After the recent National CHADD Conference, I met with my Coaches Cohort – a special group of ADHD specialists, advocates, and passionate professionals like myself – whom I have known and worked with for over ten years.
Each year after the Conference, we meet to discuss new takeaways and insights to further our knowledge and understanding to support the ADHD community. We decided to do a ten-year “lookback” to share what we felt has changed most over this time. Without a doubt, the two most significant advances have been in our understanding of Executive Function and the role that Emotional Regulation plays in ADHD.
For those of you reading this who are newer to either parenting or teaching children with ADHD, it may come as a surprise to know that, for the most part, 15 years ago, mainstream practitioners were first starting to explore what Executive Function was.
I still remember listening to Dr. Sam Goldstein give a keynote address on whether we should be calling this “Executive Function,” “Executive Functions,” or “Executive Functioning”! As time progressed, we went from seeing Executive Function challenges as essentially a possible co-existing condition with ADHD to knowing that if a person has ADHD, they will have challenges in their Executive Functioning.
We have also seen a steady evolution in our understanding of emotional regulation’s role in ADHD. Again, whereas we saw emotional dysregulation as common with ADHD, we now recognize that at the core of ADHD, we are dealing with self-regulation challenges. So much so that I remember listening to Dr. Russell Barkley at the CHADD Conference in 2008 say that we may as well rename ADHD and call it DESR – Deficits in Emotional Self-Regulation.
While we all recognize that awareness of ADHD has increased, there is still so much work to be done. Unfortunately, while many schools have improved environments and supports, many parents and teachers report that greater understanding and education are still needed.
Here is an article that I wrote back in 2015 called 504 Plan or not … Let’s help kids with ADHD Learn! Times may have changed, but the advice in that article is as true today.
If you are struggling as a parent, educator, or mental health professional to adequately support the children in your world struggling with ADHD, there are now many more options available. See the resources below and reach out anytime if I can help.
Calm and Connected: Parenting Children & Teens with ADHD/Executive Function Challenges© Parent Workshop Series
8 Keys to Parenting Children with ADHD by Cindy Goldrich
Educators and School Districts:
Professional Development and School System Support
ADHD, Executive Function, & Behavioral Challenges in the Classroom: Managing the Impact on Learning, Motivation, and Stress by Cindy Goldrich & Carly Wolf
Professional Training to Become an ADHD Parent Coach
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