Services: ADHD and Parenting

Family life, parenting & solutions that work

A neurobiological, developmental disorder

ADHD isn't anything you did or didn't do

Did you know?

Girls are missed and more commonly diagnosed late in their teen and adult years, often after struggling for many years with ‘anxiety’ or ‘depression’  (which seems to follow a living a life of undiagnosed ADHD). 

​ADHD is NOT the result of poor parenting, too much sugar or a lack of exercise (no more than being near-sighted is) and is no longer considered a ‘behavioural’ disorder, but now understood as a neurobiological, developmental disorder. 

ADHD is lifelong, present in its many forms in childhood, through to adulthood.

Symptoms ebb and flow, depending on how the person has managed to cope, the strength of the support network around them and the extent of any additional mental health challenges.

​Not optimizing treatment opportunities for ADHD leaves kids at higher risk for:

Learning difficulties and dropping out of school

Substance abuse, additional mental health conditions, accidents and injuries

Conflicts with law enforcement, and early death.

Genetics and heritability

Although we don’t know exactly what causes ADHD, we know that it tends to run in families.  Like many traits of behaviour and temperament, ADHD is genetically influenced, but not genetically determined (this means you might have a genetic predisposition, but that doesn’t mean you will necessarily have it). 

In terms of genetics, emerging data from twin, adoption, and molecular genetic studies show ADHD to be highly heritable (as heritable as height!), and mutations in genes affecting dopaminergic regulation have been consistently associated with ADHD. Studies during the past decade have also documented high levels of other mental health conditions within families, like mood and anxiety disorders, as well as learning disabilities and executive function deficits.

What might this mean for your family for example? If one parent has ADHD, the chances of a child developing it shoot up to about 30%.  If both parents have ADHD, the chances leap to more than 50%.  It may also mean none of the children may inherit it, or all of the children in a family may inherit it.  Boys are diagnosed at a rate of 3:1 to girls, but ADHD is equally present in both genders. It’s less likely that only one family member has it. ​

UNdiagnosed ADHD affects all aspects of family life and your experience as a parent

You might notice challenges like these

Known success Factors​ For Kids With ADHD

ADHD at school

Advocating for your child

Knowing how to advocate for your child at school, or for yourself in post-secondary or in the workplace, is critical. Our therapy team is well equipped to give you the resources you need to inform your child’s teacher, principal, IEP accommodations and protections throughout your brains learning lifetime.

ADHD is a protected disability in Ontario – it’s important to know yours and/or your child’s rights.

At school, ADHD brains are not always obvious, and many of the symptoms go on as ‘invisible’, sometimes until well into adulthood,  especially for girls and women.  This is not an intelligence issue – it’s an issue of how the information gets in, stays in and can be demonstrated – the person’s approach to learning.

Behaviour therapy & management can assess your or your individual child’s needs, tailoring a plan, allowing the adults to implement positive and supportive strategies to address challenges with impulsivity, paying attention / distractibility, follow-through, hyperactivity, intense emotional responses / self-regulation, organizational and time management skills.

​A psychoeducational assessment can provide more information about how your brain learns, and can be foundational for educational support (but is not necessary for a diagosis).

The key to ADHD behaviour management is ​consistency and immediacy through clear, calm positive communication. Children with ADHD are often subjected to an abundance of scolding, nagging and general negative interaction with adults and even other children. This takes a huge toll on their self-image and wellbeing.”

Other Resources

Navigating your parenting journey after diagnosis

ADHD and substance use

Canadian DHD Patient Advocacy Associations

ADHD and the disability tax credit

ADHD does qualify as a disability across Canada, provided that the impairment is severe enough. Many cases of ADHD are mild or moderate in nature. With multi-modal treatment, the majority of those affected can live happy and fulfilling lives.

We know ADHD can have different impacts on an individual’s life, which can vary across the lifespan. Given that we do have multi-modal treatments that are very effective with both child and adult ADHD, it is fortunate that it qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit.

It’s important to know, the diagnosis of ADHD is not the sole qualifier for The Disability Tax Credit. The severity of the condition and its effects on the daily life of the sufferer are the major deciding factors. Whether or not your ADHD qualifies as disabling will depend on how it affects your life and the advice of medical professionals. 

Additional resources

*Please note these links provide free resources, provided by an external private company (Disability Credit Canada Inc.) and DALD cannot endorse or guarantee the support you may receive there. 

"It is important for parents to understand how to advocate for their children’s needs in school. Special accommodations within the school system can be implemented and be maintained as children with ADHD transition from primary school through to a post-secondary institution."

Grant opportunities

DCCI Scholarship for Canadian Students with Disabilities

For Students in a full-time program of study in health care, criminal justice or community & social services for the upcoming school year.

Scholarship Partners Canada

The Mattinson Scholarship Program for
​Students with Disabilities (Applicable towards full-time studies of a first undergraduate degree)

OSAP Grant

Headed to College or University in Ontario? Check out the OSAP Grant for students with ADHD.