ADHD – My Child Has It…Now What?

The fear of all parents is that something will be wrong with their child. That their child won’t be able to succeed. That their child won’t do well in school. That their child won’t be able to make friends. That their child will be unhappy. These symptoms may precede or follow the diagnosis of ADHD. Learning a child has ADHD can cause fear and anxiety within a family. Parents need to be informed and formulate a plan. What can be done?

What is ADHD?

ADHD, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, is caused by a lack of the neurotransmitter, Dopamine, in the brain.

ADHD causes the following primary symptoms:

  • inability to concentrate
  • inability to stay still
  • impulsivity

ADHD can cause the following secondary symptoms:

  • poor academic achievement
  • social problems (lack of friends)
  • behavioral problems (getting in trouble at school)

What Can Be Done?

The decision to medicate a child or not can be made with the help of a family doctor. The most common medication used for individuals with ADHD is Ritalin. Ritalin is a stimulant that increases the level of the neurotransmitter, Dopamine, in the brain. There are many perceived benefits and draw-backs to medicating a child with Ritalin. It is important to talk with your doctor about possible side-effects. It may also be helpful to talk to other parents whose children have ADHD. Be aware that not all information on the subject of ADHD medication on the Internet is accurate.

It is also vital to help the child with social and behavioral issues. Encouraging social development is important for the child with ADHD. The parents may need to initiate play dates for their child and then guide and monitor the play to ensure an enjoyable time for the children. Parents can also role-play situations with the child so the child can practice appropriate responses.

Educational Computer Games

Parents should also help students with ADHD practice school concepts so that they will not be behind academically.

One excellent way to practice school concepts at home is through educational computer and online games. Games are fun for children so the ADHD child will tend not resist this type of academic assistance and practice. There are many educational resources online that are geared to help children.  Having friends over and letting the children play educational computer games together can also help with social development. Remember that children who have access to the Internet should always be guided to appropriate sites and monitored during play.

ADHD Can Be Overcome

An ADHD diagnosis does not have to mean that your child will do poorly at school or be unhappy. On the contrary, your child with ADHD can grow up to be productive and happy. With intervention and guidance now, your child can mature to become a confident, successful, socially well-adjusted adult.

© Celesta Thiessen

 
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