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Invisible Impairments of ADHD

We have traveled a distance along this journey of ADHD.

Many more people are diagnosed and treated. So many parents of diagnosed kids are now being diagnosed as they learn about the genetic nature of ADHD and realize that they, too, have always struggled but didn’t know why.

Yet so many do not know all of the characteristics of ADHD and how impairments can impact both academics and social settings. School child study teams can evaluate for learning disabilities and notice the red flags of ADHD. They can send the family to a professional who can make the medical diagnosis of ADHD . But sometimes the next critical step is side-stepped. What is that? The actual step of putting support into the child’s academic setting.

The belief is that behavior can be controlled.

Unfortunately, our children need exterior support as they learn how to self-regulate. ADHD is a disorder of executive functioning deficits in: working memory, planning, organization, and emotional regulation. Many of these deficits are not seen until middle school/high school when there are multiple teachers and various expectations. It’s no wonder that so many kids with ADHD do not finish high school.

Our kids with ADHD need to learn early on how this diagnosis impacts them in the school setting and how to advocate for their needs. They need to understand ADHD and what kinds of accommodations will help them to achieve goals and expectations. They need to feel confident that ADHD does not mean failure and stupidity.

Blog post by Karen Lowry, R.N.,M.S.N.,  a Parent2Parent ADHD Family Trainer for CHADD and ADHD Coach, AAC.