How Do I Explain ADHD to My Child?

Parents want the answer to, “How do I explain ADHD to my child?”  As a school psychologist and ADHD expert, I’ve answered this question for countless parents.  I’ve even explained ADHD to my own child when he was in the fourth grade. I believe the best way to explain ADHD to your child is reading a book about ADHD to your child.  That’s why I wrote the book, Terrific Teddy’s Excessive Energy to help parents like you explain ADHD to your child.

Your child just needs a simple and age appropriate explanation.  You may be concerned you will say the wrong thing and harm your child’s self-esteem but no need to worry when you use a book to explain ADHD to your child.

How do I explain ADHD to my child?

There are three benefits to use a book to explain ADHD to your child.

  1. Kids relate to books.
  2. Books provide a natural transition into talking about things.
  3. Books provide the verbiage of what to say.

What would be the ‘wrong’ way to explain ADHD to your child?

When you explain ADHD, dyslexia, or any other learning difference to your child you want to avoid making your child feel like they are broken.  Avoid telling your child, “We found out what’s wrong with you. You have ADHD.”  Kids should not start to think there is something wrong with them or they will internalize it. That’s when self-esteem and motivation problems can really begin to form.  If you tell your child he is just bad at math, he starts to believe it and then math becomes even more difficult.  The same principle applies to explaining ADHD to your child.

Is it Really ADHD?

You may wonder if it’s really ADHD or just a developmental issue.  We provide testing to answer that question. Some kids are immature and have their birthday a few days after school starts.  These children, and especially boys, are immature by nature.  We want to take this into consideration when deciding if they have ADHD or not.  If your child was only diagnosed with ADHD by a pediatrician, a full psychoeducational or neuropsychological testing can help provide additional answers and recommendations to help you and your child.

I offer free ADHD video resources to help you raise your child.  My other ADHD resources can be found at  Call our office if you’d like to discuss your child (561) 625-4125.