Is ADHD a Disability? | Transcend Recovery Community

It is worth noting that there have been at least 13.6 million visits to mental health clinics with an ADHD disability diagnosis, according to data released by CDC. As this mental health issue becomes more common than we think, it's crucial to understand how ADHD may impact our daily life and how this disability can be addressed—particularly for those already diagnosed and affected by it.

Transcend Recovery Community is here to discuss everything you need to know about ADHD, alongside its symptoms, risk factors, and possible ways to manage this. Continue reading to find out more.

What is ADHD? Condition & Symptoms

As defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common developmental disorders since childhood. It refers to an individual who may have focus problems, has issues with controlling impulsive behavior, or are generally overly active.

There are 3 types of ADHD conditions. These include:

  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation - An individual has immense difficulty accomplishing a task, paying attention to details, or following a dialogue/conversation. They tend to be forgetful and get easily distracted by their day-to-day routine.
  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation - It may refer to someone's restlessness and impulsivity. It may also manifest itself with people who constantly interrupt, grab things from someone, or even speak at the wrong time.
  • Combined Presentation - It can be possible that the two former conditions are equally present in an individual.

Scientists are currently studying the causes and risk factors of people having a developmental disability (i.e. severe ADHD). Here are the common elements or causes that may cause attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  • Genetics
  • Environmental risks during pregnancy or young age
  • Premature delivery at birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Substance abuse during pregnancy (e.g. alcohol, tobacco, drugs)

As with any other mental disability, it may cause severe functional impairments that should be addressed early on by a medical professional to be able to function properly in their everyday life. To be diagnosed with ADHD, you should look at the following ADHD symptoms:

In children:

  • Forgetting or losing things frequently
  • Making unnecessary risks or careless mistakes
  • Having a hard time resisting temptation
  • Squirming or fidgeting a lot
  • Incessant talking
  • Having difficulty getting along with other people

Adult ADHD:

  • Disorganization
  • Lower frustration tolerance
  • Mood disorders
  • Problem completing tasks
  • Inability to cope with stress
  • Multi-tasking issues
  • Poor time management
  • Excessive restlessness or hyperactivity

There are instances when the presence of severe ADHD symptoms severely hindered a person's ability to work with others and may invade one's personal life relative to the issues surrounding their disability. It's essential to have a proper ADHD diagnosis done by receiving proper professional medical advice to avoid any misdiagnosis that may miss out on other symptoms that may point to following symptoms leading to other mental health issues.

Is ADHD a Disability?

a young boy with adhd is holding his head while doing some artwork

ADHD is considered a disability when it interferes with a person's capacity to work and engage in the public sector. Simply put, if their developmental disabilities hinder them from collaborating well with others and there is sufficient medical evidence to back this up, considering their life history on how they conducted themselves on many occasions, then this is up for serious consideration.

ADHD and The Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a US legislation. Persons with disabilities receive equal opportunities all thanks to this law, such as SSDI benefits or disability benefits.

Alongside other mental health issues, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act with strict stipulations. ADHD must be a chronic neuropsychiatric condition that visibly and severely interferes with a person's day-to-day life and overall personal ability. If their disability is mild by nature, they won't be eligible to receive disability benefits help.

It's important to have supporting medical documents and a proper diagnosis done by medical professionals to receive the same protections as those with other learning disabilities.

Is ADHD a Developmental Disability?

As stated by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention or CDC, ADHD is considered a developmental disability as it's one of the more common disorders found in early childhood next to autism and cerebral palsy. Federal or state governments have also reviewed this with the federal law supporting how a person is severely impacted by this condition to turn into a protected disability.

Is ADHD a Learning Disability?

In line with the statement released by the Learning Disabilities Association of America, ADHD is not considered a learning disability. However, further studies show that up to half of all children with ADHD have developed difficulty in learning which may be challenging especially as they get older.

ADHD and Cognitive Disability

In essence, cognitive disability refers to conditions that may result in slower mental faculty and functioning. People who also have cognitive disabilities may hinder a person's ability to develop as they may take more time learning compared to normal people.

Presently, there are many facets of ADHD that reflect mild cognitive impairment. However, ADHD qualifying as a cognitive disability is subject to the opinion of medical professionals. Others may argue that it can be considered as one. Meanwhile, others feel that these are two separate conditions.

How to Get Disability Benefits with an ADHD Diagnosis

There are strict rules governing a person receiving disability benefits, i.e. social security disability under the Rehabilitation act. To receive disability benefits, they must adhere to the following procedures.

  • Show appropriate documentation produced by a licensed medical authority resulting in a diagnosis of their ADHD condition. The symptoms must include the following:
  • Impulsiveness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattentiveness
  • The individual applying for social security benefits under social security disability must properly document that the three conditions stated previously were directly caused by their ADHD condition. These may feature the following situations:
  • Difficulty with communicating
  • The trouble with functioning properly during a social setting
  • Functioning adequately in one's day-to-day life as one would with people their same age.

Establishing the existence of ADHD may prove to be challenging unless the individual may produce sufficient evidence to support their claim and that their issues are indeed caused by ADHD and not by other external factors such as substance abuse.

How to Manage ADHD

As with all mental health conditions, such as ARFID, managing a particular condition may prove to be a challenge for a person. However, with proper inpatient or outpatient treatment that involves therapy or medication, not all hope is lost.

  • Prescription medication - A specialist may recommend the use of stimulants, antidepressants, or a combination of these to help with the management of symptoms.
  • Behavioral therapy - There are many ways for a person to manage their ADHD symptoms. Working with a therapist for solo/group, and cognitive behavioral or dialectical behavioral therapy can work wonders and address these issues.

Can Transcend Assist with ADHD Disability?

Although Transcend Recovery Community doesn't necessarily provide treatment for people suffering from ADHD, what it does is provide supplemental support in the form of sober living arrangements to help people recover better from their issues. Gender-specific setups such as women's and men's sober living provide a safe space for people to focus on recovery without worrying about other external factors.

If you or a loved one is suffering from ADHD, don't hesitate to contact us. Our recovery specialist is waiting to help you by guiding you through the crucial first steps of your long-term recovery.

Transcend Recovery Community

Transcend Recovery Community family of sober living homes provides a safe place for those undergoing mental health and addiction treatment to live with like-minded peers. Our community-based approach to sober living (similarly to a halfway house) facilitates an open and welcoming environment, where members, staff and team can provide support and encouragement on the path to a sober and healthy life. Transcend's Los Angeles sober living homes are located in some of the most iconic areas of the city, filled with luxurious and upscale amenities, providing plenty to do for those in our transitional housing community.

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