CADDRA Conference

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What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurological disorder. All this means is that your brain works differently.  You may need help to succeed at the things you want to do or need to do, just like someone who has trouble seeing may need to wear glasses. You probably have problems with paying attention and focusing on things that you find boring or repetitive. You might even over-focus, or find it difficult to stop doing the things that you find stimulating or interesting, like watching TV and playing computer games. ADHD is really a problem with regulating your attention, not just a problem with not being able to pay attention. ADHD has nothing to do with your intelligence level. People with ADHD are just as intelligent as anyone else.

ADHD affects the flow of transmissions through the neurons in the brain. These neurons transport information and signals. Through doing research, we know that there are certain chemicals in the brain that help with these transmissions. There seems to be a lack of these chemicals in people with ADHD, but we are not sure why. By doing more research we hope to discover the reason for this.

We do know that one area of the brain that is affected is called the frontal lobe. As well as regulating attention this part of the brain is used for other things like: organizing, reviewing the past (hindsight), planning ahead (foresight), and trying to remember more than one thing at a time (active working memory). All of these skills are important for problem solving. We also know that the frontal lobe is in charge of things like time management (making sure that you have enough time to get things done) and social skills (learning ways to interact with your friends and grown ups). All of these things are called executive functioning skills. These skills are needed in order for you to get your work done well and on time. You also need these skills just to remember that you have work to do. They are just as important when you are planning where, when, and how you are going to meet your friends after school.