Parenting a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is different from parenting other children. Your ADHD child’s brain works differently from children who don’t have ADHD, which can make school and home life more difficult without support measures in place.
Our team at Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, appreciates that children with ADHD have different needs than other children and often require additional support to thrive. Follow these tips from ADHD specialist and board-certified pediatrician Rainilda Valencia, MD, to help your child with ADHD succeed.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a common developmental disorder that usually first appears in school-aged children. Children with ADHD have difficulty concentrating, focusing, and controlling impulsivity.
Your child with ADHD can have challenges sitting still for age-appropriate time periods, with executive functioning skills like time management, and staying quiet in social situations.
How to help your child with ADHD
With the right support, children with ADHD can confidently manage their symptoms and succeed in a variety of academic and social situations. These are some of the actions you can take to help your child with ADHD.
Get your child professionally assessed for ADHD
If your child regularly has trouble concentrating or displays age-atypical impulsive behavior, schedule an ADHD consultation at Valencia Pediatrics. Dr. Valencia performs this evaluation to determine if your child has ADHD.
Once a diagnosis is made, Dr. Valencia develops a plan by making treatment recommendations and collaborating with other professionals and important adults in your child’s life. Following this treatment plan reduces your child’s symptoms and helps minimize the risks of untreated ADHD, such as developing depression or anxiety.
Use the support provided by professionals
Once a treatment plan has been made, stay up-to-date with the professional treatments Dr. Valencia recommends, which can include behavioral therapy, talk therapy, classroom and at-home interventions, and medication. Dr. Valencia, in collaboration with the other professionals on your child’s team, can continue to update you on your child’s progress and make changes to the treatment plan that help your child as needed.
Create structure at home
Children with ADHD often have trouble completing tasks and benefit from a structure at home that’s predictable, with limited changes. Create a simple daily routine for your child with clear rules and structures, and use timers and well-placed clocks to help your child stay on track and meet deadlines. Aim to keep your home organized and quiet.
Help your child manage outbursts
Your child’s impulsivity can sometimes cause them to have emotional outbursts. When these happen, reassuringly help your child calm down by taking them to a quiet place to cool off and relax. Enforce previously agreed-upon consequences if your child’s outburst breaks a rule.
Encourage healthy lifestyle routines
Living a healthy, active lifestyle can help reduce your child’s ADHD symptoms. Try limiting your child’s screen time, encouraging regular exercise, feeding your child healthy foods, and creating a home environment that promotes a full night of sleep.
Assist your child in making friends
Outbursts and impulsive behavior make it harder for some children with ADHD to form relationships with peers. You can help by assisting your child in learning basic social skills, role-playing social scenarios, and helping them select one or two suitable peers to invite over for a playdate.
By staying optimistic about your child’s progress and learning how to calm yourself when your child’s behavior is stressful, you can support your own well-being and set a good example for your child. Make sure you practice self-care and seek out the support you need.
For assistance with getting a diagnosis or helping your child manage ADHD, make an appointment for a telehealth or in-office evaluation at Valencia Pediatrics today.