Some of the first signs that can lead a parent to suspect ADD/ADHD are difficulty focusing, lack of motivation and organizational problems. True ADD, however, can take numerous forms, as Daniel Amen’s work on analyzing brain images reveals. A thorough evaluation at the start of treatment is crucial, as the above symptoms may instead be signs of other school, family or peer problems. Our work, then, often includes increasing client motivation by deeply sensing their pride of success and independence. Here again are body-held symptoms that we will be working to lessen. For example, perhaps your teen experiences subtle nausea when homework is discussed? Or perhaps a jaw tightening occurs when math class comes . . . in preparation for him/her feeling bad or less capable? In days of old, these dynamics and sensations were raced past. This time, we'll slow down and together, we’ll discover the best way for parents or partners to help.
We may help enhance life structure, organization and understanding through education and problem-solving about the challenges of a distracted brain and its concrete life implications. True ADD/ADHD is often quite hereditary, so we may suggest helping in an inter-generational way. Finally, medication management is also an important part of our work, as is helping a person struggling with ADD tune into their body.
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“When I come to therapy here, I feel like I am at ... it’s my 2nd home! I can’t wait for the next session. My attitude’s a lot better now.” —From a pre-teen, anonymous, in our last survey