How can we raise our kids with ADHD to become mentally healthy and successful adults. We talk with Dr. Edward (Ned) Hallowell, a board-certified child and adult psychiatrist, a NY Times bestselling author, and a leading authority in the field of ADHD. He authored the groundbreaking book on ADHD, Driven to Distraction, and has written several other books on ADHD, including a newly released e-book co-authored with Lisa Schuman titled: ADHD and Adoption. He was a Harvard Medical School faculty member for 21 year, and is the Founder of The Hallowell Centers.

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Hit the Highlights
  • What is ADHD?

  • Symptoms: emotionally much younger than their chronological age, impulsivity, hyperactivity, distractibility and disorganization

  • What causes ADHD?

  • The genetics of ADHD.

  • Are adopted and foster kids more prone to ADHD?

  • How to tell if our child’s behavior is ADHD or caused by the trauma they’ve experienced?

  • Kids with ADHD are so often misunderstood by important adults in their lives: teachers, coaches, scout leaders… It’s important that we parents are not part of that group.

  • We want to avoid “learned helplessness” which occurs when a child has seen himself fail over and over again. This child is at risk of eventually feeling like a failure and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • Importance of early diagnosing and intervention.

  • Who to go to for diagnosing?

  • Nutrition and lifestyle that will help kids with ADHD.

  • To medicate or not?

  • Once on medication, should you consider taking your child off medication? Medication break/holiday?

  • Managing expectations.

  • Stop comparing your child and yourself to other parents and their “perfect” kids.

  • Self control

  • Sticking to an activity. Finding the balance between encouraging a child to persist and letting go is challenging.

  • Why can my child focus on a video game but take 3 hours to finish a 30 minute homework assignment. And what can I do about it??

  • What to let go and what to not. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

  • ADHD is not a disorder, but rather a trait. If you don’t manage it properly it can become a disorder, but if you do manage it properly, it can become a tremendous asset! That’s your goal, as a parent, to turn your child’s ADHD into an asset, as it is for the many hugely successful adults who have it.

  • Think of treating ADHD not as treating a disability but as unwrapping a gift. These children may pose problems, but they also come with talents and skills -gifts- just waiting to be unwrapped. They are usually creative, original, intuitive, energetic, persistent, imaginative- all qualities that can’t be bought or taught. They also typically have a wonderful sparkle about them that can light up the world, as long as it is not extinguished.

  • Explaining ADHD to the child.


Music credit: Michael Ashworth