COMMON ISSUES FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH ADHD
People sometimes think that ADHD is experienced the same way by everyone who has it. That is simply not the case. How it affects one’s life is very dependent on a person’s life stage and age, that person’s understanding of it, and whether there is a supportive school or environment. And, among other factors, a person’s social skills, emotional resources, strengths, and motivation all influence how ADHD is experienced.
Nonetheless, there are common issues which often seem to affect both young people and adults with ADHD. They include personal, social, educational, family related, and life planning related.
Some of these are listed below (courtesy Jody Sleeper-Triplett, with whom I have trained). Rather than a check-off list, several may strike a bell and help you see where ADHD is affecting you most. Then that can suggest where and how a coach can help bring about positive change in a deliberate consistent approach.
- Decrease in ability to concentrate tendency for mind to wander.
- Inability to focus – considered a daydreamer, not paying attention.
- Difficulty setting goals, completing tasks or assignments.
- Time management is difficult, resulting in missed appointments, being late, or being clueless about the passage of time.
- Becomes overloaded with too many assignments at once. Many times nothing gets accomplished or only portions of the work are completed.
- Difficulty sitting still for long periods of time. May appear disruptive or agitated.
- Poor organizational skills – leads to lost homework, missing articles of clothing, forgotten appointments, frustration, and family chaos on a daily basis.
- Individuals with ADHD miss social cues – seen as rude or insensitive by others.
- Difficulty making friends or acting appropriately/comfortably in social situations.
- Self-esteem is low. People with ADHD are labeled the “space cadet,” the bad kid, the stupid kid, the forgetful, messy, disorganized person, and the “good for nothing” failure!
- Life planning skills are limited or unrealistic.
- There is a known increase in risk-taking activities where individuals behave very bold and fearless. This can lead to dangerous consequences such as auto accidents, drug and alcohol experimentation, and other dangerous activities.
- Tendency to hyperfocus – this is good when working on a deadline, but detrimental when there are other priorities left behind when hyperfocusing.
- Co-morbid (co-existing) conditions are often present. These conditions need to be identified and treated. These include learning disabilities, anxiety, and mood disorders.
- Non-ADHD family members become frustrated with the ADHD sibling, parent or spouse. They need to be educated on ADHD and learn coping mechanisms to reduce their own stress and be of help to those with ADHD. Family coaching or family therapy can be helpful.