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What does it mean to reframe an ADHD diagnosis?

Looking at attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a gift will help you to increase your child's motivation by offering praise for the very symptoms that others have found so problematic. Reframing the diagnosis is an example of a central cognitive behavioral technique for treating any disorder: reframing. In reframing, you change your cognitive interpretation of some trait about yourself or some event in the real world that has upset you. For example, if you find out that someone you are close to did not tell you about something major that was happening in his or her life, you might get upset and think he or she is trying to keep secrets from you. If you reframe this situation, you might consider that maybe this person did not tell you what was going on because he or she wanted to protect you from getting upset. As you can probably imagine, the emotions and behavior that follow these different interpretations will be quite different.

The strategy of finding alternative interpretations of events and characteristics of the self is a central method of change in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Helping your child to reframe the diagnosis of ADHD as a gift that makes her different from others in potentially positive ways is central to her healing process. Not only will the reframing help as a strategy in and of itself, but it will also provide the motivation for engaging in the program of change.
The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

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The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

As a parent, you already know that your child has many gifts. What you may not know is that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) related symptoms—the very qualities that lead him or her...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.