Parenting Information

What To Do When You Think Your Child Might Have AD/HD


AD/HD (attention deficit disorder) is one of the most common mental health disorders seen in childhood. Studies estimate that between 3-7% of all children have AD/HD: approximately 2 million children in the USA alone, or one child in every classroom.

The main symptoms seen in this condition are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, however, it's important to note that not all children with AD/HD have hyperactivity. Many have the inattentive sub-type; these are the children who are often over-looked because they rarely present with behavioral problems. Rather, they are the dreamers who find it difficult to pay attention and who may instead, seem withdrawn or even depressed. It is far more likely that the hyperactive, impulsive children are identified in school for their acting out behaviors. Often times, teachers will report to the families that an evaluation for AD/HD may be indicated.

What should you do if you think your child might have AD/HD?

? Have your pediatrician give your child a complete physical to rule out any possible medical condition that can mimic AD/HD symptoms. Some children with chronic allergies, for example, simply cannot focus.

? If your child is given a clean bill of health, discuss your concerns with your child's teacher. Find out how your child is behaving in school. Some questions to ask would be:

- Is he completing homework assignments?
- Is he paying attention in class
- Is she able to make friends easily?
- Does she have materials (books, paper, pencils) handy, or do they often get lost?
- Is he getting to class on time?

Keep in mind that many children with AD/HD can do well in school and often excel in structured environments. It often isn't until the later school years- often middle school- that these children "hit the wall" and can no longer keep up. It is imperative that interventions be carried out to avoid failures.

? Note your child's behaviors at home. Does he seem more immature than other children his age? Does he have a hard time following directions? Sitting at the dinner table?

If you feel that your child exhibits many of the traits of AD/HD, then it's time to get evaluated. Schools should have psychologists on staff who can offer testing. However, many parents prefer to go for an outside evaluation. Some pediatricians feel capable of evaluating AD/HD, but many child psychologists, psychiatrists and neurologists have special training to help decipher which behaviors could indeed be AD/HD and which might be something else, such as depression, anxiety or a learning disability.

My Child Has AD/HD: Now What?

If you find that your child does, indeed have AD/HD, it's important to educate yourself as much as possible. There are numerous books on the subject. Consulting with a mental health professional to help you with the many challenges AD/HD can present, is invaluable. Finding support by attending local groups such as CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder) also are immensely helpful in not only learning more about AD/HD, but also to connect with other families who are struggling.

Since the treatment of AD/HD often includes parenting strategies, it is imperative that you work with a professional to help you learn new techniques to not only help manage your child's behavior, but to also help him learn organizing strategies, homework management, social skills and more.

Treatment also often includes medication to help quiet the hyperactivity and impulsivity and/or improve attention. Many parents are reluctant to give their child medications, but stimulants (the most common and beneficial medication for AD/HD) are safe when given as directed. Still, all parents have concerns. Here are some questions to ask your doctor to help you in making the decision as to whether medication is right for your child:

? What are the risks vs benefits?
? What side effects might I observe?
? Which medications will work best for my child?
? What options do I have if I don't want to use medications for my child?
? How will I know if the medications are working?

School Issues

Since AD/HD usually impedes a child's performance in school, it is essential to work closely with teachers and staff so that your child can perform her best. Many with AD/HD qualify for special help. If the AD/HD is getting in the way of academic or social success, you can request accommodations or even special education services. In order to receive such services, you will need to have a letter from the professional who diagnosed your child. If the school psychologist administered the evaluation and found your child eligible for special help, discuss your concerns with her to see what sort of support your child needs and is entitled to in school.

Some AD/HD accommodations often include:

? Having your child sit closer to the teacher

? Keeping your child away from distractions, such as the door leading to the hallway, windows, noisy classmates

? Having a note taker, especially if your child has poor handwriting skills

? Having assignments written on the blackboard

? Asking the teacher to check for homework when your child arrives at school to eliminate the possibility of his losing it

? Have teacher maintain frequent eye contact

? Break down assignments and instructions into smaller chunks

? Give your child extra time to take tests and complete assignments

? Allow for your child to work in a quieter area of the room, as needed

? Get help with organizing books, papers, backpack, desk, locker, etc

All in all, AD/HD is a highly treatable condition and with the right support, most children will thrive and enjoy success personally, socially and academically.

Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, is a psychotherapist and consultant in Birmingham, Michigan specializing in AD/HD in adults. She is the author of "Survival Tips for Women with AD/HD".

Terry is the director of http://www.addconsults.com, an online AD/HD eClinic and http://www.myADDstore.com. She serves on the board of directors of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA),

A popular presenter at local and national conferences, Terry has a passion for raising awareness of the special challenges for women with AD/HD and the unique issues parents face when both they and their children have AD/HD.

  


MORE RESOURCES:

Top Parenting Trends Of 2014
The Onion (satire)
Between questions of breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccinations, and must-have accessories, moms and dads are confronted with a wealth of options when it comes to raising their children. Here are the top parenting trends of 2014: Many couples are ...



7 Parenting Classes That Don't Exist, But Should
Huffington Post
Most parenting classes are awesome, teaching us the basic fundamentals and bringing us up to speed on things we'd never expect to happen once we have kids. But there are some gaps. There are some classes that have yet to be offered, and I'm here to ...



Guardian Liberty Voice

Science Journal Has Special Issue on Parenting
Guardian Liberty Voice
Science, the journal, has published a special issue on parenting. Over 10 articles on parenting are included in the issue that cover a diverse range of topics from genetics, to assisted reproduction, to gestation effects, to breast milk and beneficial ...



The Slatest

The Dangers of Being an Overachieving Mother
The Slatest
A few weeks ago came the first somersault. “She's so advanced,” murmured one of the other parents. Warmth spread through my chest. “Really?” I asked, as if I didn't care or notice. The seduction of parenting the exceptional child creeps back so easily.



Monthly classes emphasize different parenting approaches
Appeal-Democrat
Each month, Yuba College's Foster Kinship Care Education hosts a free parenting class at the family action centers in Arbuckle on 812 King St. and in Williams at 602 12th St. Classes are taught in both English and Spanish, and free childcare is ...



Parenting Never Gets Easier
Huffington Post (blog)
Parenting doesn't get easier. It just changes color and shifts it's shape. One day your 4-year-old will be throwing the most massive public tantrum and you'll be staring into you cuddly baby's eyes thinking, what's so bad about this? Did I really think ...



NPR (blog)

Global Parenting Habits That Haven't Caught On In The US
NPR (blog)
If there's one thing Tiger Mothers have in common with those bringing up Bébé, it's that they both show us just how varied parenting styles can be. Argentine parents let their kids stay up until all hours; Japanese parents let 7-year-olds ride the ...

and more »


De Coteau seeks to expand National Parenting Programme
Trinidad & Tobago Express
Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Clifton De Coteau said he will be approaching Cabinet today to expand the National Parenting Programme to include more communities. He also paid kudos to the graduands who would have improved their ...



PsychCentral.com (blog)

5 Tips for More Effective Parenting
PsychCentral.com (blog)
shutterstock_177053420 These are equal opportunity parenting tips. They apply no matter the age of your kids (be they toddlers, teenagers, somewhere in between, or even adult children.) Once you're a parent, you can't really quit or retire, so might as ...



Telegraph.co.uk

Dummy trees & sleeping outside: parenting customs around the world
Telegraph.co.uk
If trying to decide between the Gina Ford guidebook and attachment parenting wasn't difficult enough, the international parenting community offers a world of customs to make most British mothers balk. As parents are swarmed with a range of parenting ...


Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 CanadaSEEK.com - All Rights Reserved.