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What does an Attention Deficit Disorder Support Group do?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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An attention deficit disorder support group can help sufferers or their families manage aspects of the condition and connect them with others who experience the same struggles. Support groups can take several forms, including those that are led by professionals as well as by peers. Some attention deficit disorder support groups are made up of individuals who have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, while others are geared toward parents of these individuals.

Many people who have attention deficit disorder benefit from supportive contact with other people who share their condition. This is true of both children and adults, though the focus of these support groups may differ according to the age-related needs of both populations. A children's attention deficit disorder support group may focus more on helping kids moderate their behavior as well as providing an environment for sharing their frustrations. On the other hand, an adult attention deficit disorder support group may focus more on sharing strategies for coping with symptoms in work and family life. The support group may also provide a safe space for these adults to express their feelings about the ways their condition has affected their lives.

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While attention deficit disorder support groups for children will by necessity be led by an adult facilitator, often a mental health professional, this is not always true for adult-oriented groups. Therapists and social workers might well lead an attention deficit disorder support group, particularly if they specialize in the treatment of this condition in their private practices, but there is nothing stopping adults with the condition from forming their own groups. Support groups may meet in restaurants or coffee shops, schools, and office space belonging to a mental health professional.

When selecting an attention deficit disorder support group, it's a good idea to inquire about the group's focus. If a group is primarily geared toward people who have the condition, family members may not be welcome or may not get much out of group meetings. Individuals and parents who are coping with a new diagnosis may be overwhelmed if they enter an established group, so they may want to inquire as to whether the group holds introductory meetings for those who are newly diagnosed. Similarly, an attention deficit disorder support group may only be open to individuals who have a so-called on-paper diagnosis, as opposed to those who are self-diagnosed or who simply suspect that they or their child have the condition.

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