4 People to Talk to Help Make Your Decision
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder that affects 3 to 7-percent of school-aged children. Children with ADHD are often diagnosed around age 8, though the onset can be as late as age 12. Younger children all tend to be highly energetic and distractible, so it’s not until a child’s life requires more discipline that they begin to show signs of a struggle.
You may have scolded your child for being hyper, never paying attention and getting bad grades before they were given a diagnosis. Don’t feel bad. You’re only a parent trying their best, and now that you understand ADHD is a real disorder, you’re able to help your child gain the skills they need to thrive in school.
Talking to a team of professionals can help you make the right choice when it comes to treating your child’s ADHD. Medication is a common choice, but you may be understandably hesitant. The side-effects of ADHD medication can outweigh the benefits, so you should discuss the pros and cons with others before you make a decision. Here are four sources to speak with regarding your child’s ADHD that can make parenting a lot easier.
Talk to your child’s doctor about ADHD and various treatment options. Ask for some resources on the disorder and about the different ways it can manifest. You may also want to ask for a referral to a therapist as they are more skilled in both treating and handling the various expressions of the condition.
A Child Therapist
Child therapists can help you and your child learn to live with ADHD. Many children with the disorder are prone to tantrums and become easily frustrated. A therapist can help them learn to identify and work with their emotions as well as adapt to their learning environment.
For parents, child therapists provide tips that can help you help your child. It won’t always be easy, but the insight you gain can provide some much-needed insight and reprieve.
The School Counselor
School is one of the greatest obstacles for a child with ADHD. The school counselor can help your child’s teachers collaborate and understand their condition, as well as organize any additional learning support to ensure your child benefits from their education.
Teaching aids, tutoring and regular meetings to help develop time management and organization can help your child thrive in and outside of the classroom.
Other Parents of ADHD Kids
Get connected with local ADHD parent support groups—online or in person. Parents can extend support, share their experiences and learn from one another as they navigate understanding children with ADHD. You can also look on social media for some support groups.
ADHD parents will understand the remorse you may feel about your child’s diagnosis. They’ll understand the frustration, confusion and even desperation that may accompany your child’s behavior and your quest to help them succeed.
You can also ask fellow parents about their children’s experience with ADHD medication. Sometimes, first-hand accounts are much more helpful than medical resources. You can understand the benefits and risks, but you may not fully be aware of how ADHD medication will impact your child until you hear about what it’s like from another parent.
Remember to Include Your Child in Treatment
While your child might be too young to make definitive choices regarding their healthcare, you can still include them in their treatment plan. Older children especially need to feel empowered and in control when it comes to their diagnosis. They may not want or like to take medication, and that opinion should be respected as you explore other options together.
Remember to offer plenty of reassurance and positive reinforcement. Kids with ADHD often feel embarrassed or ashamed when they’re scolded by people for doing things they simply can’t help. Lead by example and be empathetic. No matter how you decide to treat your child’s ADHD, your love and support will be one of the most important influences as they grow.