Ask the Experts by Gary and Janice Abud and Amanda Be
Q: My 8-year-old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD. Besides following up with his doctor, what else can I do to help him?
A: ADHD is a neuro-behavioral condition that, while it is chronic, is treatable. While working with your doctor is always the first approach to treatment, there are other things that should be considered to make sure your son is managing the behavioral side of ADHD. Here are three important areas to consider:
- School – Children with ADHD typically struggle in school. The good news is there are strategies, supports, and accommodations that can help. Start by talking to your child’s teacher. There are other school support personnel, like the school social worker or special education teacher, that may be able to recommend strategies that may help with focus and behavior. Lastly, your child may be eligible for a 504 plan or an IEP, which can ensure accommodations based on your child’s specific needs.
- Home – Children with ADHD most often need help with organization and executive functioning skills. At home, you can help your child by creating a structured schedule with clear expectations. You can also set timers and use visuals to remind your child of important tasks. Other things that can be helpful are checklists, daily routines, and helping your child set and celebrate goals related to healthy habits and organization.
- Life – Children with ADHD can have struggles socially, emotionally or with self-esteem. If your child has difficulty in these areas, it’s important to seek help. Counseling and coaching can address these issues and help your child learn to deal with the challenges they may experience as a person with ADHD.