Understanding ADHD in Kids & Teens

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in kids and teens. However, it can also affect adults if left undiagnosed or unaddressed. It can have an impact on the emotions and behaviors of children, and it can affect their ability to learn new things.

Often children with ADHD are portrayed as being troublemakers who may be difficult to parent, teach, or coach. However, this only captures one sliver of behaviors associated with ADHD, and can create a false narrative that an ADHD diagnosis is a bad thing.

Audience Questions

Roberto Olivardia, PhD, explains how we can help support the kids and teens we look after who have ADHD, addresses the stigma associated with ADHD diagnoses, and answers audience questions about how having ADHD can have its advantages.

  • Why is ADHD less frequently identified in girls compared to boys? Is this caused by a difference in presentation or the assumption that girls’ symptoms are a sign of something else?
  • What is a clinical evaluation?
  • Should I disclose my ADHD to my employer?
  • As a parent, how can I help my child with ADHD enhance their executive functioning skills?
  • Is there a connection between traumatic events or adverse childhood experiences and ADHD?
  • For those who do not have access to a licensed professional, are there evaluations or self-assessment tools you recommend?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


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About Dr. Olivardia

Roberto Olivardia, PhD, conducts diagnostic evaluations at The Pavilion at McLean Hospital. He maintains a private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as issues that face students with learning disabilities. He is a nationally recognized expert in eating disorders and body image problems in boys and men.

Dr. Olivardia is co-author of The Adonis Complex. He specializes in evidence-based psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral treatment. He currently serves on the Professional Advisory Boards for Children and Adults With ADHD (CHADD), The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for ADDitude. He has spoken on numerous webinars and presents at many talks and conferences around the country.

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Originally aired on September 12, 2022