Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can directly affect individuals transitioning into adulthood. When it comes to taking on adult responsibilities, like developing or maintaining a stable career path, moving out of the family home, building personal and professional relationships, or adhering to healthy coping skills, ADHD can inhibit the successes of an emerging adult, if left undiagnosed or mistreated.
Often, the signs and symptoms of ADHD may have been present throughout childhood, as ADHD can tend to be a condition spanning from a young age and lasting into adulthood. However, without incorporating early detection and intervention strategies at the onset of ADHD, complications of ADHD build. Parents who have concerns about ADHD should seek psychiatric help for their emerging adults.
Luckily, families seeking psychiatric help for emerging young adults who may be at risk for ADHD may be able to make therapeutic progress more quickly than expected. In an upcoming issue of Psychology Today, Lukasz Konopka, PhD, Chief Neuroscientist at Yellowbrick, describes how the most current research on ADHD is helping clinicians collaborate with families in order to accurately diagnose ADHD. The screening process for ADHD has become more technological, as the FDA recently approved utilizing EEG scans of brain activity as an additional assessment tool to diagnose ADHD. Traditionally, collecting data from family health histories, clinical interviews, and targeted performance tasks rounded out the methods of forming a diagnosis for ADHD. Konopa shares how therapeutic progress may increase as neuroscientists continue to study how the areas of the brain which are affected by ADHD respond to prescription medication. With a better look at how ADHD targets brain activity, families and individuals may have an easier time processing an ADHD diagnosis.
How can parents prepare in seeking psychiatric help for a young adult suspected of having ADHD?
- Learn about the symptoms. There are three major types of symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Learn how ADHD symptoms affect adults by checking out what Mayo Clinic has to share on Adult ADHD. Try to jot down observations or examples of how your emerging adult models the symptoms of ADHD.
- Identify exposure to risk factors. Many of the factors putting people at risk of developing ADHD occur in the years of early childhood. Think about any exposure to toxins, trauma, physical or emotional neglect. Remember the details of birth and note any premature or low birth weight. Determine genetic predisposition by recalling family history.
- Share your concerns and come up with a plan together. Involve your emerging adult every step of the way. From addressing your concerns to finding a mental health provider, the emerging adult should have a voice in the decision making process of seeking professional evaluation and treatment. Ask open-ended questions and be ready to listen to your emerging adult.