Life with a child who suffers from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) can be overwhelming for parents and everyone else in the child’s life. Children with ADHD have short concentration spans, difficulties sitting still, and uncontrollable impulsive habits. Read on to understand what ADHD is, how it manifests in children, the best treatments for the condition, and parents’ role in helping their children manage it.
What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
ADHD is a chronic condition that negatively affects a child’s concentration, the ability to be attentive and causes hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. While it is normal for children to be restless and lose concentration from time to time, kids with ADHD display these habits regularly. The condition usually begins in childhood and can go into adulthood if no measures are taken to manage it early.
Discovering If Your Child Has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD manifests itself in children through inattentive behavior and hyperactive and impulsive behavior. Some children have inattentive symptoms, while others only have hyperactive and impulsive symptoms. However, most children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD usually display both behaviors, which makes it hard for them to behave normally in any environment. Here is a breakdown of both ADHD symptoms:
• Easily makes avoidable mistakes
• Is absent-minded, always misplacing things
• Doesn’t pay attention when being spoken to directly
• Has a hard time following guidelines
• Avoids or dislikes continuous effort
• Their attention is easily diverted
• Has difficulties organizing
Hyperactive or impulsive symptoms
• Extreme running and climbing
• Fiddling or wiggling, cannot stay in one place
• Have a hard time playing quietly
• Unnecessary talking or interrupting other people
• Don’t have any patience
• Always seems to be on the move, never slowing down
How to Treat ADHD in children
ADHD, although chronic, can be easily managed with the correct type of treatment. Over the years, research has revealed that the best and most effective approach to ADHD treatment is a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. Below is a deeper analysis of each treatment option.
This option is usually recommended for moderate to severe ADHD cases. Medication helps children manage their ADHD symptoms, making it easy to coexist with parents and other people in their lives. Medicines for ADHD are either grouped under stimulants or non-stimulants.
Stimulants work by improving the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that help children focus and get rid of impulsive and hyperactive behavior. Non-stimulants do not work as fast as stimulants, but their effect on a child goes up to 24 hours. Healthcare providers may try several medications and prescriptions on your child to find the correct balance between health benefits and side effects.
Behavior therapy does not eliminate the fundamental ADHD symptoms but helps children and parents learn to manage them better. This therapy is offered by a mental health expert, a psychiatrist, a social worker, or a psychologist. Behavioral therapy involves behavior therapy, social skills training, counseling, and parent skills training. These types of training help equip children with the appropriate social behaviors and parents with behavior-changing plans like rewarding or time-out and how to cope and guide a child with ADHD.
Tips For Parents and Guardians With Children Diagnosed With ADHD
Dealing with children diagnosed with ADHD can be overwhelming for parents. The tips listed below will give parents an idea of what they can do to help their children deal with their ADD/ADHD symptoms.
Encourage your child to be a bit more organized by allocating them a space they can put their belongings to avoid losing them.
Control the distractions by limiting unnecessary noise such as the TV and offer a clean workspace where your child can focus on their task.
Adopt a reward system and incorporate positive affirmation when your kid completes a task successfully. This will encourage them to do better every time.
Assist your child in making plans by breaking huge tasks into smaller tasks that encourage them to complete without stress.
Offer limited choices to prevent your child from getting overwhelmed or overstimulated when trying to make a decision.
Apply effective disciplinary measures. Avoid spanking, yelling, and telling-off and instead adopt time-out and denial of privileges as punishment.