Understanding your child with ADHD

I owed you this article, I have been working hard on several issues because I will bring you news soon. So I had delayed writing to you, but here I am. Today I bring you a topic which we talked about weeks ago in our Thursday with the expert in expat kids in Eindhoven. The ADHD. 

ADHD is more about loss of interest and motivation than attention an concentration.- Dr. Russell Barkley.

What is this? ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects approximately 4-8 per cent of school-aged children.

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) find it unusually difficult to concentrate on tasks, pay attention, sit still, and control impulsive behaviour. But According to studies by the Mayo Clinic Process, boys are more likely to have this disorder affects approximately 4-8 percent of school-age children.

A persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development

A few weeks ago we had as a guest at our Expat Kids in Eindhoven Expert Thursdays guest Tyler Dorsey brings you the topic "Understanding your child with ADHD"   She shared with us information necessary to understand the behaviors associated with the disorder and make effective decisions for your child about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

He began by telling us his story and the experience he had when he was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 5 and how this motivated him to work with children and their families who have been diagnosed.

She then went on to tell us that t
he ADHD is often Inherited, ADHD has a significant genetic component, which determines up to 75% of the disorder.
The ADHD was formerly known as Attention Deficit Disorder Syndrome, or ADD. In 1994, it was given a new name, and was divided into three categories, or subtypes, each with its own characteristic type of behavior.

1. Predominantly Inattentive Type

  • Often fails to give close attention to detail or makes mistakes
  • Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or activities
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or workplace duties
  • Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities
  • Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities

  2. Predominantly Hyperactive & Impulsive Type


  • Often fidgets with or taps hands and feet, or squirms in seat
  • Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
  • Often runs and climbs in situations where it is inappropriate (in
  • adolescents or adults, may be limited to feeling restless)
  • Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly
  • Is often ‘on the go’, acting as if ‘driven by a motor’
  • Often talks excessively
  • Often blurts out answers before a question has been completed
  • Often has difficulty waiting their turn
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others

  3. Combined Type

It is the most common and a combination of the previous types.

Then our expert explained to us about the executive function describes a set of mental skills that help us get things done.” These are executive functions:

  • Working memory function
  • Function of the private voice of the mind.
  • Function of the ability to self-regulate emotions and motivation.
  • Function of the ability to solve problems.

ADHD is a complex limitation of the development of executive functions, complex mental activities necessary to plan, organize, guide, review, regulate and evaluate the behavior necessary to achieve goals.

I set out to look at each one and see how each one affects the child, let's start with:

  • Working memory (the system that holds and manipulates information temporarily) children with ADHD have difficulties in the ability to retain in the mind that information needed to guide actions, remembering to do things in the near future, difficulty in memorizing and following instructions, forgetting one piece of information while working on another, difficulty in memorizing mathematical and spelling data; as well as difficulty in manipulating and transforming the information they store to guide their behavior towards a goal.
  • The function of the private voice of the mind has to do with the development of internal language, which we all use to converse with ourselves, to direct and govern behavior; the difficulties that children with ADHD have in this function hinder them in the self-regulation of behavior, because they do not remember the guidelines they have been given and when they decide to do something, they do not follow the necessary steps to achieve the goal.
  • The function of self-regulation of emotions and motivation in children with ADHD, they find it difficult to overcome or look for alternatives to overcome obstacles, being more prone to become frustrated and to not control their emotions well.
  • The function of problem-solving skills leads them not to plan problems in an orderly way and not to foresee strategies, in addition to the difficulty to pay attention to different aspects of a problem at the same time, the inability to inhibit spontaneous tendencies leading to an error (by not thinking what the consequence of an action will be, they carry it out without being able to avoid the error), to grasp the essence of a complex situation and to manage time. Barkley, R.A. and Murphy, K.R. (1998). Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Clinical Workbook. New York: Guilford.

    Our expert talked to us about mental transitions, transitioning from something you enjoy doing to something that isn’t so interesting to you.

    •  Mentally preparing yourself for one outcome
    • and not preparing for other potential outcomes
    • This can lead to outbursts

    Senior Director of the Child Mind Institute's Center for ADHD and Behavioral Disorders Dr. David Anderson speaks that "Transitions are difficult for everyone"and reinforcing Tyler's point in our Thursday expert agrees with the following statement "One of the reasons that transitions can be difficult is that we are often moving from a preferred activity - something we like to do - to something we need to do".

    Another important aspect we have to take into account are emotions in our kids, Dr Michael Rosenthal, a clinical neuropsychologist, adds that children with ADHD have more difficulty managing their emotions than other children. They attribute this to research showing that the wiring of the brain centers involved in helping children exercise control over their emotions is less developed, resulting in greater emotional displays compared to children without ADHD.

    Our expert, added the Emotions Frequent, intense and seem to last longer if you have ADHD.

    • Struggle with emotional self control
    • Wizard vs Lizard
    • We cannot predict what might set us off
    • Frustration = Rage

    As SA Love by Grace organization and with its two projects Expat Kids in Eindhoven and Love by Grace Kids we are committed to working on the emotional intelligence of all children, our activities and initiatives are aligned with this. That is why we believe it is important for parents to know a lot about everything that can affect children's mental health.

    Taking into account the above information, I know that many parents will now ask themselves, but what can we do? Always remember, the first thing is to understand, put yourself in their shoes, with the above information you will have a clearer map of your son or daughter. So now let's move on to the tips.


    • Use timer ◦ Predict how long a task will take and time it to see how close you were!
    • 45 minutes working 15 minutes plan & repeat
    • Become aware of distractions
    • Break assignments into smaller pieces
    • Start small
    • Get a “Body Double” or “Clutter Companion”


    • Discuss possible outcomes
    • Develop a plan/routine to help calm down when emotional
    • Pinpoint triggers
    • Avoid calling, asking us or telling us we are being emotional
    • Talk it out
    • Breathing

    One of the major problems that children with ADHD present is the difficulty to have an adequate internal regulation of their motivation. This is due to the presentation of unappetizing tasks which cause them to refuse to do them, which prevents them from maintaining the objectives they want to achieve, however important they may be.

    • Reasons for lack of motivation
    • Struggles with time management
    • Procrastination
    • Overwhelmed
    • Disorganization
    • Insecure directions
    • Difficulty maintaining concentration
    • Inability to get going

    Experts in this area advise parents that it is essential to understand and be able to motivate their children so that they are able to persist in their tasks and therefore achieve their goals.

    If you would like to contact our expert here are her contact details:

    Tyler Dorsey 

    Email: tdorsey@focusforwardlex.com



    And it can be exhausting for you as well as for your children. But don't be discouraged, keep moving forward, always remember to celebrate the small victories, the small steps that are leading you and your child to victory.  

    See you next time and remember have courage and always be kind. 

    With Love, 



    Thank you for this enlightening article. My son is grown up now but I always knew that his issues were not intentional misbehavior. Trying to convince his school teachers if this was, unfortunately, not so easy. That was some 49 years ago. I hope pedagogy has progressed.

    suzanna multhaupt April 27, 2021

    Thank you for this enlightening article. My son is grown up now but I always knew that his issues were not intentional misbehavior. Trying to convince his school teachers if this was, unfortunately, not so easy. That was some 49 years ago. I hope pedagogy has progressed.

    suzanna multhaupt April 27, 2021

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