Understanding ADHD

Distractibility. Impulsiveness. Hyperactivity. And help!

The world is full of distractions and interruptions. Everyone has trouble focusing sometimes. We all make some bad decisions. But when these issues interfere with the ability to succeed in the classroom or the workplace, they could be signs of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

No, people can’t “outgrow” it. But they CAN get help.

What is ADHD?

ADHD, also called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), affects about 1 out of 10 children, making it one of the most common problems kids face, especially boys.

And many adults grow up without realizing how ADHD has played a significant role in their lives.

Most people with ADHD have at least one or two of the following issues:

Distractibility–can’t stay focused. Typical behaviors might be daydreaming, losing things, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate in a group or being chronically late.

Impulsiveness–acting before thinking. This may include interrupting, intruding, talking too much, trouble taking turns, making careless mistakes, taking risks, trouble getting along with others, temper tantrums, meltdowns and finding it hard to resist temptation.

Hyperactivity–over-activity. This may include difficulty sitting still and constant squirming, fidgeting and poor physical coordination.

Don’t be fooled into thinking these behaviors are caused by laziness or not caring about others. And don’t make the mistake of blaming poor parenting, immaturity or stress. There’s a scientific explanation: The brains of people with ADHD work differently than others.

No Easy Answers

Life isn’t easy for those with ADHD. It may look like–or be combined with–other challenges including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorders or learning disabilities.

In fact, about half of the children with ADHD also have other behavioral problems. The most successful treatments address all issues at the same time.

Because a one-size-fits-all strategy doesn’t work with ADHD, treatment recommendations are customized to each situation. They may include a mix of:

  • Medications. Some patients respond best to “stimulants” which can have a calming effect for some. For others, non-stimulants improve the ability to focus, learn and work.
  • Behavioral intervention. Strategies are developed to change behavior with a practical approach, like learning to be more organized, or working through emotionally difficult events.
  • Parent training. This helps parents understand ADHD, cope with their feelings and see the impact on their family. Together, children and their parents develop new skills, attitudes and ways of relating to each other.
  • School accommodations. Sometimes it takes a “village” to get the best results. Parents and children can work with teachers and the school administrators to improve the classroom experience.

How Pine Rest can help

Although there’s no “cure” for ADHD, it can be successfully treated. Pine Rest helps children and adults with ADHD live the healthiest lives possible.

The first step is an accurate diagnosis

The Pine Rest’s Psychological Consultation Center’s team of doctoral-level psychologists has provided helpful diagnoses for thousands of children and adults. We use methods developed by internationally recognized scientists and clinicians to reach a complete understanding of the situation.

Your assessment will cover child development, family history, school experiences, attention impulse control and functioning. Our experts will also screen for other disorders that impact the diagnosis. When the assessment is finished, they will review the results with you and provide a written report to share with your doctor, your schools and others.

The next step is treatment. Our network of outpatient clinics throughout Michigan and Iowa helps those with ADHD by treating all aspects of a person’s emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

Pine Rest Services

ADHD Assessments, to schedule a new outpatient appointment, call 866.852.4001.

Counseling/Outpatient Services, to schedule a new outpatient appointment, call 866.852.4001.

Understanding ADHD Cover

Additional Resources on ADHD*


National Institute of Mental Health



*Please note: You are leaving the Pine Rest Website when you click on these links.

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