So you’ve just found out that your child has Attention Defect Hyperactivity Disorder and you are worried about what lies ahead for you and your child.
Below are a few things that every parent with children diagnosed with ADHD should know.
It can be managed
Although there is no cure for ADHD, the symptoms can be managed through medication and behavioral therapy. Meanwhile, specialized or supplemental education such as a private tutor can ensure that your child doesn’t fall behind academically.
The amount of countermeasures needed to manage ADHD symptoms will vary based on the severity of each individual case, but typically children can be nearly symptom free with these simple treatments.
There are three types of medication that children with ADHD could be put on. They are:
- stimulants – most common treatment, last 4-12 hours
- nonstimulants – fewer side effects than stimulants, last up to 24 hours
- antidepressants – can be effective, slight risk increase of suicide
Each have their positive and negative effects, so it is up to you and the doctor to determine which one or combination are right for your child.
In addition to medication, your child might benefit from more structure through establishing a routine. The goal is to help your child understand what is expected of them by consistently having them perform the same actions on a regular basis.
For example, having a set bedtime that is followed on a nightly basis will help your child understand and recognize that as the bedtime approaches, they are expected to do things like get in their pajamas and brush their teeth.
Limiting choices and distractions in their life will keep them from becoming too distracted or overwhelmed.
Your child is not alone
Between 8% – 10% of American children are diagnosed with ADHD. Boys are three times as likely to be diagnosed than girls. In addition to speaking with your doctor, both parents and children might find it helpful to talk with other families managing the symptoms of ADHD.
Together you can learn what works and what doesn’t without having to feel like you’re suffering through it all alone.