CHILDREN DIAGNOSED WITH ADHD: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Being a parent is one of the worlds most difficult and important jobs in the world. You are constantly worrying about your child’s health and safety so learning your child has just been diagnosed with ADHD can bring forward a wave of emotions.
With a new diagnosis, it is only natural to feel confused, worried, or even scared. Doctors, teachers, and the Internet are now throwing information at you that you are trying to comprehend while simultaneously trying to ensure your child is comfortable and feels supported. One of the most important things to remember is that, it is not your fault and it is not your Childs fault. Receiving a diagnosis does not have to be a bad thing, instead it can help you learn how to better accommodate your child and as a result give them their best chance.
What Is ADHD?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, ADHD can also lead to poor self-esteem, sensitivity towards criticism, and even an increased sense of self-criticism if criticism is something they have been experiencing throughout their lives.
While ADHD is often identified in school-age children, it can also be diagnosed later on in life. For many individuals, receiving an ADHD diagnosis helps to shed light on certain behaviours and allows them to better understand themselves.
The symptoms of ADHD can lead to difficulties not only in a school setting, but also in a home setting and in relationships. Just remember that the behaviours are not because your child is defiant, unknowledgeable, or unwilling to listen and understand tasks. They just require a little extra support from those around them.
Receiving The First Diagnosis
This can be an overly emotional time for you, trying to learn about ADHD, booking in appointments, reaching out to the school, and just trying to be there for your child. From your child’s point of view, they are hearing all these big words and seeing several doctors, which can make them feel a little scared. Talking to them about what is going on and making them feel included in their treatment planning is so important. When they are aware of what is happening it can help them feel empowered to learn more and work towards managing their symptoms.
Here are some talking points to get the conversation started!
Let them know that everyone has their own unique learning style, because no two brains or people are the same! You can explain how their brains work a little faster which is they sometimes have a hard time sitting still or processing thoughts. Try to highlight that this is not a bad thing, just a different thing! If they are on the younger side, maybe try explaining it as a superpower!
Let them know that they are not alone and a lot of people have ADHD, you can even google some celebrities they know with ADHD!
Talk about how ADHD does not go away, but with time can become more manageable. You can then come up with strategies or coping skills for when they are experiencing high levels of stress.
If their doctor recommends medication, don’t make it a bad thing! Explain to them how this will helps them manage their symptoms that can be hard to fully control on their own.
One of the most important things I wanted to highlight again, is just make sure they know it is not their fault and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them!
Coming Up With A Treatment Plan
Treatment plans can be complex, lengthy, and overwhelming, but that’s why we are here. Collaboration and cohesiveness is so important, so we will work with you, your child, and even their teachers to come up with the best course of action for your child.
If possible, schedule a meeting with their teachers or principle to discuss options that could make this transition easier on your child. This could be letting them sit closer to the teacher, use of fidget toys to help with the fidgeting, or maybe a little extra time and support on assignments. All of these things will help your child and allow them to learn how to manage their symptoms to provide them with the best outcome.
While the initial diagnosis can feel overwhelming, the use of a supportive treatment plan and team can help reduce stress and allow everyone involved to thrive under these new circumstances.
Let Us Be Apart Of This New Journey
Whether you are looking for support for your child or for yourself, it is important to have people you can lean on…let us be those people. Both you and your child have not done anything wrong, it's just learning how to adjust. You are doing the best you can and your child is doing the best they can but sometimes you need a little extra help. I am sure we all know the saying “it takes a village” so let us be that village for you.
Thanks for reading!