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How to Explain ADHD in Positive, Empowering Terms

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One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is a strong understanding of their ADHD brain. The more your child understands about their brain wiring and systems for internal and external information, the greater their self-awareness, confidence, and self-advocacy skills.Use the examples below to help you explain ADHD to your child in easy-to-understand language that diminishes shame and accentuates strengths.Register for free to attend a live webinar with Penn and Kim Holderness, authors of ADHD is Awesome on May 13 at 1 pm ETOur brains are like busy airports with control towers that guide the airplanes of executive function — planning, prioritizing, organizing, managing time, and other skills that help us get through everyday life — to take off and land smoothly.Except the ADHD brain’s control tower isn’t always well-staffed.

It often feels like you’re the only one who showed up to work! You scurry around ensuring that airplanes take off and land without incident — a feat that requires enormous amounts of energy.

Sometimes, airplanes become delayed in their take off, or fail to take off altogether.This is called executive dysfunction. It’s why an ordinary day at school feels so exhausting for you, and why some things may seem harder for you than for your classmates.Do you sometimes feel absolutely stuck, unable to get started on your homework even though everyone tells you to “just do it?” Does it ever feel difficult to wind down and get to sleep?If you answered yes, your brain’s volume control may be stuck or off kilter.

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