With COVID-19 throwing off everyone’s routines, you may have noticed some new behaviours in your kids.
Maybe all this change can be credited to the pandemic… but what if it isn’t?
Has your child been struggling to pay attention, listen attentively, or remember things? Have they been avoiding school work, constantly fidgeting, or talking excessively? If you’ve done your research and found that some of their behaviours are symptoms of ADHD, you might be right. See below for some possible next-steps you can take!
1. Consult a Health Professional
Reach out to a health professional, like your family doctor, with your concerns. Once you share your observations with them, they can guide you in the right direction for certain treatment plans, if necessary. Often, your doctor will suggest a psychoeducational assessment to determine your child’s academic and intellectual abilities. This assessment will inform you of the underlying issue (i.e., ADHD) and provide recommendations to enhance your child’s strengths while teaching them new skills. Armed with this information, you can enable your child to learn in a way that works for them! For more information on psychoeducational assessments, please click here. Getting a diagnosis can help you navigate your plan of action to ensure your child is successful! If your child has ADHD, it’s important to approach their behaviours in a caring and compassionate way.
2. Become an expert on ADHD
No one knows your child better than you do, so why not learn as much as you can about these symptoms? It’s totally normal for children to forget their homework, get restless, or have their imaginations take over… However, these are also signs of ADHD. It can be difficult to know the difference between normal child behaviour and that of a child with ADHD. For instance, if you spot only a few symptoms, or notice that they only appear in certain situations, this is likely not the result of ADHD. If you notice these signs happening all the time (e.g. at home, with friends, at school), it’s time to consider getting a second opinion.
Often, the symptoms of ADHD can lead to other stresses for parents. It’s normal to feel frustrated when your child isn’t listening to you or is misbehaving. With that being said, how you communicate these frustrations to your child is very important. Getting angry can leave you with feelings of guilt and shame, all the while upsetting your child. In order to best manage any ADHD-related challenging behaviours, consistency and love are required.
3. Having ADHD isn’t all bad
If you think your child has ADHD, do not panic or find yourself stuck on the ‘negative effects’ it could mean for their future. Having ADHD doesn’t always have to be thought of as an ‘attention deficit’, but rather an ‘attention difference’. When a child has symptoms consistent with ADHD, it can be helpful to think about some of those symptoms in new ways. For example, instead of thinking about your child being ‘distractible’ and ‘zoning out’, maybe they are creative and imaginative. Instead of thinking about your child being impulsive, fidgety, and restless, maybe they are full of energy! When we consider some of these symptoms as differences instead of deficits, it can help us think about ways to utilize their unique traits as strengths in their world!
4. Find Ways to Support Your Child
If your child’s symptoms require treatment, there are several avenues you can take. Your health professional might have suggested “waiting it out”, as half of those diagnosed as children will not show symptoms as adults (Arnold, 2020). Alternatively, they might prescribe certain medications, such as stimulants. However, the most effective treatment for these symptoms is to have a structured, individualized treatment plan. Our clinic, Toronto Neurofeedback and Psychotherapy Centre, has developed a 10-week brain training program for children with ADHD, and their parents. The program hopes to equip parents and their children with the skills needed to successfully manage any challenging behaviours. The skills learned are paired with multiple neurofeedback sessions to enhance your child’s results!
We invite you to explore our solution-focused program by clicking here.
Reference: Arnold (2020). https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/adult-adhd