If your child has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (commonly referred to as ADHD), you already know how much this developmental difference can affect a child’s everyday functioning. Coping with this challenge brings with it a huge learning curve for the whole family. Your child’s differences in behavior, learning and attention can affect everything from the amount of time it takes him to get dressed in the morning to how well she makes and keeps friends to his ability to succeed in the classroom.
As you work to help your child manage the unique challenges of ADHD, consider these tips:
- Have a daily schedule.
- Prepare your child ahead of time for periods of transition.
- Be consistent in what is expected of the child.
- Help your child by teaching her to organize her room, school work, etc.
- Keep good, open and frequent communication with your child's teacher.
- If your child has a particular time of day that’s difficult for him, try not to schedule any activities at that time.
- Limit the choices available to them.
- Set small, reachable goals.
- Engage them in activities in which they can succeed.
- Use calm discipline (no yelling, spanking or put-downs).
- Break up long or tedious activities into shorter, more tolerable periods.
- Communicate directly, make eye contact, and use direct, short sentences to communicate what you need your child to do.
- Do not give too many commands or instructions at once.
- If your child is on medication, give as prescribed.
- Consider behavioral therapy.
Behavioral therapy is an excellent resource to help parents and children learn the most beneficial ways to interact with one another. Parents can learn how to set appropriate boundaries, enforce rules, and encourage good behavior while children learn to control their behavior, which is beneficial at home and at school.
If you encounter difficulties along the way, talk to your pediatrician who can recommend helpful support groups, parent training, counseling or additional resources.
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