ADHD in San Antonio, TX

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a neurological condition which affects an estimated 11% of the population.  ADHD manifests as trouble with impulse control, focusing on things that are not beneficial to the individual, and more, ultimately resulting in poor organization and procrastination.

But on the other hand, ADHD children and teens are extremely curious, their minds constantly bouncing from one thing to another, they are very creative, but they often do not fit in the regular classroom setting.

ADHD is not a behavioral disorder. ADHD is not a mental illness. ADHD is not a learning disability. ADHD, if left untreated or unmanaged, it is an impairment of the brain’s self-management system. However, when patients learn how to manage their symptoms in ways that do not suppress their ADHD, they are truly unstoppable.

ADHD SYMPTOMS (not all needs to be present)

  • Inattention
  • Lack of focus Poor time management
  • Exaggerated emotions
  • Hyperactivity
  • Executive dysfunction Hyperfocus Multitasking


ADHD is considered one condition with three different presentations:

ADHD Primary Inattentive (Formerly ADD)

People with this presentation have problems focusing, completing tasks, and following instructions. They are easily distracted, always lose items, and perform suboptimal in school or at work. Because they are the “daydreamers,” they tend to go undiagnosed, because they do not interrupt classes or any environment. Sometimes they are mislabeled as shy, lazy or unmotivated children.

ADHD Primary Hyperactive-Impulsive

People with this type, act as if driven by a motor, with little impulse control. This can manifest by being unable to wait their turn, by bursting out answers, taking things without asking, fidgeting, and most commonly interrupting others all the time. These children and teens are usually mislabeled as troublemakers, students with bad behavior, bullies, and the clown of the class. Students with this presentation are easily diagnosed.

ADHD Combined Presentation

Very accurately named, this presentation of ADHD is the combination of both subtypes outlined above. For instance, some days people with this type tend to be more explosive, while other days they are simply stuck in their hyper focus, with only one or two things on their mind. Certain circumstances can also be responsible for this shift, like being comfortable with their friends and family, allowing them to be more hyperactive, while in places that do not provide that level of comfort, they are more reserved, with their head in the clouds.

The one characteristic I consistently find in all the subtypes is low self-esteem. When children are in their developmental stages, they need to receive positive reassuring words, positive reinforcement, and encouragement. Instead, these children receive messages from teachers, parents, and classmates that affect them deeply and emotionally. Comments like “why can’t you just behave”, “why do you always lose your lunchbox”, “why do your friends always get better grades than you?”, “why can’t you just do better”, “I am tired of being called from school because of you” are detrimental for their well being and emotional growth, as they begin to find insecurity in their differences when being compared to others. This is truly heartbreaking, because if children with ADHD learn to harness their brainpower from a young age, they would see how smart they actually are! 

Unfortunately, the mainstream education environment is not “ADHD friendly,” asking for learners to focus on one subject for one hour or more, getting little to no breaks, and getting scrutinized when they ask to go to the bathroom too many times. This of course may be beneficial for neurotypical people, however, for those with ADHD, it tends to make learning much harder than it is for the average person.

9-Symptoms of ADHD

Inattentive Type

  1. Fails to give attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
  2. Difficulty concentrating their attention in certain tasks
  3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  4. Often does not follow through instructions correctly, and fails to finish schoolwork
  5. Has difficulty with any kind of organization
  6. Avoids tasks that sustain mental effort (especially if they do not like the subject or find them useless)
  7. Lose things all the time
  8. Often distracted by extraneous stimuli. Stimuli can be thoughts, but also anything that can stimulate them physically, like their materials or a poster on a wall
  9. Often forgetful in daily activities (chores, errands, paying bills, keeping appointments)

The presentation of the above symptoms correlates with the structure present at home, school, and social situation, which makes diagnosing particularly difficult.    

Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

  1. Fidgeting
  2. Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
  3. Runs or climbs in situations which are inappropriate
  4. Always on the go, like driven by a motor
  5. Excessive talking
  6. Blurts answers before questions are finished, or when is not their turn.
  7. They have difficulty waiting his or her turn
  8. Frequently interrupts or intrude on others
  9. May have ticks like biting their nails or twirling their hair

Diagnosis of ADHD

There is not a single test or way to diagnose ADHD. The diagnosis is based on observations by parents and teachers through time, the visit with the doctor, and the completion of several tests by parents, teachers, and the person being evaluated. According to the CDC, 1 of 10 children has ADHD, making it the most common childhood neurodevelopmental condition in the United States.

Benefits of ADHD

Having ADHD can be difficult during the first few years of life, because children are raised and educated in a strict school system, where they need to follow instructions, be still, follow commands, and they are evaluated under very strict guidelines. But ADHD has lots of traits that become advantages in the future when managed correctly.

  • Being energetic: this energy can be used in sports, leadership position, and work field.
  • Spontaneity: some people with ADHD can turn impulsivity into spontaneity. They might be the life of a party, or might be more willing to try and learn about new things.
  • They are more creative and inventive, resulting in very original, artistic and creative individuals in any field of their choosing.
  • Some people with ADHD might become hyper focused when doing what they like, and they can work on a project until its completion without breaking concentration.
  • Those with hyper focus are known to have many activities or concepts in which they accel, since their creative impulses and interests take them from one extreme to another at any given time.

Unfortunately, many schools, teachers, and parents fail to understand the potential of these children with such a super-mind and end up suppressing their potential in order to fit the expectations from the school and society. For a person with ADHD to unlock their superpower, they need to be able to express it in a healthy and loving environment during their developmental stages, without having to worry about disappointing their authority figures.

Treatment of ADHD

The treatment of ADHD can be complicated. It requires teamwork between parents, teachers, counselors, tutor, physicians, and possibly the right medications. For most patients, and combination of exercise routines, a healthy and balanced diet, medication, daily or weekly consistent structure, goal settings and counseling are required. For others, just changing their diet and spending time out of the school practicing sports or outdoor activities can be enough. In other words, any combination of these widely practiced remedies can help a not only children but also adults with ADHD, however finding what works best takes patience, time, and effort.


For some individuals, medication can be an important part of the treatment. Finding the right medication and dosage might take some time, but most of the time it produces a significant resolution of symptoms than intervene with the individual’s learning, achievement, and performance not only in school.

The main two types of ADHD medicines are stimulants and non-stimulants. Central nervous system stimulants are methylphenidates and amphetamines. These medicines increase the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which help to focus. They come in three preparations, short acting (only a few hours of effect, having to be taken two times a day), intermediate acting (more hours but still requires to be taken twice a day), and long acting (only once a day). These medicines are usually extremely helpful with patients with ADHD, with a very safe profile when supervised by a physician. The non-stimulant medicines are options for patients that does not tolerate stimulants, of for patient with rare contraindications.

The decision about using ADHD medicines is difficult for many parents due to stigma associated with them, or the belief ADHD is a myth, and the child is just LAZY or unmotivated. For a kid with ADHD, a medicinal solution could change their entire demeanor, and finally provide them with the confidence that they need.

Counseling and parental coaches

Having ADHD is as hard on the parents as it is on the child. Children feel great when they can make their parents proud, like when they succeed in school, when they do not get in trouble, and when they control themselves. For parents, they feel proud of their child when this one behaves well, they are responsible, thrive at school, follow instructions and structure, and their emotions are displayed appropriately in given situations.

Parenting children and teenagers with ADHD requires understanding of the problem. It is not uncommon that raising children with ADHD produces too much stress for the parents, sometimes even causing disruption within the family unit. On the child, growing up with ADHD without a proper diagnosis and intervention can end in low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, dysfunctional relationships, and so on. Therefore, an early diagnosis with the proper treatment is critical for all those involved.

For a more complete treatment of ADHD to obtain the best outcome of the prescribed medicines, a proper diet, a good exercise routine, daily structure, and counseling or coaches are recommended for the families and the patients. See resources for recommendations of literature, webinars, coaches, counselors, and others. 

If you think your child might be struggling with ADHD give our San Antonio, TX office a call today at (726) 208 2171.

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