adhd and co-morbidities

ADHD-Type 1, ADHD-Type 2, ADHD-Type 3, ODD, OCD, … When I began to educate myself about what ADHD was (we’re talking countless, obsessive hours into the middle of the night), I never knew there were so many co-morbid conditions that accompanied it.I thought ADHD was just a hyperactive kid who just couldn’t focus.However, now that I am living it, I know it is much more than that.And I am better equipped as his mom and his advocate in an effort to truly understand him and that is my goal here for you.

ADHD, as it was explained to me in ADHD: Living Without Brakes by Martin L. Kutscher MD , is like an iceberg.It is a large mass in the water with an even larger mass beneath. I love this metaphor.It explains so much.It’s hard enough having one, two or three of the common ADHD symptoms atop the iceberg that we are familiar with but that is only the tip of the iceberg, it’s only what we see.It’s what’s below the iceberg that it is so much more complicated. I think it is the biggest piece of this disorder that we need to be knowledgeable about to have a better understanding about our ADHD children.

So below the surface, there is possible Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Bi-Polar Disorder, Obsession Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety, Tics/Tourette’s, Learning Disabilities, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and Sensory Integration Disorder to name a few. Another part of the iceberg is a child’s Executive Functions.In other words, a child may have poor inhibition, initiation, self-talk, working memory, foresight and hindsight, organization and shifting agendas.Can you imagine what their little minds are going through!!??Then add family stress to that and there can be a recipe for disaster.

Our family has been blessed with a child who is an angel at school, but a terror at home.My mother-in-law refers to it as “house devil, street angel.”Sound familiar?You’re not alone. Apparently it is not uncommon for this pattern in behavior.It has been determined by a Psychiatrist that our son has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, but only at home, because at school, he has too much anxiety (another co-morbid condition) to act out.In fact, no one believed me about this behavior at school until recently when they read the Psychiatric report at a recent CSE meeting.They were speechless.

So, instead of getting mad and impatient and irritable and angry when he pitches one of his “fits,” I break out the tools I learned while reading, The Explosive Child by Richard Greene.I am thankful that I know what causes his triggers and how to help him through them.I am thankful that I can do things to avoid these behaviors from occurring by making simple changes in MY everyday thinking and making accommodations for him in our daily routines.This book is a MUST READ for all parents who suffer from their children being “out of control.”I have to say that while I know he has ADHD and he appears to have ODD at home, I amconvinced his behavior is caused mainly by anxiety.In a previous post on {a moms view of adhd), adhd and anxiety, I talked in length about this co-morbid condition and how it effects him cognitively. I think I know it is the root of his behavior at times.

It is important to learn about each co-morbid condition separately as it pertains to your child in order to fully understand where your child may be coming from in the face of ADHD.Having your child have a full Psychiatric evaluation is the step in the right direction so that you know what your are dealing with, how to deal with it and what support and medications are appropriate for your child.

I know ADHD will never completely melt away, but I am doing everything in my power to not let it grow deeper by handling his explosive behavior differently.How are you handling your iceberg?Please share your thoughts, experiences and success.

Melissa Johnston

Melissa Johnston is a wife, mother of two and an elementary school teacher in NY. Her elementary-aged son is diagnosed with ADHD.

Melissa is passionate about helping parents and educators understand the meaning of ADHD. As a teacher, she believes it is vital that children who are diagnosed with ADHD are taught to their learning style. In order to do so, she believes children’s needs need to be met in the classroom setting, along with other accommodations that provide support with this neurological disorder (ie. Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language, Counseling, and Behavior Therapy).

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anxiety, CO-MORBIDITIES, Melissa Johnston, NEWLY DIAGNOSED, ODD ·

About the author

Melissa Johnston is a wife, mother of two and an elementary school teacher in NY. Her elementary-aged son is diagnosed with ADHD. Melissa is passionate about helping parents and educators understand the meaning of ADHD. As a teacher, she believes it is vital that children who are diagnosed with ADHD are taught to their learning style. In order to do so, she believes children's needs need to be met in the classroom setting, along with other accommodations that provide support with this neurological disorder (ie. Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language, Counseling, and Behavior Therapy).

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The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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