ADHD Explained - A Live Expert Panel

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Published 2015-10-27
You have questions about ADHD, our experts have answers. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and also known as ADD) is a complex and often misunderstood learning difference. In this 60-minute panel, our experts weigh in on your most pressing ADHD questions.

Our expert panel includes Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D., consulting psychologist for Understood, and Ellen Galinsky, cofounder of Families and Work Institute and a child development researcher. The discussion was moderated by Andrea Davis Pinkney, best-selling children’s author.

Below are some ADHD topics covered by our panelists, along with time stamps.

04:27 What is the biggest change in the way brain researchers are thinking about ADHD?

07:04 What are some ADHD misconceptions?

08:18 What is the connection between ADHD and executive function?

09:42 Does everyone have a little ADHD?

13:48 The central mystery of ADHD

14:36 Why can a child with ADHD focus on video games, but not homework?

16:48 Schools should build on passions and interests

17:24 Why passion matters for people with ADHD

18:50 How do we teach kids essential life skills, like focus and self-control?

19:48 The marshmallow test and executive function skills

23:56 “Mind in the Making” ADHD strategies

24:55 How to help kids with ADHD succeed in school

26:30 “Scaffolding” to help kids succeed

28:00 Successful people with ADHD

28:20 ADHD runs in families and is related to brain chemistry

31:00 Information on ADHD medication

33:17 ADHD, sleep, exercise and nutrition

34:20 The need for training on ADHD for parents, doctors and educators

35:20 How to help parents who are stressed out

37:40 When families disagree about ADHD

38:29 How do you help a child who is struggling emotionally?

41:03 How do I manage kids’ screen time?

43:04 Are kids with ADHD more prone to depression and anxiety?

44:21 Are there certain careers that people with ADHD are better at?

46:00 Are there life skills that kids with ADHD need to excel at?

47:16 What’s the best way to describe an ADHD diagnosis to a middle-schooler?

50:39 What strategies and tactics can we teach our kids to be ready to go out on their own?

55:15 What is the future for ADHD and executive function?

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All Comments (21)
  • TJ J
    I love this guy he is awesome ❤️ I didn’t get any help at all when I was a kid. I just got yelled at.
  • Arri Gaffer
    I forgot was I was going to say. But anyway, I'm here because I just sussed that I have struggled all my life with ADD symptoms. Now, thanks largely to stumbling into Tom's brilliant clarity on the topic in other videos, I see what is going on. I'm hoping to further my diagnosis and develop options for coping with it. Thanks!
  • peach sncream
    What pisses me of Is the people who say ADHD is a gift . I have ADHD with dislxia - sure I have moments of genius because I think around corners -outside the box - but overall - day to day it’s a debilitating thing for those of us who don’t FALL WITHIN THE beneficial zone of the ADHD dyslexic stuff . There is a hell of a lot of shades between black and white…..There’s more of us that aren’t successful ..and to have people tell me ….oh look at Richard Branson ….or any other successful person blah blah blah ,he has Dislexia and look what he achieved . Do you know what that does to most of us ….. it puts more pressure on us …then… if we don’t achieve it’s another failure . Because XYZ can do it . If you don’t FALL WITHIN the level of ADHD AND DISLEXIA that allows you to build your strengths. Like me with the memory problems of both issues. It simply crushes your spirit . It drives the lifetime of depression - the woman in the red dress would do well to curb her outward excitement to a more balanced level that respects those of us who are being crushed by the pressure . 50+ years I’ve been damaged by people throwing it in my face ….A list of popular successful tv star’s Or business people and investors who worked through it to become rich and famous……. While I can’t even afford to go to a psychologist to cope with the depression. Makes me so angry (trapped animal) with no solution’s
  • Lesley Stewart
    Bless you Mr Brown, I now believe that there is hope for me
  • sarahbearflynn
    It's not just a matter of doing what you love tho! There are things I love to do that I can't get myself to focus to do. It is very frustrating.
  • Ald O
    I have learned to adapt precisely with my lack of focus on uninteresting (but necessary) tasks by conditioning and FOOLING my mind to think (or finding reasons why) they are interesting and meaningful. It’s incredibly tough and does not always work, but many times it does and helps, especially in highly demanding fields.

    I was also just reminded, i can never picture any image in my mind completely clear, so while i like art, i could only draw still life or by copying, but never from memory or imagination. It’s always a static cloud.
  • Danny Thomson
    how the man described reading around the 12 minute mark is EXACTLY what its like for me reading books, i find myself having to skip back entire chapters to a point i remember reading. when i describe this to normals i get the weirdest looks.
  • Milan Hervas
    So refreshing to hear a such a realistic approach, to bad it was almost drowned out by Galinsky's empty nonsense.
  • Jakob Schwalm
    'A closer look into ADHD' brought me here. It's funny how Mr. Brown says almost the exact same things. Nevertheless he's amazing.
  • Bada Bing888
    “The Developmental impairment of the brain’s management system.” Spot on.

    In my case I find my threshold of attention is lower and I struggle to process a lot of different information thrown at me.
  • Nancy W.
    I read the book and do the same thing that you said I read it don’t remember it but I remember the day. I’m 57 and I always wanted to know how to read and write. Unfortunately they told me I was slow and had low self-esteem. Thankfully I had teachers who believed in me and help me to graduate with my class.
  • susanewalkerconta
    Sleep is soooo important.
    And positive people surrounding us!
    Educate the teachers, understand what this ADHD etc is all about!
    “Average doctor has 20 minutes of ADHD training.”
    Adequate info is sooooo important!
    Parents: Surround yourself with supportive parents, non-critical non-judgmental.
    Get expert help and support!
  • Wizard
    Thomas Brown here trying to say it's a developmental neurological illness which affects adults and can't just be willed away... the two women totally ignoring his message and talking about it like it's child behaviour management... smh.
  • Nyamedor
    Dr brown: I love that he actually genuinely understands ☺️
  • Yan08ear
    Honestly I love where this conversation is going I don't like calling it ADHD in general. I was never diagnosed or even was aware of any symptoms at all. In school I was having trouble focusing in class when the teacher was giving a lesson. I still was not even aware of symptoms at all without using the word ADHD. Throughout my childhood I did have trouble with reading, writing, or even developed basic sentences (paragraphs) or use proper pronouce (words) to build the vocabulary. This is really informative issues everyone should pay attention. My family physician did recommend me to start taking Adderall. It is a drug that help you to concentrate or pay attention, stay focused, increase brain 🧠activity, behavior problems, and also help to improve listening skills. It is very effective indeed ofcourse I did experience drowsiness, and dizziness at the beginning. The side effects was instant I barely even react or at all. My family physician did prescribed MIXED SALTS AMPHETAMINE 30MG ADDERALL XR once daily without nutrition food in the morning.
  • maureen o'brien
    I take Ritalin for my ADHD. ADHD is like driving in a thick fog. When the Ritalin kicks in, it's like breaking out of that fog into the clear, sunshiny road ahead. I am 67 years old. I couldn't get any help when I was young, because only boys got ADHD. I was tested and saw many psychologists, but no one said ADHD, since I was a girl. When my son got it, a got tested and put on medications. We both got counseling to be able to help ourselves. My son does very well, I still have some trouble. But, with the med, I do much better than if I'm not on it.
  • Thomas Lowe
    01/31/2022 I've been dealing with ADD for 43 years and I'm going to finally get medical treatment to get this under control, and finally take the helm for my life. I've come to grips with the fact I will need medication for the rest of my life along with counseling from a psychiatrist. I encourage everyone suffering with this disease to do the same. It's not too late. You can get this under control with a positive mindset and a good support group. Get help today. Good luck.
  • My son is Daniel tiger is 12 now & everyday I'm learning something new about people with ADHD .. seeing his development I try sometimes to see it as he does ...that'll tire you out 😂 faster than you think thank you
  • DaneArcher2000
    "Either I have ADD and nobody knew it, or I have early onset Alzheimers." Oh my gosh, I just lived this!! Only, I've known I was ADD-i since I wss 12 yrs. old in the early '80s (back when I was diagnosed with "an attention disorder." Once I hit 51 years of age, I started to feel like I was losing my mind. Not just the "usual" menopause symptoms I'd watched my older sister and aunt go through. It was bad enough I was beginning to consider suicide for the 1st time. I just couldn't function.

    I went to my doctor, distraught and in tears, and she agreed I could try hormone replacement therapy. Two weeks later I had my brain back. I've always struggled with ADD, but it was mostly at a manageable level. The HRT put me back where it was manageable again. I can function - not function great, but function. I live in fear of what will happen when I have to come off the HRT in 10 yrs.
  • David J. Lee
    I feel the end part with the advice was just great for other kids and adults in general! Was it a coincidence that Andrea Davis Pinkney wore red and Ellen Galinsky wore blue and Thomas E. Brown wore pink?