It's important to be well informed and prepared to cope with the reality of ADHD.
The challenges of ADHD
Living daily with a condition such as attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADHD) can be a real challenge, not only for the children, adolescents, and adults affected by it, but also for their families and other people around them. This type of diagnosis requires an effort to accept and adapt.
ADHD is a neurological disorder that causes difficulties with attention (absentmindedness, distractibility, inattention or a lack of meticulousness, etc.), hyperactivity (lack of control, restlessness, difficulty controlling or slowing down thoughts, etc.) and impulsivity (aggressive or dangerous behaviour, speaking out of turn, and inappropriate comments, etc.). It has a number of repercussions which affect areas including academic, family and social spheres.
When dealing with ADHD, it is normal to sometimes feel exhausted, helpless or demoralized. Fortunately, there are a number of resources intended to help people affected by ADHD, whether it is for a child, adolescent, parent, teacher or healthcare professional. People who are well-equipped are able to meet the many challenges of ADHD with success.
This text is intended to help you learn more about the various useful resources. For additional information about ADHD, read the following text: Demystifying ADHD.
Today, managing ADHD is based on, among other things, the use of a drug class called psychostimulants. These are medications that increase the release of certain chemicals (neurotransmitters) to facilitate communication between different areas of the brain. This promotes the person's concentration and attention, while reducing hyperactivity and impulsivity. Other drug classes can also be used.
The decision to use a drug treatment to counter the negative effects of ADHD is a very important one and it is beneficial in many cases. However, this option represents only one aspect of managing ADHD and other effective approaches and actions should not be overlooked.
For additional details, read the following text: Better understanding the effects of psychostimulants.
It's easy to mistakenly label someone with ADHD who has not been evaluated and diagnosed with the condition. That being said, ADHD is a medical condition for which specific diagnostic criteria has been established. Before starting any therapeutic process, it is important to obtain a diagnosis.
A diagnosis for ADHD can be made by various professionals who have an expertise in this field (family doctor, psychiatrist, child psychiatrist, pediatric neurologist, psychologist, neuropsychologist, etc.).
Consult your CLSC if you are looking for a professional to evaluate your child or adolescent. It is also possible to access private resources.
Psychological care is useful for people with ADHD in many cases. Several types of therapies can be considered, including behavioural therapy, which, among other things, helps to resolve behavioural and relational behaviours associated with ADHD. Parents and children can benefit from some kind of psychological support.
To find a psychologist in your area, you can consult the Ordre des psychologues du Québec website at: https://www.ordrepsy.qc.ca/.
Quebec schools offer access to certain professionals for students who have difficulties such as ADHD. Professionals such as psychologists, psychoeducators, remedial teachers, special education teachers or speech therapists use their expertise and various measures to promote learning, social integration, rehabilitation or the young person's level of functioning in their life or academic environment or in other areas.
Having strong support at school can make a world of a difference. Note that it is also possible to consult these types of specialists in the private sector. The fees incurred by this type of process can prove to be a sound investment.
To find out about available resources in an academic environment, speak to management or school staff at your child's school.
The Internet is packed with a host of interesting websites designed to provide parents with information on ADHD and how it can be managed. A large number of books for adults or children offer a wealth of information to debunk this disorder. Search for information armed with your foresight and critical thinking.
Among other things, you will find the contact information for support groups for people with ADHD on internet websites.
Here are a few examples of websites that we think are worth visiting:
- http://tdah.ca/ (French only)
- https://aqnp.ca/documentation/developpemental/tdah/ (French only)
Every child deserves a bright future where they can thrive and succeed. That's why we need to give them every opportunity to cope with the reality of ADHD, discover their own winning strategies and develop their full potential. Remember that when it comes to medication and health, your pharmacist is always there to help you!