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ADD & ADHD Center

ADHD Coping Skills

by
author image Michelle Bolyn
Michelle Bolyn is a licensed mental health professional and has worked since 2006 as a therapist. Bolyn has been writing mental health, wedding-related and relationship focused articles since 2007. She is published on Suite101.com and Examiner.com. Bolyn received her master's degree in social work from New York University.
ADHD Coping Skills
Coping with ADHD starts with learning about the disorder. Photo Credit Beauty adult portrait image by Frenk_Danielle Kaufmann from Fotolia.com

Reactions to a diagnosis of ADHD vary, but many times parents become worried that their children will have constant struggles throughout life. This disorder is characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention, which can affect a child's, teen's or adult’s ability to make and maintain healthy relationships and to succeed at school and work. With treatment, such as counseling and medication, and learning coping skills, children, teens and adults can learn to live with and reduce symptoms of ADHD.

Learn About the Disorder

The first step in coping with ADHD is learning as much as you can about the disorder. Figure out how it affects you or your child personally. Some people struggle with symptoms of hyperactivity more than others, but some struggle more with symptoms of inattention. One way to learn about the disorder and how it affects you is to start therapy with a licensed mental health professional. One role of a therapist is to provide psychoeducation around mental health issues. Also, read about the disorder and the many treatments available.

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Healthy Habits

Children, teens and adults with this disorder already have a disadvantage when it comes to concentration and staying focused. They can either minimize this disadvantage by implementing healthy daily habits or increase the symptoms by having poor habits. Parents of children with ADHD should encourage their kids to play school sports and be active regularly to decrease hyperactivity. They should also ensure that their children get eight hours of sleep each night and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins. Adults with this disorder can reduce their symptoms by eating healthy, exercising daily, reducing stress and getting good sleep each night.

Get Organized

People with ADHD struggle with organization. To cope with this disorder, children, teens and adults need to take steps each day to get organized and then stay organized. Parents should work with their children to organize their backpack, binders and room. Each evening, parents can spend 10 minutes with their children reorganizing loose papers, that afternoon’s homework and toys in the child’s room. This will teach the child to work on organization each day. Adults with this disorder can cope by getting a planner and using each day to make to-do lists and to stay on track. Also, if an adult struggles with keeping her house or office organized, she should spend 10 minutes picking up and organizing items before leaving a room or office after spending time in it.

Improve Communication

Many people who have been diagnosed with ADHD have difficulty making and keeping healthy relationships. They might struggle in relationships with coworkers or peers, friends and figures of authority. According to HelpGuide, you can improve communication by being mindful when someone is speaking, engaging the other person in conversation, practicing communication skills and using your strengths.

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References

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