Coping with ADHD

If your child was diagnosed as having ADHD ( Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) , you know how…
Coping with ADHD
Foto: Flickr / Seattle Municipal Archives

If your child was diagnosed as having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), you know how difficult it can be to come to grips with it. Initially, you may have hoped it was just a lack of applying themselves at school and home, but the official diagnosis of the condition has confirmed your nagging suspicions. So now what? Having a child with this condition is hardly the end of the world. It simply means you’ll need to discover the best learning techniques for them, and develop coping skills in addition to whatever medications, if any, your family physician deems advisable for a child their age.

There are three types of ADHD recognized by the medical community. They include the Combined Type, which simply means children will display a combination of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness; the Hyperactive/Impulsive Type, which means they will display both hyperactivity and impulsiveness, but they should still be able to remain attentive; and the Inattentive Type, which is pretty self explanatory. This type of attention problem was previously known as attention deficit disorder, or ADD. You can probably guess which category your child falls into, but after hearing your input and examining your son or daughter, your family physician will be able to better verify it.

Believe it or not, we all have different learning styles. We’re not all “one size fits all” in our approaches to gathering and retaining information. Recognizing early what’s best for your child when it comes to learning techniques or styles is crucial for your child’s development in coping with ADHD. Children with this condition often fair better with verbal or audio learning styles than trying to absorb the written word. They may be able to read like a champ, but their lack of retention of what they’ve just read is the real culprit here. Reading comprehension and retention is a significant source of frustration for them, so being proactive and helping them with their homework is essential. Have them read aloud to you, and then discuss the text with them, break it down into easy to understand phrases; see if this helps their retention skills.

One of the most disturbing symptoms children with ADHD display is their impulsive nature, or their lack of impulse control. This can manifest itself in many different ways, including, but not limited to; disruptive behavior, acting out, risk-taking activities, and a tendency towards promiscuity. These behaviors can be frightening, and can lead to many sleepless nights as you worry and wonder what’s to become of them if they continue behaving impulsively in such an unsafe manner. Discussing this with your child’s physician at the earliest possibility can help give you some peace of mind.

There are many treatment plans that you and your family physician will need to discuss, considering what’s best for your child; their particular type of ADHD, and the severity of the condition. If you’re not comfortable with the treatment plan they’re recommending, by all means seek out a second opinion.

One useful thing about the Internet is the plethora of forums on almost any subject imaginable. These are great resources for getting all the latest information on the subject, as well as support from parents who are going through the same problems. If you’re finding the whole thing too overwhelming, seek out a support group in your area that you can attend. This will help alleviate the feelings of frustration and isolation many parents experience when dealing with children’s medical conditions. Remember, you’re not alone.