Parents dealing with a child’s new diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, may feel a range of emotions. While you may be relieved to have a name for the academic or behavioral issues your child has experienced, you may also be wondering if your child will deal with this for the rest of their life. Will your child be able to go to a normal school? Can they make good grades despite having ADHD?
However, parents play a critical role in helping children manage their condition. With the right structures, counseling and medication management, most children with ADHD can thrive and go on to live happy and successful lives.
What does ADHD feel like?
It can feel difficult. Your child may feel like they’re always in trouble for something they didn’t do because they don’t remember doing it or being told not to. They may not be able to relax or keep their thoughts from running away with them — both good thoughts and bad thoughts.
At the same time, there may be times of intense focus and energy when they’re absolutely “in the flow” of a project. Some people describe the ups and downs of ADHD as being like a roller coaster ride.
How can I help my child with ADHD?
Learning how to manage ADHD takes time, but you can start on the basics.
· Set clear expectations. Focus on teaching what your child can do while remaining supportive.
· Talk openly. It’s important that your child understands what is happening and that there is nothing “wrong” with them.
· Medicate safely. If your child is on medication, make sure they are taking it exactly as prescribed.
· Spend time together daily. Setting aside special time reinforces positive behaviors and boosts self-esteem.
· Find support. Family therapy and ADHD parenting groups are great ways to learn new parenting skills.
As well as these tips, make sure you’re helping your child build healthy physical habits, too.
How can I help my child at school?
A child with ADHD can usually attend the same school as their peers and even earn excellent grades, especially with your support. Staying involved with your child’s ADHD treatment at school involves building relationships with teachers and support professionals.
· Communicate with teachers regularly. Don’t wait to learn too late that something’s not working.
· Learn about your child’s educational rights. Creating an Individualized Education Plan could help their progress.
· Keep records and take notes. You will need documentation of meetings, plans and evaluations to ensure your child is getting the best care.
· Stay patient. Sometimes it takes more than one try to come up with learning routines that work.
Willowbrooke Psychiatric Center provides diagnoses and treatments for anyone age 5 and older, helping people live with mood disorders, depression, anxiety disorders and more through evaluation, psychotherapeutic interventions and medication management.
Learn more at WillowbrookePsychiatricCenter.org or call 770-812-3530 for an appointment.