What is ADHD?

Abstract painting of woman with ADHD

ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental condition that primarily affects a person’s ability to focus, control impulses, and regulate their levels of activity. 


ADHD is recognized as a medical condition, and its impact can extend beyond academics or work, affecting relationships, self-esteem, and overall quality of life. Children with ADHD might struggle with sitting still, paying attention in school, or following instructions, while adults with ADHD might find it challenging to manage time, stay organized, or maintain steady concentration in various aspects of their lives. 


It’s important to note that while ADHD poses challenges, it also comes with unique strengths, creativity, and innovation in many individuals.

Unlocking the Potential Within: Navigating the Landscape of ADHD

In a world that celebrates rapid multitasking and constant connectivity, the realm of attention can often feel like a whirlwind. For those living with ADHD, this whirlwind can become an intricate part of their daily existence. ADHD is more than just a clinical diagnosis; it’s a unique lens through which the world is viewed, a kaleidoscope of thoughts, emotions, and potential waiting to be harnessed.

The ADHD Mosaic: A Multifaceted Experience

Imagine a mosaic, an intricate piece of art comprised  of diverse tiles. Each tile represents an aspect of ADHD – the impulsivity, the hyperactivity, and the core challenge of maintaining sustained focus. However, this mosaic is not merely a collection of deficits; it’s a testament to the vibrant and diverse inner world of individuals with ADHD.


It’s not uncommon for those with ADHD to exhibit moments of intense focus, known as hyper focus. In these instances, time seems to dissolve, and they become engrossed in an activity that captures their passion. While some may perceive this as a paradox, it is a testament to the unique wiring of their brains, a phenomenon that has the potential to lead to incredible creativity and innovation.

The Strength of Unconventional Thinking

Consider this: some of the most innovative minds in history are thought to have exhibited traits consistent with ADHD. Visionaries like Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs were known for their unconventional thinking and ability to see connections that eluded others. This unconventional thinking is a hallmark of ADHD; it’s the ability to see beyond the boundaries and weave together ideas that might seem unrelated at first glance.


Individuals with ADHD are often brimming with ideas, a constant flow of thoughts that can lead to breakthroughs when harnessed effectively. However, this gift can also be a challenge. The key lies in finding strategies to channel this creative torrent into productive avenues, allowing the individual to harness the full potential of their innovative mind.

Navigating the Challenges: Strategies for Success

While ADHD carries many strengths, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges that come with it. Time management, organization, and task initiation can often be stumbling blocks. The day-to-day demands of life can sometimes feel overwhelming, leading to frustration and a sense of being constantly behind.


But there is hope. Over the years, experts have developed a plethora of strategies that can empower individuals with ADHD to overcome these challenges. From setting structured routines and utilizing tools like planners and reminders to breaking tasks into manageable steps, these techniques serve as bridges to navigate the gaps that ADHD can create.

The Power of Connection and Understanding

In a world that values conformity and standardized achievement, those with ADHD might feel like square pegs in round holes. This is where the power of connection and understanding comes into play. Support systems, whether it’s through family, friends, therapists, or support groups, provide a safe space for individuals with ADHD to express their thoughts, fears, and aspirations.


Moreover, spreading awareness about ADHD is crucial. The more society understands the intricacies of this condition, the more accommodating and inclusive our environments can become. This understanding can lead to a shift in perspective – from perceiving ADHD as a hindrance to recognizing it as a unique and valuable trait that can contribute to the diversity of thought in various fields.

Embracing the Journey

Living with ADHD is a journey of self-discovery, growth, and resilience. It’s about learning to appreciate the mosaic of strengths and challenges that make each individual’s experience unique. It’s about celebrating moments of hyperfocus, tapping into the wellspring of creativity, and finding strategies that empower productivity.


If you or someone you know is navigating the landscape of ADHD, remember that you are not alone. Your journey is valid, and your potential is boundless. The challenges you face can become stepping stones to success, and the world is waiting to witness the remarkable contributions that your creative mind can bring forth.

Understanding Your Child With ADHD

Abstract image of child with ADHD.

Parenting is an exhilarating yet demanding journey, filled with countless joys and challenges. As we strive to understand and support our children’s growth, we sometimes encounter unexpected hurdles, such as ADHD.

Unmasking ADHD: Beyond the Stereotypes

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects millions of children worldwide. However, it is important to understand that ADHD is not simply about being “hyper” or “inattentive.” It’s a complex condition characterized by difficulties in focusing, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, which can impact a child’s academic performance, social interactions, and self-esteem.


It’s crucial for parents to recognize that ADHD is not a result of poor parenting or a lack of discipline. It has biological roots, often involving imbalances in neurotransmitters and brain structures that regulate attention and impulse control. This understanding helps parents approach their child’s challenges with empathy and patience.

Identifying the Signs: Early Detection Matters

Recognizing the signs of ADHD early can significantly improve a child’s overall well-being. Common signs include:


1. Inattention: Children with ADHD may struggle to sustain attention in tasks, often becoming easily distracted and forgetful.


2. Hyperactivity: Restlessness, excessive fidgeting, and difficulty staying still are common traits in children with ADHD.


3. Impulsivity: Acting without thinking, interrupting conversations, and struggling to wait their turn are hallmarks of impulsivity in ADHD.


If you observe these behaviours consistently and across various settings, seeking a professional evaluation is advised. Early diagnosis can lead to tailored interventions that help your child manage their symptoms and flourish.


Navigating the Diagnosis Journey

The process of obtaining an ADHD diagnosis can be overwhelming for parents. Consultation with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician, child psychologist, or psychiatrist, is essential. These experts will use a combination of interviews, observations, and standardized assessments to determine if ADHD is indeed present.


During this journey, remember that a diagnosis doesn’t define your child—it’s a tool that opens doors to better understanding their needs and providing appropriate support.

Education is Empowerment

Once a diagnosis is confirmed, educating yourself about ADHD becomes paramount. Learning about the disorder’s intricacies, treatment options, and coping strategies empowers you to make informed decisions for your child. Engage with reputable sources, attend workshops, and connect with support groups to gain insights from other parents who have walked similar paths.

Collaboration with Schools and Educators

Effective communication with your child’s school is vital. Share your child’s diagnosis with teachers and administrators, fostering a collaborative environment for tailored support. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan can provide accommodations, such as extended time for assignments or reduced distractions during exams, ensuring your child has equal learning opportunities.


Regular check-ins with teachers can provide valuable feedback on your child’s progress and areas that may need further attention. Remember, schools are partners in your child’s development.

Holistic Approaches to Treatment

While medication is often part of the treatment plan for ADHD, holistic approaches play a crucial role as well. Behavioral therapy, mindfulness exercises, and regular physical activity can complement medication, enhancing your child’s overall well-being. Encourage healthy eating habits and adequate sleep, as both contribute to improved focus and mood regulation.

Celebrating Small Wins

Parenting a child with ADHD can be both challenging and rewarding. Celebrate the small victories—each successful homework session, every focused conversation, and all the steps your child takes towards self-awareness. Acknowledge their effort and progress, fostering a positive environment that bolsters their self-esteem.


Parenting a child with ADHD is an intricate journey that requires patience, understanding, and an unwavering commitment to your child’s well-being. Remember that you are not alone—many parents share similar experiences and challenges. By educating yourself, advocating for your child’s needs, and approaching their journey with empathy, you can help them thrive in a world that may seem overwhelming at times. The path may be winding, but with your love and support, your child can navigate the complexities of ADHD and shine brightly in their own unique way.


Did you know your child doesn’t have to be diagnosed with ADHD to be treated? If you believe your child has ADHD, contact Calgary Family Counselling for a free consultation.

What You Need To Know About ADHD In Adults

Abstract image of man with ADHD.

In a world that thrives on structure and conformity, the realm of ADHD in adults stands as a testament to the diversity of human minds. Often overshadowed by its more recognized manifestation in children, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults is a complex and often misunderstood phenomenon. As we journey through life, it becomes evident that the paths we tread are not always the same – and neither are our brains. 

The Myth of Outgrowing ADHD

Contrary to the common misconception that ADHD is a childhood ailment that miraculously disappears with age, research indicates that up to 80% of children with ADHD continue to exhibit symptoms well into adulthood. The roller coaster of emotions, the tendency to lose track of time, and the perpetual struggle to maintain focus are not merely quirks but part of a unique cognitive makeup. For those living with adult ADHD, every day presents a set of challenges that require a nuanced understanding of their own minds and a society that embraces neurodiversity.

Embracing Neurodiversity

Society has come a long way in accepting and celebrating differences, but the journey toward full inclusivity is far from over. Embracing neurodiversity means acknowledging that the diversity of human minds is just as valid as the diversity of our cultures, languages, and traditions. Adults with ADHD often possess remarkable strengths that stem from their unique wiring. Hyperfocus, for instance, allows them to delve into tasks with an intensity that others might find hard to muster. Creativity flourishes in the fertile ground of scattered thoughts, leading to innovative solutions and new perspectives.

Navigating a Non-Linear Life

While society often follows a linear trajectory from school to career to retirement, adults with ADHD might find themselves wandering through a more unconventional path. A multitude of interests can lead to a diverse range of experiences. These life detours, though unconventional, can provide invaluable insights and skills that can be woven into a rich tapestry of personal growth. It’s important to recognize that success does not always adhere to a predetermined timeline, and that the beauty of individuality lies in the varied ways in which we flourish.

Challenges as Catalysts for Growth

The road paved with ADHD comes with its fair share of potholes – difficulties in maintaining focus, impulsivity, and the ever-elusive battle with time management. Yet, these challenges are not barriers; they are stepping stones that shape character and foster resilience. Overcoming obstacles requires creative problem-solving, adaptability, and the ability to rise after every fall. The setbacks that may arise in the lives of adults with ADHD often serve as catalysts for growth, fostering a sense of determination that leads to triumphs both big and small.

The Power of Connection and Understanding

Being an adult with ADHD can sometimes be a solitary experience, as navigating a world designed for neurotypicals can be overwhelming. Yet, in the era of connectivity, the power of understanding and shared experiences should not be underestimated. Online communities, support groups, and advocacy organizations have sprung up to provide a safe space for individuals to share their stories, exchange coping strategies, and remind one another that they are not alone in their journey.

A Call for Empathy

Empathy lies at the heart of building a more inclusive society for adults with ADHD. It’s essential to recognize that their challenges are not indicative of a lack of effort, but rather a different way of processing the world around them. By actively seeking to understand their experiences, we foster an environment that values diverse minds and opens the door to collaboration that transcends the boundaries of traditional thinking.

In a world that constantly seeks to categorize and standardize, the realm of ADHD stands as a vibrant reminder of the beauty of individuality. As we conclude this exploration into the hidden world of ADHD, let us carry with us the understanding that the challenges faced by those with ADHD are not weaknesses, but rather opportunities for growth and resilience. 

By embracing neurodiversity, fostering empathy, and dismantling the stigma surrounding ADHD, we can create a society where every unique mind is celebrated for its strengths and contributions. As we journey forward, let’s remember that the world is a richer place when we open our hearts and minds to the kaleidoscope of human experiences, and in doing so, we pave the way for a more inclusive and compassionate future for all. If you are interested in learning if you have ADHD, contact Calgary Family Counselling.