Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a medical condition that affects brain development and activity that is involved with attention and self-control. The American Psychiatric Association estimates over eight percent of children and over two percent of adults struggle with this diagnosis. Children who struggle with ADHD can often be misunderstood or unfairly considered troubled kids. There are some things that parents can do to help a child who struggles with this issue.
Become More Knowledgeable about ADHD
Parents are the number one resource when it comes to teaching others about their child and when teaching the child. Parents need to talk to their child’s doctor to learn about ADHD, but talking to the doctor is not enough. There is a variety of learning material available including books, websites, and parent support groups. Parent support groups are a great way to see what other parents are doing to work with behaviors that closely resemble their own child’s. These groups allow parents to see that they are not alone and their child is not the only one. Other parents can recommend positive behavior programs, an adhd parenting podcast, and other resources that can help struggling parents who feel alone.
Listen to Children Who Struggle with ADHD
Parents can also learn from just listening to the child. Some children with ADHD explain that they often have a difficult time processing information that is said to them, so it could help to ask the child to repeat what they hear to check for understanding. Many times children can explain what they are feeling or why they reacted in a certain way. This can bring better communication between parent and child, and assist in teaching the child better coping and focus skills as they grow.
Should My Child Take Medication
According to some experts,medication for ADHD is often very successful. Medication should never be the first option for children who have ADHD. Parents need to try other means of working with their child and only medicate as a last resort. There are many positive behavior programs and small changes in communication that can be made by the adults before discussing the issue with their doctor. It is a good idea to work with a child’s teacher to see if the child’s school work is being effected before seeking medical assistance. A parent may also want to try exercise and sports as another way to help with focus and attention issues. If a parent decides that medication could help, then medication evaluations need to be conducted by a medical professional.
Having ADHD does not mean you cannot live a healthy and happy life. It just means that you may need more support to learn better focus and attention. These issues can be the underlining causes of behaviors or learning problems early on but with the right support, education, and sometimes medication children can learn what they need to be successful. Parents have a role in giving their children what they need as they grow and learn.