Learning that your child has received a diagnosis of ADHD can bring about so many emotions all at once. Whether it came as a shock to you or if it only confirmed what you suspected for a while, it can be daunting stepping into a world, you didn’t think was going to be yours. Where do you start, what should be the first step to take and who can you turn to for help? As overwhelming as receiving a diagnosis can be, it is a start in your journey to getting help for your child. You are not alone and we are here to help.
You might have heard about it and already have a rough idea about what it means. Commonly, people assume ADHD is a term for children who are hyper and can’t sit still. But ADHD can look and feel like so much more. ADHD can affect children in different ways and impact more than one area of their life. It can be accompanied by behavioural and emotional challenges and it’s helpful to understand how it can affect your child. There also might be many myths about ADHD, especially regarding academic success and treatment. So do your research and arm yourself with knowledge. It will help you help your child better.
Just as you might have mixed reactions to the diagnosis, your child too will have their own way of dealing with it. Some might be too young to understand what this means for them and older kids might be relieved to know why they feel a certain way. Either way, your child might be curious to know more. Allow plenty of discussions and be patient with your child’s fears, questions and thoughts. Giving them the information they need will help them understand their diagnosis better.
Depending on your child’s symptoms and their severity, your child might need therapy, medication or a combination of both. From behaviour modification to social skills training, lifestyle changes, family therapy and exercise, there are different forms of treatment your child could benefit from. Talk to your child’s doctor, who can guide you in the right direction. Work closely with your child’s therapist to make therapy effective for your child. By following the therapist’s lead, keeping a tab on how your child responds to therapy and tracking their progress, you can bring out the best outcome for your child.
Most children with ADHD receive a diagnosis after they start formal schooling when the symptoms become obvious. It is imperative you work closely with the school to help your child. This might include making small changes in their school routine, accommodating their need for movement and breaks or changing the seating to keep distractions at bay. Most schools also have special educators who can help your child with any academic challenges they experience. Your child will benefit from the support they receive from their teachers and special educators.
Hearing from other parents and families about how they dealt with similar challenges can help you feel less alone. There are people who have already walked a few steps in your shoes and it can be comforting to know that it won’t always feel as scary and alien as it does at the beginning. If there aren’t local support groups, you will find plenty of them online that are just as supportive and helpful
Understand how ADHD uniquely affects your child. Pay attention to their specific challenges and work on finding solutions for them. It can mean changes in your daily routine, making time for exercise and sports, reducing distractions in your home, eliminating screen time or supporting your child in certain social situations. Get to know your child and prioritise the small changes that can help them.
Receiving a diagnosis can be scary but there is plenty of help and hope. Your child will be able to cope and manage their symptoms much better with the right help and intervention.
If you are unsure of where to start, reach out to our therapists at Tactopus and let us help you.