October is ADHD Awareness Month. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects millions of people worldwide, and this month is dedicated to raising awareness, reducing stigma, and celebrating the unique qualities and talents of individuals with ADHD. Whether you are newly diagnosed, a veteran with your diagnosis, know someone, or work with someone with ADHD, I share what ADHD is, explore the challenges, and emphasize why it is important to embrace neurodiversity.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by executive function issues, including motivation, organization, inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These factors can significantly impact a person’s daily life.
- Those with ADHD have difficulty organizing their belongings and their time. Some people lose track of keys, papers, appointments, and time.
- Time awareness is poor for those with ADHD. They are not sure of how much time has passed, how long a task will take, or have trouble managing their time.
- Impulsivity such as acting through thinking or interrupting others can cause unintended consequences for those with ADHD.
- Lack of attention on tasks, following through with instructions, or staying on track impairs productivity.
- Individuals with ADHD struggle more with procrastination due to trouble initiating tasks and sustaining effort over time.
- Transitioning between tasks and shifting attention can interfere with time management.
- Because of poor working memory, people with ADHD may have difficulty holding onto information in their heads, following through on multiple-step tasks, and increased frustration with multiple-step tasks.
- Co-existing conditions of depression and anxiety impact these daily life activities.
Executive function deficits are common in ADHD, however not all individuals with ADHD experience the same challenges to the same degree. Every person with ADHD experiences the challenges of executive function in a different way with different levels of challenge.
ADHD Awareness Month is a time to celebrate neurodiversity by recognizing that differences contribute to the depth and breadth of our world. You can share the love of neurodiversity by learning more about it and supporting those experiencing it.
Learn about ADHD, its symptoms, and the challenges individuals face. Here are some sites that help you better understand neurodiversity.
Support individuals with ADHD with understanding. These are some ways to offer support for yourself or others with ADHD.
- Find a coach to support you with curiosity and accountability.
- Chat with friends and family about how to best support you. If you are a friend or family, take the initiative to gently discuss how you can best support them.
- Connect with ADDA-SR, ADDA, or CHADD to join a support group. Groups are offered virtually throughout the month and can be specially focused on parenting, aging, and more.
- Join an online ADHD social media support offering suggestions and support.
- Choose a therapist who specializes in support for those with ADHD.
- Build a bigger team for those with ADHD to thrive with their diagnosis.
Empower those with ADHD to embrace their unique traits and talents, fostering a positive self-image.
By getting to know ADHD better, and appreciating the strengths and challenges it brings, we can better encourage and support those with ADHD and other brain-based conditions.
Learn more here at ADHD Awareness Month!