ADHD: Increasing Awareness and Accurate Information

This week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) announced the creation and launch of a new area of their website: Devoted specifically to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the new project is being promoted by NAMI as an “interactive online resource center to support children and adults living with” ADHD. In contrast to many other online “resources,” NAMI’s site does more than simply list symptoms (which encourage people to self-diagnose rather than meeting with a trained therapist or other mental/behavioral health professional). Instead, NAMI encourages people who recognize symptoms in themselves or their children to meet with a trained professional and address the person’s personality traits more thoroughly.

In addition to symptoms and explanations of ADHD, the NAMI site provides a range of tips and suggestions on how to manage symptoms of ADHD at home, work, and school. These include tactics that adults with attention issues can use to keep themselves on task at work and in their personal lives. A video series of “fireside chats” draws on psychiatrists who specialize in ADHD, and a number of personal stories highlight how different individuals and families have decided to handle a diagnosis.

However, most promising is the “treatment” area of the website. Too often, parents whose children are high-energy want a quick diagnosis and a prescription. But NAMI consistently emphasizes the importance of individualized treatment: assessing the unique needs of anyone seen by a therapist for potential ADHD. This means working out an individualized treatment plan that combines more than one element of care, not medication alone. For children, this may be accompanied by an individualized educational plan (IEP) that provides a tweaked environment more conducive to that child’s educational success. Medication alone is not nearly as effective as a tailored combination of treatment that includes therapy along with any medication that may be chosen.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • D.steyn


    September 17th, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    I love it how newer technology driven methods are being used for age old problems and we end up making modern solutions to these old age problems.I believe more of this tech-based approach needs to be made use of in all the fields possible.

  • Martin L.

    Martin L.

    September 18th, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    ADHD, I’ve read, affects quite a lot of people and therefore it is very important that the general public knows about this problem. When there is awareness only then will there be less of prejudice and misconception regarding something.

  • Jonna


    September 18th, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    When it comes to ADD and ADHD and the issues that surround these diagnoses I think that there is a lot of misinformation out there and then people do not know how to turn on the filters and sort the good from the bad. One journal may say one thing while another may recommend something else completely. Do you ever see a time when there will be any type of consistency surrounding this or do you think that when a child or an adult is diagnosed that it is lways going to be such an individualized situation that there can never be anything that is a one size fits all type of deal?

  • Georgia


    September 19th, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    The more opportunities that there are to learn about something and to have a place where you feel like you can go to get the information that you need the better off you will be. You will be better informed as well as more aware of the issues that you may face when confronted by specific situations. NAMI always does such a wonderful job acting as both educators and facilitators and can be such a great tool for anyone experiencing any type of mental illness within their families and who could be looking for answers.

  • deanne


    September 20th, 2010 at 4:44 AM

    Learning how other families deal with a similar diagnoses could be very eye opening for so many families. The website sounds like it could be a real winner for many families who are having to live with ADHD and who are always lookng for new ideas and information on how to best cope with the issues that they face. There is always new information coming out but I find that many patients are not intune to this and do not have access to studies that could make a huge difference in their own lives. Either their doctors are not pointing them in the right direction or they do not know enough to understand that the next study may address something that they as individuals have been experiencing and which with the right tweaking could make their lives even fuller and richer.

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