What is ADHD?
ADDCA, the renowned ADHD Coaching Academy based in New York defines ADHD as:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as a unique brain wiring which requires engaged interest with a clear, purposeful intention in order to activate and access attention so an individual can manage the brain's Executive Functioning.
Edward M. Hollowell quote from Delivered by Distraction explains:
"Having ADD makes life paradoxical. You can superfocus sometimes, but also space out when you least mean to. You can radiate confidence and also feel as insecure as a cat in a kennel. You can perform at the highest level, feeling incompetent as you do so. You can be loved by many, but feel as if no one really likes you. You can absolutely, totally, intend to do something, then forget to do it. You can have the greatest ideas in the world, but feel as if you can’t accomplish a thing.”
"Having ADHD makes life paradoxical."
Edward M. Hallowell
Hyperactive & Impulsive
Individuals with hyperactive and impulsive ADHD exhibit a characteristic trait of constant movement and are often described as being "driven by a motor." Even seated, they may experience difficulty staying still, often squirming and fidgeting. These individuals may also struggle with self-regulation and self-control, frequently interrupting others, engaging in non-stop talking, and impulsively blurting out answers. It is important to note that hyperactive and impulsive ADHD is a subtype commonly recognised by society and tends to be diagnosed more frequently in children and men.
Individuals with inattentive ADHD face difficulty sustaining attention, following detailed instructions, and organizing tasks and activities. They may frequently make careless mistakes and struggle with weak working memory. These individuals are easily distracted and often misplace things. Unfortunately, they may be mistakenly labelled as "lazy" or lacking persistence due to their tendency to wander off task or appear dreamy. It's important to note that inattentive ADHD is increasingly diagnosed in children and adults, including girls.
Individuals with combined-type ADHD exhibit a combination of symptoms related to both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. They typically experience six or more symptoms associated with inattention and six or more symptoms linked to hyperactivity and impulsivity. This dual presentation of symptoms requires a comprehensive understanding and tailored approach for effective management and support.
What is executive functioning?
"Children aren’t born with these skills — they are born with the potential to develop them."
Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that help us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.
These skills depend on three types of brain function: working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control. These functions are highly interrelated, and the successful application of executive function skills requires them to operate in coordination with each other.
Each type of Executive Function skill draws on elements of the others.
Working memory governs our ability to retain and manipulate distinct pieces of information over short periods of time.
Mental flexibility helps us to sustain or shift attention in response to different demands or to apply different rules in different settings.
Self-control enables us to set priorities and resists impulsive actions or responses.