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Do you have a wild child? A child that doesn’t stop moving, doesn’t stop talking, makes poor decisions on a regular basis, can only focus on things they love, such as video games? The world is full children and adults with these same struggles, some have a diagnosis of ADHD. Some have the combined type of ADHD with the inattentive subtype (previously known as ADD)

What is ADHD?

Catherine L. Leon with a Contribution from C.J. Hunter, M.A.Explained it very well. Check out the whole article for more information here: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder DSM-5 314.01 (ICD-10-CM Multiple Codes) – Therapedia (

ADHD symptoms fall into two primary categories: (1) inattention and (2) hyperactivity/impulsivity. Inattention symptoms may include a short attention span and a lack of response to verbal or gestural cues. Hyperactive symptoms may manifest themselves in the display of excess motoric activity energy, rapid speech, fidgeting, etc. He/she may also have problems remaining seated, particularly during childhood years. Impulsive actions often demonstrate a disconnect between executive functioning and actions. Co-morbid disorders often associated with ADHD would include autism spectrum disorder and a number of mood and anxiety disorders.

For a diagnosis of ADHD under DSM-5, a person must display at least six symptoms, whereas those over the age of 17 years must present with five symptoms from both categories (Inattention and Hyperactivity-Impulsivity). In addition, symptoms must persist for at least six months and also be inconsistent with one’s developmental level (APA, 2013). Below are examples of behavioral and cognitive symptoms from both categories referenced earlier.

Inattention – Does not pay close attention to details, difficulty sustaining attention, does not listen when spoken to directly, does not follow instructions/finish schoolwork, difficulty organizing tasks/activities, avoids sustained mental effort, loses important things, easily distracted, forgetful

Hyperactivity-Impulsivity – Fidgets/squirms, leaves seat, runs about/climbs, difficulty playing quietly, often ‘on the go,’ talks excessively, blurts out answers before questions are completed, difficulty waiting for one’s turn interrupts or intrudes on others

Life is not easy when you have a child that struggles with constant behaviours, poor time management, and social skills. A child that needs constant reminders and extra help. However, these children are the ones that suffer the most. They can’t do what others appear to do with ease. They get quickly blamed, shamed, and labeled. This affects their self-concept, their feeling of belonging, and fitting in. When their self-concept is hurt their self-esteem suffers. This image below breaks down what these children struggle with: 

Can you imagine waking up each day and trying to do well at school, with friends, and in extracurriculars without these skills? Skills that you and I find easy. Skills we may not realize thneed to be taught. Not once, but over and over again. There are children that are born resilient, that can do things on their own, they figure it out. Many cannot, it’s our job to help them. This task can be very frustrating, especially when we can’t relate to their daily struggles. I promise the work will be worth it. 

Children with ADHD need patience from us, the tools to succeed and lots and lots of repetition. It will be a lot of work now, but in time you will teach your children how to be independent and successful people. 

Here is a short list of helpful tools: 

  1. Visuals (lists, pictures, calendars, etc)
    1. Evening/bedtime routine:
  2. Checklists ( routines, what goes in my school bag, hockey bag, etc)
    1. Team family chart:
    2. Team Family Chore Chart (for 3 family members) | Mom the Manager
    3. Reward chart: Reward Chart for Children | Mom the Manager
  3. Timers (clocks, microwave timers, egg timer,s etc)
    1. Sand timers:
    2. 60-minute visual timer:
    3. Time Tracker:
  4. Fidget toys (silly putty, fidget for your digit, etc)
    1. Thinking Putty:
    2. Fidget pack:
  5. Give them lots of praise for their effort, it will go a long way.

Remember they aren’t waking up each day trying to make you angry. They need help and guidance. The more attention you start giving to the good behaviour the more you will see the behaviour you want.  Children want to do well. Once they learn the skills, parents can start stepping back and watch them do well! 

Start with catching them being good. If they can’t sit for ten minutes, catch them in the first five minutes and praise their efforts. Notice what they need help with. What skill do they need and take small broken down steps to show them. 

You can do this! Your children will thank you for it later. 

Grab your free ADHD 101 parenting guide at the link below:

Thriving Not Surviving with ADHD (

Join the waitlist for my New ADHD Program “Nurturing Their Superpower” :