ADHD International

Helping ADHD people build success.

ADHD Adults Had ‘Missed Diagnosis’

ADHD is being diagnosed more and more in adulthood.

ADHD is being diagnosed more and more in adulthood. Photo: Gvidas Liausas / Pixabay

ADHD adults are sometimes surprised to learn their struggles have a biological cause. But Dr. Jen Ashton, ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent says many adults first being diagnosed with the condition simply weren’t picked up as children years ago. Learn more to get the lowdown.

Adults with ADHD can have difficulty following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing themselves, and staying on task to “finish the job.”

ADHD adults can also be careless and have problems with attention to detail.

Employers and spouses complain their ADHD workers and spouses start new tasks before completing the first one – or the second, third and fourth ones.

But ADHD even in adulthood is eminently treatable.

It’s very important for adults who are struggling with these issues to seek the advice of an experienced psychotherapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

With help, the struggle can be transformed into success!

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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Children Need Adequate Sleep for Their Brains

The images show the difference in gray matter volume (red) between children who get enough sleep, and those who do not.

The images show the difference in gray matter volume (red) between children who get enough sleep, and those who do not. Photo: UMD School of Medicine

Parents, listen up: adequate sleep for children can make the difference between a well-functioning child and one beset with myriad problems.

Researchers say elementary school-age children who get less than nine hours of sleep per night have significant differences in certain brain regions responsible for memory, intelligence and well-being, compared to those who get the recommended 9-12 hours of sleep per night.

These are the findings of a study led by University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers, who found the differences correlated with greater mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and impulsive behaviors in those who lacked sleep.

Inadequate sleep was also linked to cognitive difficulties with memory, problem solving and decision making. The findings were published in the journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children aged 6-12 years of age sleep 9-12 hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

Up until now, no studies have examined the long-lasting impact of insufficient sleep on the neurocognitive development of pre-teens.


To conduct the study, the researchers examined data that were collected from more than 8,300 children aged 9-10 years, who were enrolled in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study.

The researchers examined MRI images, medical records, and surveys completed by the participants and their parents at the time of enrollment and at a two-year follow-up visit at 11-12 years of age.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the ABCD study is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the US.


“We found that children who had insufficient sleep, less than nine hours per night, at the beginning of the study had less grey matter or smaller volume in certain areas of the brain responsible for attention, memory, and inhibition control, compared to those with healthy sleep habits,” said study corresponding author Ze Wang, PhD, Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at UMSOM. 

“These differences persisted after two years, a concerning finding that suggests long-term harm for those who do not get enough sleep.”

This study offers some of the first findings to demonstrate the potential long-term impact of lack of sleep on neurocognitive development in children. It also provides substantial support for the current sleep recommendations in children, according to Dr. Wang and his colleagues.  

children’s sleep changes with age

In follow-up assessments, the research team found that participants in the sufficient sleep group tended to gradually sleep less over two years, which is normal as children move into their teen years.

However, the sleep patterns of participants in the insufficient sleep group did not change much.

The researchers controlled for socioeconomic status, gender, puberty status, and other factors that could impact how much a child sleeps and affect brain and cognition.

“We tried to match the two groups as closely as possible to help us more fully understand the long-term impact on too little sleep on the pre-adolescent brain,” Dr. Wang said. 

“Additional studies are needed to confirm our finding and to see whether any interventions can improve sleep habits and reverse the neurological deficits.”

E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA
E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA


The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to promote good sleep habits in their children.

Academy tips include:

  • making sufficient sleep a family priority,
  • sticking with a regular sleep routine,
  • encouraging physical activity during the day,
  • limiting screen time, and
  • eliminating screens completely an hour before bed.

adequate sleep esssential for children

“This is a crucial study finding that points to the importance of doing long-term studies on the developing child’s brain,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Sleep can often be overlooked during busy childhood days filled with homework and extracurricular activities. Now we see how detrimental that can be to a child’s development.”

The study was funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Fan Nils Yang, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Wang’s laboratory is a study co-author. Weizhen Xie, PhD, a researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, is also a study co-author. UMSOM faculty members Thomas Ernst, PhD, and Linda Chang, MD, MS, are co-principal investigators of the ABCD study at the Baltimore site but were not involved in the data analysis of this new study.

SOURCE: University of Maryland School of Medicine

Children Who Lack Sleep May Experience Detrimental Impact on Brain and Cognitive Development That Persists Over Time” by Ze Wang, PhD et al. Lancet Child and Adolescent Health

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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Diet in Pregnancy Can Improve ADHD Risk

Salmon is a fatty fish and a great source of Omega 3.

Salmon, a fatty fish, is a great source of Omega 3. Photo: Pixabay

A mother’s diet in pregnancy may modulate the risk of a child developing ADHD, according to a study by researchers in Barcelona.

The study was led by a team from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center supported by “la Caixa.” It was published in 2019 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Researchers analyzed samples of umbilical cord plasma to quantify the levels of omega-6 and omega-3 that reach the fetus.

The statistical analysis showed a higher omega-6:omega-3 ratio to be associated with a higher risk of ADHD symptoms at seven years of age.


Diet in pregnancy plays a key role in the development of numerous conditions — including the number and severity of ADHD symptoms, the study suggests.

Omega-6 and omega-3 are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a crucial role in the function and architecture of the central nervous system, particularly during the later stages of gestation.

These two fatty acids compete for incorporation into cell membranes and are primarily obtained through diet.

Omega-6 and omega-3 have opposing physiological functions. Omega 6 former promotes systemic pro-inflammatory states. Omega 3, on the other hand, promotes anti-inflammatory states.

A balanced intake of these two fatty acids is important.

Previous research has shown that children with ADHD symptoms have a higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3.


The authors studied data from 600 children living in four Spanish regions (Asturias, Basque Country, Catalonia and Valencia) who are participating in the INMA Project.

The researchers analyzed umbilical cord plasma samples and data from questionnaires completed by the children’s mothers.

ADHD symptoms were assessed using two standard questionnaires: the first completed by the children’s teachers at age four years, and the second by their parents at age seven years.


The results showed that, at age seven years, the number of ADHD symptoms increased by 13% per each unit increase in the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in umbilical cord plasma.

What it means is this: when there is more omega 6 in relation to omega 3, there is a likelihood of more ADHD symptoms.

The more omega 3 in relation to omega 6, there is a likelihood of fewer ADHD symptoms.


The study analyzed the number of symptoms in the children who met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD (minimum six symptoms) and also in the children with a smaller number of ADHD symptoms.

The ratio of the two fatty acids was associated with the number of ADHD symptoms present but not with diagnosis of the disorder, and only in the assessment carried out at seven years of age.

The authors suggest that the assessment carried out at four years of age may have been affected by a measurement error because ADHD symptoms reported at early ages may be caused by a neurodevelopmental delay falling within the normal range.

“Our findings are in line with previous studies that established a relationship between the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in mothers and various early neurodevelopmental outcomes,” commented Mónica López-Vicente, ISGlobal researcher and lead author of the study.

implications for diet in pregnancy

“Although the association was not clinically significant, our findings are important at the level of the population as a whole,” noted López-Vicente.

“If a large proportion of the population is exposed to a high omega-6:omega-3 ratio, the distribution for ADHD symptom scores would likely move to the right and the prevalence of extreme values would increase, leading to a negative impact on the community’s health costs and productivity.”

“This study adds more evidence to the growing body of research on the importance of maternal diet during pregnancy,” commented ISGlobal researcher Jordi Júlvez, a co-author of the study.

“The nutrient supply during the earliest stages of life is essential in that it programs the structure and function of the organs, and this programming, in turn, has an impact on health at every stage of life.

As the brain takes a long time to develop, it is particularly vulnerable to misprogramming. Alterations of this sort could therefore lead to neurodevelopmental disorders.”

sources of omega 3 & omega 6

Not looking forward to swallowing Omega 3 dietary supplements? Here’s a list of foods which contain Omega 3 and Omega 6.

Omega-3 fats are found in:

  • fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, arctic char, herring, trout)
  • eggs (including those which are ‘omega-3 enriched)
  • flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • chia seeds
  • cod liver oil
  • walnuts
  • soybeans

fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, arctic char and trout, as well as eggs (including omega-3 enriched) flaxseeds and flaxseed oil.

Omega-6 fats are found in:

  • soybeans
  • corn and corn oil
  • safflower and sunflower oils
  • cashews, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds
  • meat, poultry, fish and eggs
  • evening primrose oil
  • borage oil

Both Omega 3 and Omega 6 are necessary for good health.

SOURCES: Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal, Healthline

Mónica López-Vicente, Núria Ribas Fitó, Natalia Vilor-Tejedor, Raquel Garcia-Esteban, Sílvia Fernández-Barrés, Payam Dadvand, Mario Murcia, Marisa Rebagliato, Jesús Ibarluzea, Aitana Lertxundi, Ana Fernández-Somoano, Adonina Tardón, M. Carmen López-Sabater, Dora Romaguera, Martine Vrijheid, Jordi Sunyer, Jordi Julvez. Prenatal Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder SymptomsThe Journal of Pediatrics, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2019.02.022

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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World Federation of ADHD: 208 Conclusions

The World Federation of ADHD cites functional MRI studies that show the differences in the brains of people with and without ADHD.

The World Federation of ADHD cites functional MRI studies that show the differences in the brains of people with and without ADHD. Photo: Dmitriy Gutarev / Pixabay

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder costs society hundreds of billions of dollars each year worldwide, according to the recently-published International Consensus Statement of the World Federation of ADHD, which contains 208 evidence-based conclusions about the disorder.

Untreated, ADHD can lead to many negative outcomes.

Physical and mental condition

According to the research, ADHD occurs in 5.9 percent of youth, and at least 2.5 percent of adults. It is more common in males.

Most cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are caused by the combined effects of multiple genetic and environmental factors.

It is a physical condition that is also categorized as a mental condition.

Neuroimaging documented small differences in the structure and functioning of the brain between people with and without the disorder. However, these differences cannot be used to diagnose ADHD, according to the World Federation of ADHD (WFADHD).


People with the disorder are at increased risk for obesity, asthma, allergies, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, sleep problems, psoriasis, epilepsy, sexually transmitted infections, abnormalities of the eye, immune disorders, and metabolic disorders.

In addition, people with ADHD are at increased risk for low quality of life, substance use disorders, accidental injuries, educational underachievement, unemployment, gambling, teenage pregnancy, difficulties socializing, delinquency, suicide, and premature death.

Many of the above can be prevented and/or ameliorated with appropriate treatment.


Treatment with ADHD medications reduces accidental injuries, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, cigarette smoking, educational underachievement, bone fractures, sexually transmitted infections, depression, suicide, criminal activity and teenage pregnancy, the researchers said.

Adverse effects of ADHD medications are “typically mild and can be addressed by changing the dose or the medication,” according to the statement.

Non-medication treatments for the disorder are less effective than medication, but are “frequently useful to help problems that remain after medication has been optimized,” researchers found.

world federation of adhd

The World Federation of ADHD, founded in 2007 at the First International Congress held in Germany, is comprised of international professionals and their regional ADHD associations. The organization aims to disseminate education about ADHD and advocate for patients and their families by training clinicians and others on how to create better outcomes for people with the disorder.

The paper provides current and accurate information that updates the first International Consensus Statement published nearly 20 years ago by an international team of scientists who intended to correct misconceptions that led to stigmatization of those who have ADHD.

The Federation reviewed studies with more than 2,000 participants or meta-analyses from five or more studies with 2,000 or more participants. Their efforts resulted in 208 empirically supported statements about ADHD.

The conclusions were approved by 80 authors in 27 countries on six continents.

Faraone SV, Banaschewski T, Cognill D, Zheng Y, Biederman J, Bellgrove MA, Newcorn JH, Gignac M, Al Saud NM, Manor I, Rohde LA, Yang L, Cortese S, Almagor D, Stein MA, Albatti TH, Aljoudi HF, Alqahtani MMJ. . .Wang Y. The World Federation of ADHD International Consensus Statement: 208 Evidence-based conclusions about the disorder. Neuroscience & Behavioral Reviews, Vol. 128, Sept. 2021, Pages 789-818. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.01.022

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a challenge for adults as well as children.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is as much of a challenge for adults as it is for children.

ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — affects between 7 and 11 percent of children in the United States, and nearly as many adults (who once were ADHD children). Most people do not out grow the condition, contrary to what was once believed.

But what is it, really? This video from PsychHub offers a brief description of what ADHD is, and what it feels like.

There are three types of ADHD: hyperactive-impulsive type, inattentive-passive type and combined type.

Among the symptoms are difficulty focusing, paying attention and staying on task. People with the condition can be impulsive and behave as if “driven by a motor.” They also have difficulty with time management, regulation of emotions, executive function (the ability to begin an activity, get organized and manage tasks) and sometimes have problems with working memory and with sleep.

Not every person has every symptom.

Adults with the condition struggle with many of the same challenges as do children – but some of the symptoms present differently. Hyperactivity can appear as fidgeting, or jiggling one’s leg — or rapid speech, for instance.

But adults face additional issues that children do not, such as sexual and other intimate relationships, marriage, parenting, employment and so on.

But for both children and adults, lives can be significantly damaged and sometimes even destroyed by the condition if left untreated.

Do not hesitate to seek help if you feel you may be affected by ADHD. You’ll be glad you did.

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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World Health Organization Adds Complex PTSD

Repeated traumatic events can lead to the development of complex PTSD.

Repeated traumatic events can lead to the development of complex PTSD. Photo: 911 e-Learning Solutions LLC / Pixabay

The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed a new sibling diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) or complex PTSD.

An international team with the involvement of the University of Zurich summarized the symptoms of the long-awaited new diagnosis and issued guidelines for clinical assessment and treatment.

One of the most widely known responses to trauma is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

People affected by this disorder typically suffer intrusive memories or flashbacks that may overwhelm them.

But international experts have been aware for decades that some trauma victims or survivors exhibit a broader pattern of psychological changes, most commonly after prolonged or repetitive events — such as exposure to war, sexual abuse, domestic violence or torture — now termed CPTSD.


Many experts have been calling for the diagnostic requirements for PTSD to be adapted.

Earlier this year, the WHO issued a new version of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which now includes a new diagnosis for complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD).

New symptoms — such as self-organization disturbances — were added to the previous symptoms of PTSD, which include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance, social withdrawal and hypervigilance.

Key features of self-organization disturbances include excessive or heightened emotional responses, feelings of worthlessness and persistent difficulties in sustaining relationships and in feeling close to others.

An international team with the involvement of UZH has now published a study in The Lancet describing in detail how to diagnose complex PTSD based on a patient’s symptoms.

The study describes the difficulties that may occur, the distinct features of the disease in children and adolescents, and the diagnostic differences from closely related mental health disorders such as severe depression, bipolar disorders, psychoses or personality disorders that need to be made.

Precise description of diagnosis and therapy

“We elaborate how the CPTSD diagnosis can be made in routine situations in emergency medical facilities and in regions with underdeveloped health care systems, for example,” says first author Andreas Maercker, professor of psychopathology and clinical intervention at the University of Zurich.

The study covers the latest findings on biopsychosocial correlations based on systematic selection criteria.

The researchers also analyzed the evidence base for all available therapeutic studies and developed guidelines for treating CPTSD.

“This is particularly important, since not all countries use the WHO’s disease classification. Some have adopted the DSM-5 classification published by the American Psychiatric Association, which currently doesn’t list a diagnosis for complex PTSD,” explains Maercker, emphasizing the significance of their study.

New classification developed globally

The University of Zurich was also involved in updating the WHO’s new International Classification of Diseases.

Based on their own research and clinical experience, Andreas Maercker from the UZH Department of Psychology and Marylene Cloitre from Stanford University came out in favor of a new diagnosis for complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition, global surveys among psychiatrists and psychologists also showed that there was a need for a more detailed assessment of this mental disorder. A systematic review of previous research as well as new findings then led to the creation of the new diagnosis for complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

University of Zurich

Andreas Maercker, Marylene Cloitre, Rahel Bachem, Yolanda R. Schlumpf, Brigitte Khoury, Caitlin Hitchcock, Martin Bohus. Complex post-traumatic stress disorderThe Lancet, 2022; 400 (10345): 60 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00821-2

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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ADHD and Autism Share Genes

Those with ADHD or ASD enjoy using a fidget spinner.

Those with ADHD or ASD enjoy using a fidget spinner to keep their fingers busy and their body at ease. Photo: Karelin Lestrange at Pixabay

Did you know that ADHD and autism share genes?

Researchers from the Danish national psychiatric project iPSYCH have found that the two disorders share changes in the same genes.

The knowledge relates directly to the biological causes of both child psychiatric disorders.

In Denmark, approximately one per cent of schoolchildren have autism and two to three per cent are diagnosed with ADHD.

Different disorders, common symptoms

Autism and ADHD are different developmental disorders, but can have some common symptoms.

For example, children with autism can demonstrate violent or aggressive behavior, be impulsive, and have problems in school and with social relations.

Children with ADHD can share the same symptoms.

Researchers from iPSYCH discovered the similarities between the two diagnoses can be linked to changes in the same genes.

It was the largest study to date of rare mutations in the genome of people with ADHD and autism.

“The very fact that mutations are found to the same extent and in the same genes in children with autism and in children with ADHD, points towards the same biological mechanisms being involved,” says Anders Børglum, a professor at Aarhus University, principal investigator at iPSYCH and a leading researcher in the study.

The findings of the research, carried out in collaboration with the Broad Institute and Harvard, were published in the international journal Nature Neuroscience.

First time a gene is linked to ADHD and autism

“This is the first time that the genome has been mapped so comprehensively for both ADHD and autism,” says Anders Børglum.

“The discovery that children with ADHD have the same amount of deleterious gene mutations in their DNA as children with autism is both striking and quite surprising.”

The findings point directly towards which biological causal mechanisms are shared by the two disorders.

The MAP1A gene

“In the study, the gene that is most frequently affected by mutations in people with ADHD or autism is the so-called MAP1A gene,” Børglum explains.

“The [MAP1A] gene is involved in the formation of the physical structure of nerve cells — their inner ‘skeleton’, so to speak — and is important for the development of the brain.”

This is the first time that this gene has been linked to the development of these two disorders. The mutations found by the researchers give a significantly increased risk of developing one or both disorders.

“We discovered an increased burden of mutations that destroy or severely affect the MAP1A gene in those with ADHD and autism, while very few of the control subjects had such changes in the gene,” Børglum explains.

This means that the risk of ADHD and autism increases by more than 15 times for people who carry a mutation in the MAP1A gene.

Using DNA to find ADHD & Autism

The researchers analyzed the genes of approximately 8,000 people with autism and/or ADHD, and 5,000 people without either of the two disorders, all from Denmark.

The study also incorporated additional data from approx. 45,000 international control subjects who did not have any psychiatric disorders.

People born in Denmark between 1981 and 2005 were matched with diagnoses of autism, ADHD and mental retardation.

“The study shows that many more genes for ADHD and autism can be identified directly by studying more people in a similar way with extensive DNA sequencing, thereby providing a more complete picture of the biological causal mechanisms and possible approaches to medical treatment,” the researcher explains.

As part of the project, Anders Børglum and his colleagues had access to samples from the Danish National Biobank at the Statens Serum Institut and data from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register.

AARHUS University

F. Kyle Satterstrom, Raymond K. Walters, Tarjinder Singh, Emilie M. Wigdor, Francesco Lescai, Ditte Demontis, Jack A. Kosmicki, Jakob Grove, Christine Stevens, Jonas Bybjerg-Grauholm, Marie Bækvad-Hansen, Duncan S. Palmer, Julian B. Maller, Merete Nordentoft, Ole Mors, Elise B. Robinson, David M. Hougaard, Thomas M. Werge, Preben Bo Mortensen, Benjamin M. Neale, Anders D. Børglum, Mark J. Daly. Autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have a similar burden of rare protein-truncating variantsNature Neuroscience, 2019; 22 (12): 1961 DOI: 10.1038/s41593-019-0527-8

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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ADHD Kids Grow to be ADHD Adults

Some professional athletes have ADHD

Some professional athletes have ADHD. Photo: Ryan McGuire at Pixabay

Most ADHD kids grow up to be ADHD adults, researchers have found.  But it manifests itself in adulthood in different ways, and waxes and wanes over one’s lifetime.

Children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) usually don’t outgrow the disorder as previously thought, according to an August 13, 2021 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

“It’s important for people diagnosed with ADHD to understand that it’s normal to have times in your life where things maybe more unmanageable and other times when things feel more under control,” said lead researcher Margaret Sibley, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a researcher at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Most ADHD kids become ADHD adults

Study authors from 16 institutions in the United States, Canada, and Brazil quoted decades of research said ADHD is a neurobiological disorder typically first detected in childhood that persists into adulthood in approximately 50 percent of cases.

But this study found just 10 percent of ADHD kids completely outgrow it.

“Although intermittent periods of remission can be expected in most cases, 90 percent of children with ADHD in the Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD continued to experience residual symptoms into young adulthood,” they wrote.

What ADHD looks like

ADHD is characterized by two main cluster of symptoms — inattentive/passive and hyperactive/impulsive.

Inattentive/passive symptoms look like disorganization, forgetfulness, and having trouble staying on task. Hyperactive, impulsive symptoms in children look like having a lot of energy, such as running around and climbing on things.

In adults, hyperactive/impulsive symptoms manifest more as verbal impulsivity, difficulty with decision-making, and not thinking before acting.

ADHD affects people differently and looks different depending on the phase of life someone’s in.

Sometimes it’s useful!

Some people with ADHD report a unique ability to hyper-focus.

Olympic athletes Michael Phelps and Simone Biles have been open about their ADHD diagnosis.

While many people may experience symptoms similar to ADHD, it is estimated the disorder roughly affects 5 percent to 10 percent of the population, Sibley said.

16 years of research

This study followed a group of 558 children with ADHD for 16 years, from age 8 to 25 years old. The cohort had eight assessments, every two years, to determine whether they had symptoms of ADHD.

The researchers also asked their family members and teachers about their symptoms.

Sibley said the belief that 50 percent of ADHD kids outgrow the disorder was first discussed in the mid-1990s, but most studies only re-connected with the kids one time in adulthood. Because of that, researchers didn’t get to see that the ADHD they thought had gone away actually does come back.

Coping with ADHD

Reseachers have yet to discover what causes ADHD to flare.

Sibley said it could be stress, the wrong environment, and not having a healthy lifestyle of proper sleep, healthy eating, and regular exercise.

If a person is not taking the time to manage symptoms and really understand what works best for them, then the symptoms are probably going to get more out of control, she said.

Treatment – ‘plus’

Medication and therapy are the two main treatments for ADHD, but Sibley said people can – and do – pursue their own healthy coping skills as well.

Researchers found that most people who technically no longer met criteria for ADHD in adulthood still had some traces of it, but were managing well on their own.

“The key is finding a job or a life passion that ADHD does not interfere with,” Sibley said.

“You are going to see that a lot of creative people have ADHD because they’re able to be successful in their creative endeavors despite having it.

“People who might be required to do very detail-oriented work at a computer all day — that could be a really hard combination for a person with ADHD.”

When to ask for help

Sibley said the time to seek professional help is when the symptoms are causing a problem in your life.

This includes:
* not performing your best,
* having problems with other people,
* having a hard time getting along,
* difficulty maintaining healthy, long-term relationships with loved ones and friends, and
* inability to complete basic daily tasks — whether that’s parenting, staying on top of your finances, or just keeping an organized household.

Seeking professional help could include making an appointment with a life coach, a therapist experienced in ADHD and/or exploring the option of medication with a psychopharmacologist – a psychiatrist with expertise in medications.

Source: University of Washington School of Medicine / UW Medicine

Margaret H. Sibley, L. Eugene Arnold, James M. Swanson, Lily T. Hechtman, Traci M. Kennedy, Elizabeth Owens, Brooke S.G. Molina, Peter S. Jensen, Stephen P. Hinshaw, Arunima Roy, Andrea Chronis-Tuscano, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Luis A. Rohde. Variable Patterns of Remission From ADHD in the Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHDAmerican Journal of Psychiatry, 2021; appi.ajp.2021.2 DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2021.21010032

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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Study ‘Eyes’ ADHD & ASD

The eyes tell the story in diagnosing ADHD & ASD.

Researchers say the eyes tell the story in diagnosing ADHD &ASD. Photo: Robyn Jones / Pixabay

It’s often said that ‘the eyes tell it all’, but no matter what their outward expression, the eyes may also be able to signal neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD & ASD, according to research from Flinders University and the University of South Australia.

In the first study of its kind, researchers found that recordings from the retina could identify distinct signals for both Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) providing a potential biomarker for each condition.

Researchers used an ‘electroretinogram’ (ERG) to determine that children with ADHD showed higher overall ERG energy, whereas children with ASD showed less ERG energy.

The ‘electroretinogram is a diagnostic test that measures the electrical activity of the retina in response to a light stimulus –

Aiming for improved ADHD & ASD diagnoses

Research optometrist at Flinders University, Dr Paul Constable, says the preliminary findings indicate promising results for improved diagnoses and treatments in the future.

“ASD and ADHD are the most common neurodevelopmental disorders diagnosed in childhood. But as they often share similar traits, making diagnoses for both conditions can be lengthy and complicated,” Dr Constable says.

“Our research aims to improve this. By exploring how signals in the retina react to light stimuli, we hope to develop more accurate and earlier diagnoses for different neurodevelopmental conditions.

Different signals for ADHD & ASD

“Retinal signals have specific nerves that generate them.

“If we can identify these differences and localize them to specific pathways that use different chemical signals that are also used in the brain, we can show distinct differences for children with ADHD and ASD and potentially other neurodevelopmental conditions.”

“This study delivers preliminary evidence for neurophysiological changes that not only differentiate both ADHD and ASD from typically developing children, but also evidence that they can be distinguished from each other based on ERG characteristics.”

According to the World Health Organizationone in 100 children has ASD, with 5 to 8 per cent of children diagnosed with ADHD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by being overly active, struggling to pay attention, and difficulty controlling impulsive behaviors. 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is also a neurodevelopmental condition where children behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people.

‘The eyes can reveal all’

Co-researcher and expert in human and artificial cognition at the University of South Australia, Dr Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, says the research has potential to extend across other neurological conditions.

“Ultimately, we’re looking at how the eyes can help us understand the brain,” Dr Marmolejo-Ramos says.

“While further research is needed to establish abnormalities in retinal signals that are specific to these and other neurodevelopmental disorders, what we’ve observed so far shows that we are on the precipice of something amazing.

“It is truly a case of watching this space; as it happens, the eyes could reveal all.”

Ed. Note: This research was conducted in partnership with McGill UniversityUniversity College London and the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.


Constable PA, Marmolegjo-Ramos F, Gauthier M, Lee IO, Skuse DH, Thompson DA. Discrete Wavelet Transform Analysis of the Electroretinogram in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Front. Neurosci., 06 June 2022 |

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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ADHD Parenting Tips

A father gives his ADHD child positive "togetherness time."

A father gives his ADHD child positive "togetherness time." Photo: Olya Adamovich / Pixabay

Here are nine quick and easy parenting tips for folks with ADHD children. Even if you are a parent with ADHD yourself, these parenting tips are pretty easy.

Parenting Tip #1Don’t take it personally
Don’t take a child’s behavior personally — usually it’s not really about you. Listen carefully to what the child is NOT saying and when the storm begins to calm, ask your child what is “really” wrong. You may get an unexpected answer.

Parenting Tip #2 – Keep it simple
Keep your sentences S-I-M-P-L-E, SHORT and TO THE POINT. Try to avoid multi-directional (complex) commands.

Parenting Tip #3 – Get eye contact
Establish eye contact BEFORE you ask for direct your child to do something.

Parenting Tip #4 – Keep calm
When worried or upset about something your child has done, keep your voice even and calm, regardless of how you feel. Most ADHDH children have very finely-tuned central nervous systems. Loud or sudden noises and movements can shake them up and only exacerbate the problem.

Parenting Tip #5 – Meet with the Teacher
If you know your child has a learning disability or an attentional problem, make sure you meet with your child’s teacher at the start of the school year, or as soon as possible after holidays conclude.
Work on developing a “contract” with your child around behavioral and/or learning issues.
Remember and remind the teacher: It is absolutely essential to preserve your child’s dignity, self-esteem and privacy, publicly and privately.

Parenting Tip #6 – Catch your child being good
Respect your child’s strengths and praise them often. “Catch” him or her being good! Children with special needs blossom with IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK, positive and negative, because they are often unsure of themselves and need to know whether they are performing correctly or incorrectly.

Parenting Tip #7 – Prepare for transitions
Prepare your child for an upcoming change prior to the actual transition. Give 10-5-2 minute warnings before bedtime, for example. Children with attentional problems and learning disabilities usually have difficulty with transitions.

Parenting Tip #8 – Respect sensory issues
If your child has sensory integration problems or similar issues, RESPECT THEM. Do NOT try to force a hypersensitive child to wear an item of clothing s/he cannot tolerate (ie: wool sweater instead of cotton). Also, seek out a Sensory Integration specialist (a subspecialty of Occupational Therapists.). Hypersensitivity can be reduced with proper intervention, especially in early childhood.

Parenting Tip #9 – Check it out!
When in doubt, check it out! If you are concerned about your child’s academic or behavioral performance, consult the teacher, principal and/or a professional to get suggestions and emotional support.

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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