Stories From the Heart: ADHD 101 for Parents

ADHD has had different names over the years, being first identified in the early 1900’s.  ADHD is a diagnosable illness, however the cause is still debatable.  ADHD is often not diagnosed until children are in grade two or three. There are four main things that parents can do for children who display ADHD-like characteristics:

1. It is important that parents and child to learn as much as they can about the disorder.  Parents need to become their child’s advocate.  Some of the possible ways of doing this are by reading and parent networking groups.

2. Behaviour modification is also used both at home and at school.  Some parents confuse this technique with bribery.  Behaviour modification is a system of positive rewards for good behaviour (e.g. stickers on a reward chart).  Negative rewards are given for inappropriate behaviour (e.g. time out).

3. ADHD is a medical condition, and as such, has to be diagnosed by a physician.  Parents are encouraged to seek medical assistance for ADHD.

4. Parents need to reach out and connect with other parents who are experiencing similar issues.  Parent support and networking are critical to maintaining a positive attitude when parenting a challenging child.

There can be difficult moments when raising a child with challenging behavioural issues.  Parents need extended families and their communities to be supportive and understanding. Parents need to realize that there are lots of happy moments and that most behavioural incidents are over quickly and that’s the time for hugs and kisses!

By Cheryl Thacker

* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the Autism and special needs experience.

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