A Parent’s Ultimate Guide To ADHD – 5 Steps You Must Be Aware Of

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Let us take one step at a time. Or we could talk about baby steps because that is what life is all about. Read this article to make sure you are on the right track if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD. Get these five steps right and you can start crossing them off your list.

Step 1. Be aware of the limits of an ADHD diagnosis

If we think about the fact that lots of ADHD is overdiagnosed, then we need to plan a little action for this step. Are we sure that all the other illnesses which mimic ADHD have all been ruled out during the whole diagnosis process?  It is great if you can be aware of these before you actually go.

The other ones to be ruled out should include:-

  • anxiety
  • side effects of meds
  • learning disabilities
  • hearing loss
  • mild autism

As there are over fifty of them, it would make a long list. Ask your doctor or specialist to ensure that the most common ones are ruled out before jumping to any conclusions.

Step 2. Be aware of the co-morbid disorders

ADHD is not a loner in that about 50% of the cases diagnosed also have a co-morbid disorder. These can range from tics such as Tourette’s, co-ordination problems in riding bikes, balancing and so on, to anger issues where rage can last for up to 30 minutes.

The more difficult ones are the OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) where ritualistic behavior becomes obsessive as regards tidiness and so on. Then there is ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder). This is the most common co-morbid disorder as estimates say that up to 40% of kids with ADHD have this.

You may be confronted with this type of angry, aggressive and defiant behavior within the first two years of an ADHD diagnosis. It seems that this defiance is directed towards the parents and teachers and any other figures of authority. As regards ODD treatment, parents need to be aware of behavior therapy and treatment needs to start with them as they are the ones must likely to give in to aggression and violence.

Step 3. Confront problem behavior fast

Learn parenting skills where you can deal with behavior problems in the bud. These can range from not doing homework, attacking siblings, aggression, not tidying up and so on.  If these problems are left to grow like weeds, then the implications down the line are very serious indeed for the child. Up to 50% of children with ADHD will carry the condition into adulthood. They may suffer an earlier death in adulthood, be prone to crime and tempted by substance abuse. They are also much more likely to drop out of school earlier.

Step 4. Be aware of what meds can do

Whatever the treatment prescribed, beware that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Pills cannot teach skills as they always say. The rest is up you, the parents, as you are the central point and authority in your child’s life. Your job is to encourage the child and offer support by organizing an ADHD friendly home. You can do that by:-

  • set up routines and structures
  • make visual signposts, rather than give long winded instructions
  • encourage the child to use modern apps on the iPhone which contain alerts, reminders and so on.
  • role model calm and organized behavior yourself
  • deal with anger after the storm
  • help the child verbalize feelings of anger

Step 5. Look after yourself

Take time out yourself when things get tough. If you are having problems with home organization, make sure that you do not have ADHD!  As the condition is about 80% genetic, there is a strong possibility that you too could have the same condition which has gone unnoticed or underestimated  all these years. Looking after yourself means just that and not self medicating with meds when depression or anxiety begin to take a hold.

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Robert Locke has 1 articles online

Robert Locke is an award winning author and has written extensively on parenting, ADHD, child health problems and mental disorders.  You can find out more about ADHD treatment here.


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A Parent’s Ultimate Guide To ADHD – 5 Steps You Must Be Aware Of

This article was published on 2013/10/24