Short attention span and high energy does not necessarily mean that your child has ADHD-there are many reasons why your child may be over-excited or unable to concentrate. However, some children have more difficulty sitting and concentrating than others, which causes trouble in their daily lives.
If your child seems to be bouncing off the wall or unable to concentrate for a long time to finish work, it is wise to pay attention to the possibility of ADHD.
Very good / Brianna Gilmartin
Just like adults, children may experience one of the following three types of ADHD:
- Mainly the performance of inattention: Inattention, children with ADHD have difficulty concentrating and concentrating on tasks. They may seem to be daydreaming a lot, and it may be difficult for them to stay organized.
- Mainly hyperactivity/impulsive performance: Children who exhibit hyperactivity are impulsive and cannot sit still. They often writhe and fidget in their chairs, seeming to have endless energy.
- Combined performance: Combined performance can lead to attention disorders and hyperactivity.
In order to meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, the symptoms must interfere with the child’s daily life in some form. For example, a child with inattention may have a hard time understanding homework because they are inattentive in class. Or a hyperactive child may find it difficult to maintain a friendship because their impulsive behavior tends to irritate their peers.
ADHD can be diagnosed as early as preschool age. By definition, symptoms must appear before the age of 12.
If you or your child’s teacher suspects that your child may have ADHD, it is important to seek an evaluation. Early intervention may prevent further symptoms and secondary conditions, such as anxiety or opposing aggressive behavior.
There is no specific laboratory test for diagnosing ADHD. Instead, a pediatrician or mental health professional can assess the child’s symptoms and determine whether they meet the criteria. Generally, several different methods are used to obtain information about a child’s behavior, such as:
- The teacher report form collects information from the teacher about the child’s behavior and attention span in the school environment. The teacher’s report helps determine how difficult it is for children to complete tasks and maintain a sitting posture compared to their peers. Since some children with ADHD have difficulty maintaining friendships, feedback on children’s peer interactions may also be helpful.
- The parent report form is used to evaluate children’s behavior at home. The mental health professional may ask the child about his or her ability to follow instructions, play quietly, or wait for their turn to talk.
- Interviews between parents and children will help clinicians learn more about your child’s development and family history.
What to bring
You may also be asked to bring the following items for evaluation:
- Your child’s medical records, your contact information, and your child’s pediatrician’s contact information
- The name and contact information of the teacher and any other adults who are in a supervisory role with your child, such as in extracurricular activities
- The results of any previous tests, such as IQ tests, achievement tests, personality assessments, and any previous ADHD assessments, as well as the contact information and names of the professionals who performed these tests
- Transcripts and notes from your child’s school
- Individualized Education Program (IEP), if applicable
- Insurance information
Any adult who supervises your child may also be required to fill out forms, and if asked, you should bring these forms with you. You may be asked to provide written consent to your doctor in order to contact these people.
Treatment options for children with ADHD
Sometimes parents are hesitant to discuss their concerns about ADHD because they worry that their children will take drugs with terrible side effects. The good news is that there are several different types of drugs (such as Concerta, Clonidine, and Strattera) that can be used to treat ADHD.
There are many other types of treatments that do not involve medication. Parent training is very effective. This involves professionally assisting parents in learning various behavior modification strategies and discipline skills to reduce behavior problems associated with ADHD.
School accommodation may also help your child. Sometimes, simple strategies—such as having the child sit at the front of the classroom to reduce distractions—may be beneficial.
School psychologists or mental health experts may make suggestions to assist teachers in providing children with a learning environment that can alleviate the symptoms of ADHD.
Raising a child with ADHD can be stressful. Children with ADHD are more likely to be expelled from day care and school, and they may behave more at home. Asking them to do their homework and follow instructions can also be a challenge.
Children with ADHD also tend to have a higher incidence of accidental injuries. They tend to get injured by over-climbing, falling or jumping from windows or decks, loosening restraints, and falling from furniture after standing in a car or stroller, and even accidentally drinking poison, which can lead to more emergency visits. Room visits.
Compared with other children, they usually need constant supervision and more structure. The following are some behavior modification strategies that are often taught in parent training programs:
- Give positive attention. Active play time will reduce attention-seeking behavior. It will make your consequences more effective.
- Give effective instructions. Before giving the child the way, let the child concentrate first. Turn off the TV, establish eye contact, then put your hand on the child’s shoulder, and then say: “Please clean your room.” Give instructions one at a time. And ask your children to repeat what they heard to you to make sure they fully understand.
- Praise the child for his efforts. Find out what your child is good about and point it out. Praise will motivate children with ADHD to show behavior, and frequent feedback is important.
- Build rewards. The reward system can be a great way to help children with ADHD stay on track. Establish some target behaviors, such as staying at the table during meals or lightly touching pets.
- Use consistent results. Suspending children, depriving them of privileges, and allowing natural consequences are effective discipline techniques.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), parents, teachers, and healthcare providers must work together to help their children succeed in school. Here are some other tools that may be helpful:
- Accommodation: Extra time to complete the test or placing the seat in a quiet area can increase the child’s chances of success.
- Behavior modification program: Forcing children with ADHD to rest may exacerbate behavior problems, but removing other privileges may be effective.
- Behavior management plan between home and school: Children can earn points or tokens from teachers, and can redeem privileges at home, such as watching TV or using a computer.
- Family structure: Consistent homework time (with scheduled breaks) and an undisturbed work area can help your child complete their work.
It may also help to create a checklist to remind them of what they should pack in their backpacks every day. Then, they will need fewer reminders from you to be responsible.
Your child’s teacher, counselor, and therapist may help you develop the best plan to help your child succeed in school.
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Although there is no cure for ADHD, the symptoms can usually be well controlled. Your child’s symptoms may also change with age, which is normal. However, your child’s treatment may need to be adjusted over time, so it is important to continue to monitor symptoms and progress.
Although raising a child with ADHD can bring some additional challenges, with support and appropriate interventions, children with ADHD can thrive.