How do I help my child who has just been diagnosed with ADHD?
What are tips for helping a child cope with ADHD?
We have ADHD and ADD children, plus I am ADHD and my husband is ADD. (Who says opposites attract?). Anyway, we find that a balance is needed. My boys thrive on structure but resist it, so it can be a challenge! We let things relax a little more in the summer months as a reward for working hard during the school year. The key is finding what works best for your child(ren) and it will be different for each child. AND, discipline with lots of love, plus changing up the discipline every 3 months or so. You can't use the same rewards and discipline for too long or they become null & void, so to speak. Our boys do use medication, but be warned, it is a help not a cure. ADHD can be channeled to actually give your child an advantage - they have lots of energy so help them use it wisely. LOTS of exercise helps my boys ALOT. Reducing/controlling the amount of video gaming and TV watching also makes a big difference for them. Finding family activities to keep them busy and connected to YOU! ADHD is a challenge, and it can bring alot of stress with it, but there are also many ADHD folks who are super intelligent. They just need help with focusing, and alot of self esteem boosters along the way. Personally, I read everything I could get my hands on which helped ALOT! ADHD kids often mature socially alot later, so help your son engage in "brain age appropriate activities" too so he stays out of trouble. Let him know each and everyday that you are so happy that God let you be his mother/father.
I agree very much with Teri. Both our children have ADHD and exercise is extremely important. The more the better, especially earlier in the day before the problems begin. I suggest walking to school (or park the car 1/2 mile away and walk in). This calms a lot of excess fidgety behaviour. We take our children to a child psychiatrist every fortnight to allow them the chance to speak directly to her - it does help and reinforces our structure and routine, and gives them the opportunity to discuss their worries in private.
I too agree that too much computer/games/telly can have a negative effect on their behaviour. It hypes them up and as such I use a reward chart to restrict these to 'treats' - but usually ensure that the resulting movie/dvd or programme is educational. My daughter is obsessed by animals, so we can capture her interest with BBC documentaries of animals and plant life. They are also quite engaged by NumberShark and WordShark computer games (educational), that at least allow them to have fun and play games whilst they are learning.
You will need to be patient and I am sorry - I have assumed your son is young, but I guess at any age ADHD kids need extra love, patience and understanding. My daughter knows that she cannot contol her impulses and can go through periods of self-loathing. I have to cuddle her alot and assure her that we can work through it together and encourage her to believe that one day she will have more control, and remind her of all the good she does. I keep a chart on the fridge that is updated weekly, and offer stars for being kind, thoughtful, listening, making beds, being a good role model, etc. This helps them both recognise that they are good kids. I think it is easy for them to forget with all the negative nagging that I find myself doing. Sometimes the best part of an hour is taken up by me 'fire fighting', ie. 'stop bothering the cat', 'counting you for hitting your sister', 'one more and you will be on the naughty spot', etc. Everything is better when they are out and running around, but if I am cooking and have no help they can be at each other constantly. Some days are easier than others, but every day is a struggle. Give your son lots of support, but make sure you get as much as you can also!!
Take care and best of luck x
i was diagnosed w/ ADHD when i was 9 yrs old. i'm sure there are support groups and websites ful of information out there. i'll be honest, i don't know any of those sources. what i do know, is what helped me and how i help my goddaughter (age 7) deal w/ some of the symptoms. i was told that kids w/ ADHD can be hard to handle, but are usually very intelligent individuals. be aware of his diet. i know that if i have sugar/heavey starches together, i have a hard time concentrating. but caffine (w/o sugar) helps me focas my thoughts and i can concentrate longer on my task. your son w/ have his own diet triggers, just watch how his meals and snacks affect him. when i had a hard time staying on task, i would break it up. eg, my goddaughter will do 5 math problems for homework and her mom will tell her to put her shoes away. then another 5 math problems and her mom will ask her to do 10 jumping jacks. continue until the math homework is done. it may seem like it takes longer that way, but it used to take her 3 hours to do that homework and now it takes 30 mins. sometimes, he may need to just get some energy out. let him run laps around the house, or whatever it takes until the excess energy is taken care of. challenge him to beat the clock or race you to get ready to do things. like if you are going to the store, a race to see who can be ready to get in the car first wins. he will love the challenge. routines help alot b/c i can be very forgetful. you might want to give him a chart or checklist to look at everyday for things he has trouble remembering. like a list of everything that needs to be in his bookbag before he goes to school. my experiance was that i felt out of place alot. i was socailly akward and had a hard time relating to my peers. in my early adolesecnt years, it made me depressed. my goddaughter doesn't seem to have those kinds of problems, so it might just be me. also, if you decide to medicate him for school, be sure you research the meds and watch him carefully. one of the side effects of ritalin (i was on it in elementary school and middle school) was that it took away my appetite and i refused to eat lunch. also my hands would shake if i didn't have enough work to keep me busy. these are just my expireances. i hope this helped you some. if you have any questions, message me and i'll be happy to help anyway i can. you are his mom, and will know what works best for him, by watching him and trying new things. no one will know better than you what he's good at, what he needs help w/ and how to work around some of his differances. trust your instincts and look for him to tell you what he needs. you can handle this.
You can also find support group online, and depends on the age of your child if in school yet, they have a program call IEP that will help set goals for your child to reach.
For many years, I have been speaking against drugging our children with Ritalin, Addreal and other medications. When I speak, I speak from experience; my own son Michael, at the age of 10 was diagnosed with ADHD and was prescribed Addreal. Inside, every time I had to give him this medication my gut and intuition began to scream, “What are the side effects”, What if it’s addicting”. During this time, my son stopped eating and stopped sleeping, yes it help with his behavior in school but was not helping with his schoolwork.
During this time, I began to look at myself; I remembered my school days, the Special Ed classes along with all the questions that ran through my mind “What is wrong with me?” “Why cant I learn like the other kids?” and so on. These are the same questions I know our children are asking themselves. So, I stopped drugging Michael and began to speak with Michael. I myself was extremely sensitive with no one to talk to because I felt and new that no one understood.
Many of the authors who have written about the Indigo Children are not Indigo's themselves. They state that the children do not like to be told what to do, do not want to stand in line and so on. What we need to realize is that these children are highly sensitive, not only to energy but also to words.Each thought, word, emotion carries a vibration and these children can feel it, If an Indigo Child has conflict throughout the day, he or she will relive the event for a period of 3 days with questions of “why did I not say this” or “why didn’t I do that”, it can go on and on.
Lets also mention the fact that the medication is addictive. While on line, I had joined many groups and would help those of Indigo energy anyway I could. There was one woman who opened a group and was advising the parents to get their children on the medication. I stated “What if this medication is addictive” she did not want to hear anything. One Sunday, while doing intuitive readings at an expo, I had a mother come in with her 20 year old son. As I looked at the son, I felt indigo energy, so I asked if he new of the Indigo’s, and he did. Many of the children know about the Indigo Energy. Then he stated that he was on medication for ADD. He said this with a sad and discussed look on his face, the then stated “I hate the medication but I have to take it or I feel withdrawal symptoms. Well, the answer was given in that second and I have been advocating ever since.
It seems as if a cartel has been created between the school system, the doctors, pharmacy and government. It has become a never-ending cycle for many parents. When Michael was diagnosed I was working for an attorneys office and asked for help. I found out that the government pays the school system money for each child who is labeled. The Pharmaceutical companies pay the government and the doctors make money each month.
A while back, I received this article from an old friend and would like to share it with everyone.
Department of Health Statement
Treating children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with drugs is not effective in the long-term, research has shown.
A study obtained by the BBC's Panorama says drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta work no better than therapy after three years of treatment.
The findings by an influential US study also suggested long-term use of the drugs could stunt children's growth.
It said that the benefits of drugs had previously been exaggerated.
The Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD has been monitoring the treatment of 600 children across the US since the 1990s.
Most of the estimated 500,000 children in Britain with ADHD receive no treatment at all.
The Department of Health has issued a statement on the treatment of ADHD
But of those that do, most - about 55,000 last years - are prescribed stimulants like Ritalin and Concerta.
The cost of these drugs to the NHS is about £28m.
In 1999, the American study concluded that after one-year medication worked better than behavioral therapy for ADHD.
This finding influenced medical practice on both sides of the Atlantic, and prescription rates in the UK have since tripled.
But now after longer-term analysis, the report's co-author, Professor William Pelham of the University of Buffalo, said: "I think that we exaggerated the beneficial impact of medication in the first study.
"We had thought that children medicated longer would have better outcomes. That didn't happen to be the case.
"There's no indication that medication's better than nothing in the long run."
Prof Pelham said there were "no beneficial effects" of medication and the impact was seemingly negative instead.
"The children had a substantial decrease in their rate of growth so they weren't growing as much as other kids both in terms of their height and in terms of their weight," he said.
The Panorama program features disturbing footage of a 14-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent, who has been on ADHD medication for a decade.
Craig Buxton's family kept a video diary of his behavior and captured on camera examples of just how explosive his behavior can be.
He has self-harmed, suffers night terrors and is aggressive - he recently assaulted three school teachers.
His mother Sharon said things had gone from bad to worse.
And all I can do is go back to the doctors and say: 'Is there anything more you can do?'
Mother of child with ADHD
"He has broke down and cried when he gets into situations," she said.
"He says: 'Why am I like this mum, I don't want to feel like this, I don't want to be like this, you know, help me'.
"And all I can do is go back to the doctors and say: 'Is there anything more you can do?'
"All they say is, well, we are doing what we can."
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence is currently revising the treatment guidelines for ADHD.
Chair of the working group Dr Tim Kendall said they were devising a strategy, which was likely to involve training for parents as well as "behavioral interventions".
"The important thing is that we have an approach which doesn't focus just on one type of treatment," Dr Kendall said.
Drugs are not the answer, these children are not disabled, and they come on to the planet with a much higher vibration and learn through their senses, by doing, seeing, hearing, feeling. We as a human race are evolving, why because of the planet we live in is evolving. Those of us who are born with Indigo Energy begin to change who we truly are inside, why, if we don’t conform to the rest of society or what is written in the school curriculum we are automatically labeled with Learning Disability.
As a mother on a child who was labeled with ADHD I began talking with my son. I realized that if I have conflict or drama thru out the day, I relieve the scenario, our minds can go on and on, thought after thought, which creates problems when we read, this can go on for 3 days. I go to sleep with it, I wake up with it on my mind and I ask myself, why didn’t I do this or why didn’t I say that.But this is the way of our life. Even with out conflict, we constantly think, constant thoughts come in all day long. With this knowledge, I would have Michael come into my room around 7:00 and ask how his day was. And he would have an outlet, speaking out what happened gave him the ability to release it from his mind and heart. They are so sensitive and creative, they need to know that they can trust what they say will not be repeated. This is really important to them/us. Not to be betrayed.
With my son, there was trust, respect, communication and most of all, Unconditional Love. Today, he is 21. He is not an angry child/young adult, he is not on the streets, he does not do drugs, he does not talk back and he still tells me he loves me.
Another thing I did is I brought crystals and put them around the house. Not for him but for me. I could feel the energy and vibration and it felt good. A few days went by and he asked, “What did you to in the house”, I stated “Nothing, why?” He stated “IT FEELS SO GOOD IN HERE, I DON’T WANT TO GO OUTSIDE” I began to think and put the 2 together. The heightened vibration in the house gave not only me but also him a sense of peace and calm feeling.
Today, I speak about the Indigo Children. I help the children and I help parents. I help people of all ages and they are all Indigo’s. The Indigo’s began coming to the planet since 1945. It is a good possibility that you, the parent is an Indigo Adult.
I will write other articles of who the Indigo child/Adult are and why we are here, the traits and the symptoms of the awakening that is taking place.
I hope this helped. I have opened a community for the Indigo Adults and Children and welcome you to join. I also have two web sites: www.lisabellini.net and www.voicesaroundtheworld.net The voices web site is about educating and bringing people together around the nation with a goal of opening schools for the children without drugging the children.
Love and Light
To join my community, please go to: http://www.circleofmoms.com/indigo-children-and-adults?trk=drop_menu_my_communities
Be patient. Keep an open mind. When you get frustrated......remember.....he is MORE frustrated than you could EVER imagine. I have ADHD. I was diagnosed in December 2010. I am on Ritalin and I am 37 years old. I don't know EVERYTHING your son feels or is going through, as those of us with ADHD, don't always share the same symptoms. My ADHD is severe enough for 8 Ritalin tablets a day. Let me tell you what bothers me about having ADHD:
1. When people say, "I'm a little ADHD too." You have it or you don't. Simple as that. Do we make jokes about having a little "cancer?" No. We don't. Be respectful.
2. It's not cancer. We know that. We are extremely happy that it isn't. But stop telling us, "Oh, you JUST have ADHD, it's no big deal." IT IS A BIG DEAL. DO YOU HAVE IT? If you don't have it, how would you know?
3. When we tell you: "I forgot" or "I forgot to do it"......WE DID.
4. When we tell you: "I didn't hear you:......WE DIDN'T.
5. When you say in return: "Yes you did, you were looking right at me when I was talking to you"...... AGAIN, WE DIDN'T HEAR YOU.
6. When we put the iron in the refridgerator......"REMIND YOURSELF AS A PARENT....THAT HMMM HE MUST HAVE BEEN DISTRACTED." It is funny, but only when HE laughs about it.
As an adult with ADHD, it has been very frustrating. It has been a struggle to NOT be depressed. I had to fight HARD to maintain my emotions, to not give in to negativity. I STILL have to fight. I have a daughter that I love very much. I am also a single mother. I do not ALLOW myself to give up, because SHE deserves the BEST from me.
There were times I wondered why I "just couldn't get it." People would tell me ALL the time, " You aren't listening", or "Did you hear what I said?" I would try SO hard to do the RIGHT thing ALL the time, but not knowing then, that it was something beyond my control. I used to "zone" out when people were talking to me. Ya know I can't help that. I still do it sometimes, even with the medicine.
Again, those of us with ADHD don't all share the same symptoms. However, I guarantee that a symptom we all share is FRUSTRATION. I imagine you get frustrated as well. I get 10 times as frustrated as anyone else. I get EASILY frustrated. I used to do things without thinking-impulsiveness. My doctor believes I've had ADHD since I was a young child, and considering the problems I experienced, I would have to agree.
I don't have great advice for you. I'm sorry. My point of view comes from HAVING ADHD, experiencing it on a daily basis, LIVING with it. I know that it must be difficult for my daughter sometimes, and for me, that is the part I want to change the most. It's not fair for her that mama has to have TOTAL SILENCE at the ATM or that mama CAN'T STAND NOISE FOR VERY LONG IN THE BACKSEAT OF THE CAR or that mama gets IRRITATED SO EASILY AND IT SHOWS. For the most part, I do what I have to do, to ensure Cooper's emotional well-being is a happy one.
And that's my advice to you: to ensure your son's emotional well-being is/continues to be a happy one. For him, he would need the support of family/family members/friends who could at least IMAGINE what he's going through. He knows or will know depending on age, that unless you have ADHD as well, then you will NEVER know exactly how he feels-you will never understand. But try do. He deserves to be treated the same way as the next person without it.
God bless ya dear. I imagine it's hard to even ask for help. It was for me. And I imagine it is for him as well.
trust your instincts and read read read to educate yourself on everything you possibly can. Diets (oranges and chocolate/strawberry milk are of limits at school lunch) , behavior modification techniques, lists, STRUCTURE STRUCTURE STRUCTURE, giving one action type directions then add 2 action type directions - good luck with 3 ha! repeat instructions, touch him on the shoulder when you speak to him and eye contact, Shelley the Hyper Active Turtle book, ADHD Warehouse has wesome stuff, talk to teachers A LOT in advance with tips to help them help you help them help him. They are usually very accomodating and work with your son on self management early and often. LAST LAST LAST resort (my son is moderate and has been diagnosed since 4 so i have had a head start and not yet hit puberty with the ADHD) so I can say confidently not to use rx unless absolutely necessary - it does things to their brains even they cant verbalize and i have had a few teenagers say they wished they had not been on the rx becaus of the sedation and addiction issues. YOUR CALL! Good luck! every kid is different and has different levels of adhd so its important 2 find what works for your kid. by the way - honor roll and perfect attendance and all S's in conduct - going into 5th grade this year.....the books and info. REALLY help. we almost didnt make it through Kinderg. Seriously......
My 16 year old daughter has ADD, and in girls it is soooo much harder to deal with ., As per my experience. First and formost is get your son evaluated by the school system he is in. Write letter requesting he be evaluated, and submit to the board. They will run a battery of tests (which to you are free)if done outside they are very costly. This information along with the Doctors diagnosis will along for your son to receive an IEP- Individual Educational Plan. THIS is ESSENTIAL if your son is to succeed in school. It will allow for him to be given extra time on tests, even put in smaller classes which have a regular ed teacher and a special ed teacher. Child will not know who is who, but you will be told. An IEP, will also allow for a counselor to meet with your child to help him stay on top of his grades and such. However as in all things you must be involved to make sure these things are being done. We also had to find a program that was psycho-educational outside of school to help her stay on task with Homework etc. We included a one on one therapist to help her see this diagnosis was not a detriment to her reaching her goals in life. Hard work on our part, but worth it to see them happy and not feeling stigmatized by
such a label. Hope it helps...
Dr Gautham is a specialist in treating behavioural problems. you go to his website read the reviews and take a firstname.lastname@example.org
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I have a 12 year old girl who was diagnosed with ADHD and was treated with Vyvanse for a year. In the begining it was great, her focus improved, attitude improved, etc. After month 6 or so side effects began to develop. Hallucinations, night mares, paranoya, anger, irritablity, and so on. If you just had your child diagnosed do the following for their benefit and yours..
#1 Have them diagnosed by a Therapist or Psychologist
#2 Make sure they really have ADHD or ADD or treating them with those meds will increase bad behavior, thoughts of suicide, anger, odd thoughts, mood swings, and more
#3 If you have not had them diagnosed above the level of a pediatrition do not put them on anything until you do.
If I would had investgated just alittle more I might had saved my daughter the emotional and pyschological pain she has endured on Vyvanse. After a thourough exam and the Behavioral Health Center they believe my daughter has mild Bi-Polar and not ADHD.
I medicated my girl for a year with the wrong diagnosis and she was the one who delt with the side effects and the drug withdrawl symptoms afterward. Seek Neuropsychology/Therapy and testing. It is the right thing to do for you and your children:)
Finally, If your child does have ADHD... use the Therapist and Neuropsychologist! They will not only medicate your child but test them and give them the appropriate associated treatments such as therapy:)
I also would like help with this question, here in the uk my 8 year old daughter has just been diagnosed with combined ADHD , she detests school and is daily in trouble with her class teacher . At home her behaviour is manageable although bed time is horrific most days she goes to bed at 8 but is rarely asleep before 12 am ! All of her school life I have been told she a very intelligent child if only she would concentrate she is not on any meds yet as I want to try avoid them I already control her diet and want to try the behaviour intervention first.
I have seen ADHD children respond really well to essential oils. The brand that is the most effective is doTERRA. Vetiver is an essential oil that is the most helpful for these children. There is also a recipe of oils that create a blend called the peaceful child. It has Vetiver, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Ylang Ylang and Marjoram essential oils in it. Its easy to make, you just combine the oils in a roll on bottle and apply it to the child as needed. Even parents of these children have found relief with this blend of oils. For the recipe you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
High doses of omega 3's 2 x a day.
Also, there are some homeopathic meds we use synaptol, it has been working well. with no side effects. And juice plus suppliments.
I disagree with number 3 about the meds. Behavior modification therapies are important, but there is nothing wrong with meds. I was on Ritalin for most of my childhood, and I am glad I was. yes, there were some side effects, but I think I probably wouldn't have survived without it. My ADD made me so depressed and frustrated and tired, I'd really hate to think what could have happened if I hadn't had been on meds.
My son's teacher thinks he has ADHD. He doesn't listen in class and has a hard time staying on task. I am barely trying to take him to get evaluated by a specialist. I like to buy him things that he likes to do such as drawing paper, arts and crafts, colors, he loves to draw so that is how I keep him busy, but when he is bored my whole family has a hard time with him.
Diet is huge! I find when my daughter ( and myself for that matter) eat processed, sugar or other "bad "food it makes a huge difference. Go organic as much as you can, there have been studies done that tie pestiside load to symptoms, and I can see it first hand. When we slip off the organics, we are both flighty, less able to concentrate and just out of it. ( she is ADD, I am ADHD...my husband is a saint, I think)
Regular excercise outside is also a must. There is something soothing about being out in the grass and trees ( even in the wintertime)
If your child is of reading age...write down things to do, don''t depend on them to remember...they won't. Have a rule list, and a list of things to do daily ( yes, even things like brushing teeth, if she is in grade school) it helps. There are herbal supplements like Bacopa, that both I and my daughter have found helpful, as well as medication. But remember, not everyone reacts to supplements or medication the same. Medication can be very helpful, but it must be monitered as they grow, since sometimes it either looses effectivness and also is tied to weight. All in all, it is not the end of the world, it is not only manageable but thrivable. (Also do be aware also that ADD and ADHD can be tied to depression, as well as other learning disabilities, so keep an eye of for dyslexia or dyscalclia or the like.
I have four children and three are ADHD and one son is also bipolar. I have found that controlling their diet also has alot to do with behavior. Any food or drink with Red dye 40 is not allowed. the chemicals in the dye dont react well to most adhd medication. My son isnt allowed cinnamon because it hypes him up. But he is allowed a cup of coffee or a cup of cappuccino as this actually calms him down. I have found that with therapy, medication, consistant discipline, and endless amounts of love...we can handle anything :)
The one issue I have noticed with my son on this is that the re-focusing effort has to be maintained and watching for the time when re-focus cannot be achieved. Everything Teri has put up here is extremely helpful and advantageous if you put it to use. The biggest thing I would say is being attentive to your child to notice when his focus is gone and that no intervention you have at hand is going to bring it back to whatever task you have set your child to accomplish. I generally as a rule follow a timeline for the day here even when school is out I try to implement thier same schedule here at home so that when he returns to school there is no ramp up in behavior from my son. He's not just ADHD though so I'm a bit more attentive to watching his changes throughout the day. ADHD as you know is the ADD with a hyperactivity component and combating the two together is more difficult. I would definitely say have more than one activity at your fingertips so you can change it up when his ability to focus is gone. Sometimes just adding an extra 5 minutes of play time can help re-focus a child. Also another thing to note is get them actively involved in choosing the play-time, social-time and work-time activities as I find my son is more willing to do them if I let him help me plan the month's schedule. Also to note when he's in trouble for doing something inappropriate I let him help decide the punishment. Yeah a bit unorthdox but it got him to thinking what will happen if I do this? and it worked! So now instead of the ADHD thinking of he's going to do whatever strikes his fancy it's more of a ... well did you think about what you were doing would cause a problem for someone? He now takes some time not always but he does it sometimes before he acts. Oh just fair warning, some of thier own punishments can be way harsher than what we would think up so you have to make sure he's only giving a voice in it not making the decision itself and explain the why's so that it sinks in.
I have an article I would love to share with you but I dont know how to link it on here. you can email me email@example.com. It talks about first getting the toxins out of your home (in your cleaning products, Personal care products, etc...) Nutritional supplements also make a marked difference. The article is by a doctor that has been treating his patients in this manner. Please email me and I will get you the info!
There's a great free program online at www.letsgetfittofocus.com It's a 52 week program for parents to work with their kids. Good luck!