Special needs how Parents should React when their Child is Diagnosed as ADHD

“Oh my God, Johnny is ADHD! Whatever shall I do?” Heard this before? Seen a mother or father go into a frantic state wondering how to react when their child is diagnosed as ADHD? You would not be the first person to see this type of reaction and you certainly won’t be the last. A myriad of people face the challenges of a child with ADHD everyday. They react in varied ways. Some act like an ostrich and stick their heads in the sand playing the denial game, while others wondering what is the best course of action in regards to helping their ADHD child as much as they can.  If your child or a child in your care is diagnosed with ADHD, the following article is for you.

If your child is diagnosed with ADHD love them, then love them a little more. The same as you would a child without any problems. Then vow to yourself that you will never make the child feel that they are a burden on you or society. The ADHD child will have enough on their plate throughout life, they certainly won’t need a parent who resents the fact that he/she is not perfect. We should love our children unconditionally. Now be thankful that’s all that is wrong with your child, they could have been born blind, crippled or grossly disfigured. Relax, ADHD can be managed and it isn’t the end of the world having a child who has this affliction. Although you may find it hard to stay calm, it will be in the child’s best interest that you do so. ADHD is more common than many parents think. Usually, when a child is diagnosed with ADHD, the very first response from parents is, “What can I do?” The very first thing a parent needs to do is come to grips with the fact that it is through no fault of their own that their child has ADHD. Guilt is a terrible thing and often has parents going into denial. Wasting emotional energy on self blame won’t change things. ADHD is the result of a dysfunction in certain parts of the brain and is often inherited. It is NOT the result of poor parenting or a dysfunctional or chaotic family environment. But the home environment can make the symptoms of ADHD worse at times.

Life with an ADHD child will at times be quite difficult, frustrating and upsetting. But it is imperative that parents remember that children with ADHD can and very often do succeed in life. As a parent, your first priority must be to ensure that school and home environments are comfortable for the child. The sooner you address your child’s problem, the sooner you will be able to ensure that school and social failure does not occur. If ignored, your child could end up with a plethora of problems such as low self esteem, under achievement, delinquency, drug or alcohol abuse and self harm. Therefore, early intervention is a must. Professionals state that early intervention holds the key to positive outcomes. Therefore parents must learn all they can about ADHD. There is a host of information available on the diagnosing and treatment of ADHD. As a caring parent it is in your child’s best interest that you learn as much as you can.

You will now need to reassess the household system and reshuffle this a little in order to set in place a system which works well for your child. Too much mental confusion can place unnecessary stress on an ADHD child. ADHD children like set routines, simplicity, rules and patterns in life which seldom vary. There will be a fair amount of trial and error but if you work with your child instead of against, things will become orderly a lot quicker. At times, parents get much better results if they give their ADHD children single instructions. Instead of overcrowding their minds with a list of instructions take it one step at a time. But remember that this is an ADHD child not an autistic child. Far too often ADHD children are treated in the same manner autistic children are, there is a marked difference. ADHD children do not have comprehension problems, they simply have problems prioritizing things at times. Sometimes parents will find that overcrowding the ADHD child mentally, can have negative results.

If your child has been diagnosed with Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) you will obviously feel overwhelmed and confused. You will may not know which way to turn. First of all find the right medical practitioner. Primary doctors can usually diagnose ADHD. But in the long term you will need a clinician who is well equipped to treat your child’s ADHD symptoms which will be based on your child’s specific symptoms. You will need a motivated medical professional who is willing to help coordinate care which involves working with therapists, teachers and all caregivers. Ensure that the diagnosis is accurate. At times children with ADHD have other comorbid medical conditions. These can be anxiety, learning disabilities and depression. The diagnosis must be accurate and complete to ensure the child has the right treatment plan. If you notice no changes after a reasonable period of time, talk with doctors etc and request additional assessments. There could be more than ADHD wrong with your child and each and every one of these problems need to be addressed individually.

Be vocal and wary about all treatments. Research has proved that the most effective treatment for ADHD children is a combination of behavioural modification and medication programs. With behaviour modification a child with ADHD is taught skills which they can use for self control, social skills and behavioural challenges management. Discuss all of this with your child’s teachers and any school personnel who interact with your child. Working together will aid in creating an educational plan which will benefit your child.Your child may not be eligible for an Individualized Education Plan, but they could be eligible for some type of services and accommodation. You will need to look into this. Your child’s school may be more than willing to help your child. They many offer additional educational instruction or an increase in parent teacher communication. Most teachers want your child to succeed just as much as you do.

Support your child in every way possible. Life has thrown a spanner into the works, they will often be depressed, annoyed and so forth. Highly frustrated that they are a little different from their school friends. They will need your support, a shoulder to lean on and someone to share the ups and the downs with. When they feel like throwing a chair at the window, slam their fists on the table, kick everyone within range of them, they will need the love and support of a caring person who understands these emotions. Do not react with the same amount of anger, give a hug and assure the child that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you are out in public and they display some strange behaviour don’t embarrass them by pulling them up in front of others. They will ride on the waves of happiness one day and feel like they are treading into a sinkhole other days. Simply talk to them about acceptable behaviour, alternative behaviour for when they are feeling down and confused.

Any medication which is prescribed for your child, should be researched and researched again before you give it the thumbs up. Ask about side effects, what the medication actually does to your child’s body, how long it takes to works and how long they will need to take it. Ask as many questions as it takes to ease your mind. Ensure that the entire family is involved in supporting the ADHD child. Do not ostracize your ADHD child from the rest of the family, they must feel just as important as they always have. Now ensure the entire family fully comprehends what ADHD is all about. Which ever way you intend to deal with the ADHD child, must be discussed with all family members. The ADHD child needs a good solid support group, one which is not fighting against each other. With the help of experts highly qualified in dealing with ADHD affected children, It won’t be long before your child settles into some type of routine.

Have patience and don’t be shy to ask for moral support when needed. Read and research ADHD as much you can. Support your child’s outdoor interests as much as possible and never forget to treat your child as a normal human being. As your child takes larger steps into adulthood over the years, the ADHD may diminish a little as they become mentally focused on career options, life in general, relationships and so forth. But ADHD is NOT something a person outgrows irrespective of what many people think. Wayne Bartholomew a 37 year old Australian farmer says, “I still have those days I get so frustrated and down hearted, but with maturity I have learned to direct these negatives to positives.” 58 year old Patricia Meyers an Australian Dancing teacher says. “ Experts told me I would never outgrow ADHD and I see that is true. But with loving family support over the years, excellent medical guidance and a little medication, life is wonderful these days”. Yes, love your ADHD children. Be grateful you have a child, many people never experience the utter joy of being a parent. Join an ADHD support group, work with your partner to support your child. Now count your blessings and become your child’s best advocate.