Table of Contents
More than Just a Learning Difficulty
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is among children’s most common mental health disorders, but what about adults? Many adults are diagnosed with ADHD learning disability, which may present differently in this demographic. Children with ADHD often exhibit symptoms such as forgetfulness, talking excessively, daydreaming, moving or fidgeting in their seats, and having trouble resisting temptation. Children generally demonstrate inattentiveness or hyperactivity, but in some cases, the presentation of the condition includes both. For adults, ADHD can include some similar symptoms such as difficulty paying attention or controlling impulses. These problems can cause issues in their professional and personal lives.
At Alter Behavioral Health, we can provide treatment to reduce ADHD learning disability symptoms and other symptoms that may impact a person’s job and personal relationships. It’s important to note that ADHD is not designated as a learning disability, but it does impact learning. Moreover, a person can have ADHD, a mental health disorder, and learning disabilities. Careful diagnosis is needed to determine what condition(s) adults or children may be experiencing.
The symptoms of ADHD can make learning extremely hard. Having difficulty maintaining focus can prevent a person from learning what they need to learn for work or school. Although ADHD is a chronic condition, there is mental illness treatment in California that adults can benefit from. Like other mental health conditions, ADHD can be effectively managed. Rely on Alter Behavioral Health for support if you have ADHD or suspect you may have the condition. Our clinicians are credentialed and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD.
ADHD: Is it a Disorder or a Special Need?
What is ADHD? Since it’s often a condition that’s diagnosed in children, many people think of it as a learning disability. Although the condition impacts learning, it is not technically a learning disability but a chronic mental health disorder. ADHD may be caused by various factors, including:
- Tobacco or alcohol use during the birth mother’s pregnancy
- Low birth weight
- Premature birth
- Exposure to environmental risks during pregnancy or as a young child
- Brain injury
A person with ADHD may be highly intelligent or have low intelligence; it is not a marker of intelligence. People with the disorder can learn provided they do not have a learning disability and they can manage the symptoms that could impede learning like daydreaming or difficulty maintaining attention.
Adults may demonstrate various symptoms that denote the presence of the disorder. These symptoms include:
- Impulsive behavior
- Trouble focusing on a task
- Easily frustrated
- Mood swings
- Difficulty managing stress
- Problems were completing tasks/following through with plans
- Problems with planning
- Low patience/temper
A common misconception is that ADHD mainly affects kids but also adults as it is a chronic mental health disorder.
ADHD is a mental health disorder, but many still ask, “Is ADHD a disability?” or “Is ADHD special needs?” ADHD is not regarded as a learning disorder because it doesn’t affect processes in the brain associated with academic learning. Even so, ADHD is regarded as a disability and special needs. As such, it does fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides protection in the workplace for individuals diagnosed with the condition. ADHD is a disability, but individuals with the disorder may or may not have special needs depending on the severity of their symptoms.
Special needs, which are also protected under the act, indicate that the individual requires reasonable accommodations to perform their work. Employers must make these reasonable accommodations when employing someone with a mental health condition like ADHD.
The Impact of ADHD on Adult Learning
How does ADHD affect learning in adults? Imagine an adult who needs to learn a new computer program for their job. Their brain can process the information needed to learn how to use the new platform; however, their ADHD affects their ability to maintain attention. If they can’t pay attention to their training, they will find it difficult to achieve their learning goal. The result may be the same–poor use of the new software, but the reason for not learning the software comes down to the person’s condition.
Even so, adults with ADHD who do not learn what they need to learn because they’re unable to focus attention often suffer from low self-esteem because it appears that they cannot learn the material or tasks they need to. They may feel isolated because others around them can learn with seemingly greater ease.
Identifying the Symptoms: ADHD Learning Disability
ADHD learning disability symptoms may either point to ADHD, a specific learning disability, several learning disabilities, or co-occurring conditions. On its own, ADHD is not a learning disability; it is a disability but is medically categorized as a mental health condition. Symptoms that people may notice that should prompt them to seek a diagnosis of ADHD or a learning disability include:
- Inability or difficulty maintaining focus/concentration
- Overlooking details
- Difficulty prioritizing tasks
- Poor organization
- Difficulty remaining still
- Losing items of importance such as important documents
These are symptoms associated with ADHD. Learning disabilities may involve symptoms such as:
- Difficulty remembering facts
- Reading without accuracy or fluency; reading slowly
- Difficulty with mathematical reasoning; inability to process mathematical concepts
Many people are diagnosed with ADHD or learning disabilities as kids. These conditions often make themselves known in the learning environment. Adults, however, will have to seek out treatment and a diagnosis if they haven’t been diagnosed as kids.
Overcoming Learning Challenges: Strategies for ADHD
ADHD learning strategies are important for adults to acquire important knowledge that can support them in their job or personal life. Alter Behavioral Health can help adults with ADHD develop strategies for managing their condition, whether alone or in conjunction with a learning disability. Some learning strategies for adults with ADHD include:
- Minimize distractions
- Follow a routine
- Use electronic reminders to help you stay on task or remember important tasks.
- Break big tasks down into smaller, more easily managed tasks
- Manage stress as it can heighten ADHD symptoms
- Get optimum sleep
Also, work with Alter Behavioral Health clinicians to develop a customized treatment plan that may include medication and activities to support the optimum management of your ADHD.
FAQs about the ADHD-Learning Disability Impact
What exactly is ADHD disorder?
ADHD is a chronic mental health disorder that causes hyperactivity or difficulty focusing.
Is ADHD considered a disability?
ADHD is a disability, and people with the disorder are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
How does ADHD affect the learning process in adults?
ADHD does not affect specific learning processes, but it can impact learning. People with the disorder often find it challenging to pay attention, which can result in a failure to acquire necessary information. Although their brain can process information, their ADHD makes it difficult for them to get the information in the first place.
What strategies can help adults with ADHD overcome learning challenges?
Adults who have ADHD can improve their ability to learn by managing their condition and reducing their symptoms with therapy and medication when recommended. Minimizing distractions and getting enough sleep can help people with the disorder improve their ability to focus their attention on learning tasks.
Can ADHD learning disabilities be managed effectively in adulthood?
Yes, adults with ADHD can manage their condition effectively as adults. The key is to consult with mental health providers specializing in ADHD treatment. Alter Behavioral Health offers high-quality ADHD treatment that can help adults manage this disorder. Although the condition is chronic, its symptoms can be managed.
How does an ADHD learning disability impact day-to-day activities?
ADHD can have a daily impact on a person’s life. For example, many adults with ADHD struggle with organization. Being disorganized can affect their daily life at home and work. A person with ADHD may experience mood swings that can impact their relationships daily. Their difficulty maintaining focus can result in low self-esteem. By not focusing their attention well, individuals can find learning difficult daily, impacting their performance at work or school.
Are specific learning tools or resources helpful for adults with ADHD?
There are many different strategies that adults can rely on to manage their ADHD. These strategies may include learning tools or resources like reminder apps that can improve their ability to manage their lives at home and work.
If you have ADHD, visit Alter Behavioral Health and let our experienced clinicians guide you toward improved condition management. We take a customized approach to the treatment process. We can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. ADHD can be challenging to cope with, but with treatment tailored to your needs, you can experience reduced symptoms that positively impact your daily life.
Contact Alter Behavioral Health at 866-647-2716 today to learn more about ADHD Learning Disability treatments.