Now What?

A parentís role after an ADHD diagnosis.

After their child is diagnosed with ADHD, parents tend to feel overwhelmed. The biggest concern generally stems from uncertainty about managing their child’s needs.

With knowledge, however, parents can have the greatest impact on effecting change for the better and supporting their child’s needs. Supplementing this care, a combination of modalities such as medical and behavioral management treatments helps grant the child control over attention issues while improving family and social interactions. Here’s a look at how to get started.

Become Involved

Parents should take note when their children act impulsively, have difficulty sustaining focus or fail to follow through tasks to completion. But before parents can effectively help their kids, they need to take the time to understand the biological and social ramifications of ADHD. Then, parents can become an effective source of support and advocacy.

Get Educated

ADHD affects children at home, in social situations and at school. Learn techniques to enable your to child thrive in all settings. Topics to research include permitting your child to sustain attention and focus, improve behavior, adapt to different settings, develop homework skills, communicate with peers and get along with family members.

Use a Strength-Based Approach

Children with ADHD can be exceptionally creative. They have strengths as well as areas that need accommodations. By focusing on areas of strength, you more easily build on accomplishments and enhance your child’s self-esteem. Accompanying this with a system of positive reinforcement sets the stage for improvement.

Learn the Lingo

Whether you opt to take a parenting class to effectively manage your child’s ADHD or you plan to cater to your child’s issues on your own, knowledge is power. Consider the following pointers to be the best parent possible for your child and enable you both to have a handle on attention problems.

  • Understand the biological and social components of ADHD.
  • Assess your parenting style. Do you and your spouse have the same style? Do you act on a united front?
  • Evaluate your child’s strengths and areas that need accommodations.
  • Evaluate your communication skills as a parent. Do you and your spouse express yourselves clearly and effectively to your children?
  • Use positive reinforcement to change problematic behaviors and teach routines and new tasks.
  • Ensure the proper school accommodations are made, such as with IEPs and 504 plans.
  • Provide consistency and follow through with provisions.

Follow Through

One of the biggest problems I have seen with ADHD is the fact that it is biological. This means that if a child has the attention disorder, then there is a high probability that one of the parents also has ADHD. Expecting a parent with ADHD to change characteristics that are causing attention struggles without the proper training and ongoing support may not be realistic. Regardless, consistency and follow through are essential.

Changing behaviors is a process. It takes time, commitment and consistency. Remember, you are teaching your children skills to use throughout their entire lifetime. Teach them while they are young and give them a better chance at managing their ADHD and living a successful life.