing challenges every day.
Here are my top tips for coping with ADHD:
- Planning Breaks
- Setting timers for taking breaks can help you keep focus longer and break up the monotony that can so easily set in.
- Move around or give yourself the ability to do so
- Don’t feel like you have to stay seated just because you have to complete a task. Having that mindset can actually make things worse. Instead, allow yourself to get up and move around.
- Finding a quiet space to work in
- Create the right environment for you. Maybe that means finding a quiet place or creating that space. It might also include getting noise canceling headphones if your work setting or school environment will allow you to. Lastly, you might look into different type of seating.
- Get a psycho-educational evaluation for an IEP
- Getting your child’s school to perform a psychoeducational evaluation done can be very beneficial. Depending on the results of the evaluation your child could be eligible for some accommodations. This includes getting an IEP/504 plan so they get more time to work on assignments. It could even include getting special seats that allow for leg bouncing.
- Come see me or another trained professional at our practice.
- I specialize in helping people cope with ADHD and other school and life issues that inhibit their growth. If the above tips and tricks aren’t quite enough for you and you need that extra help, I’m just a phone call away. Reach out to our Intake Coordinator to get on my schedule.
It is my hope that you find these tips and tricks helpful. Through learning more about what you’re struggling with, you can overcome those challenges and live a more fulfilling life. As I said above, coping with ADHD takes time and effort, but don’t be discouraged: there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this it would be this: be an advocate for yourself. If you notice you’re struggling, get the help you need. Because, together we can build a better tomorrow.