By Sarah Vander Schaaff

Today we examine some specific issues related to Attention and the increasingly common diagnosis of ADHD. To do this, Nancy and I are opening up our filing cabinet of great articles, digitally speaking, and sharing the ones we think you’ll find helpful. These articles are primarily from non-profit sources such as the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and The Child Mind Institute. We also have several from The New York Times. You can find more academic literature, but we think these cover some broad and important ground.

To put this “red flag” in perspective, our first suggested article discusses the fact that while ADHD is not considered a learning disability, it frequently goes hand-in-hand with various LDs. We also have an article about the exceptional creative potential of those with ADHD, highlighting the concept of 2e, or being “twice exceptional,” where giftedness risks being overshadowed by ADHD or an LD.

7 Must-Reads on ADHDmindprintlogofinal

1. ADHD is not a Learning Disability.

A great primer on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder can be found on the National Center For Learning Disabilities website. NCLD points out, “First of all, ADHD is not the same thing as a learning disability (LD). But it certainly can interfere with learning and behavior. Also, about one-third of people with LD have ADHD, too. This can cause a lot of confusion for parents, teachers and children.” Click here for post.


2. Girls have ADHD, too.

This post from the non-profit Child Mind Institute explains why girls with ADHD often go undiagnosed and the potential emotional consequences of a delayed diagnosis. Click here for post. 

3. Why pediatricians may not spot it. 16

This article in The New York Times explains that many pediatricians received insufficient training to diagnose ADHD and what steps are being taken now to remedy the issue. Click here for article.

4. From a parent’s perspective.

This post from Great Schools gives one parent’s account of a frustrating journey that started with the suspicion a child may have a learning difference.  Research shows that early diagnosis is beneficial to the academic, emotional and social well-being of the child. While the child in this post was found to be dyslexic, we include this post here because it outlines the process by which the family navigated the school evaluation system. Click here for post.

5. The creative upside of ADHD.

This post by University of Pennsylvania professor, Scott Barry Kaufman, cites research saying people with ADHD are more likely to “…reach higher levels of creative thought and achievement than people without these characteristics.” Kaufman cautions that those with ADHD are often shut out of Gifted and Talented programs and need to be recognized for their potential. Click here for post.

6. The question of over-diagnosis.

This New York Times article presents information on the potential over-diagnosis and over-treatment of ADHD, emphasizing the importance of properly treating those who truly suffer from the condition. Click here for article.

7. The Research on medication.

Parents considering or using medication for children with ADHD may appreciate this primer from the non-profit Child Mind Institute detailing the types of medications and the related research. Click here for article. 


This post is part of a series we’ve been doing on Cognitive Skills. You can find most under the tag “Know Your Child”in our archives, or by searching cognitive skills.


Neither Nancy nor Sarah have a dog this well read, so we give credit for the photo here: click.


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And we invite you to read Sarah’s recent blog in The Washington Post’s On Parenting blog about parents behaving badly…at a museum, of all places. 


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