Ways to deal with ADHD Kids

Santosh Gaikwad
Latest posts by Santosh Gaikwad (see all)

>> Parenting and Health

What is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder also referred to as adult ADHD, is the condition of attention deficit and hyperactivity in kids.

About one-third to two-thirds of children with symptoms from early childhood continue to demonstrate notable ADHD symptoms throughout life.

Three presentations of ADHD are identified as:

  • Inattentive
  • Hyperactive
  • Combined presentation

In later life, the hyperactivity or impulsivity manifests less frequently. The hyperactivity symptoms tend to turn more into inner restlessness, starting in adolescence and carrying on in adulthood.

Adult ADHD is typically marked by inattentiveness, difficulty getting work done, procrastination and organizational problems. Specifically, adults with ADHD present with persistent difficulties in following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing tasks, completing work within specified time frames and appearing timely in appointments.

These difficulties affect several different areas of an ADHD adult’s life, causing emotional, social, vocational, marital, legal, financial and/or academic problems. As a result, low self-esteem is commonly developed. However, given the right guidance and coaching, these traits of ADHD could also lead to career success.

How to deal with ADHD Kids

 

1. Learn to be CALM as a parent
If as a parent you show irritation to your kid, it will only escalate the situation. If kid is carrying out any unexpected action then rather than shouting and scolding, explain him the consequences and apply “Give and Take” or “Goals and Rewards” formula.

Calm in the face of adversity takes time and work, but is a real gift. The stress of parenting a child with ADHD is heavy enough, without adding constant discord and yelling. Kids with ADHD are very perceptive too the calmer you are, the calmer they are likely to be, and vice versa.

Calm Parenting

Remaining positive is a benefit to you both. Start your journey to calm parenting by digging deep to really, truly understand the triggers and functions of your child’s unwanted behaviors.

Implement some simple calming techniques when you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry:

Give yourself a time out.
Take a walk around the block.
Turn on some music.
Humming your favourite song
Start singing a silly song.
Close your eyes and take relaxing belly breaths.

2. Setup goals and rewards for your kid (Give and Take)
Play simple give and take game with kid, this certainly helps to improve the behavior of the kid, rather than just saying no for the things which kid is asking, tell him that if you do “—-“ work, you will get the thing you want, and make sure you give that thing to him/her once he does the work.

Setting and achieving goals can help kids feels more successful. Sometimes, kids just need a bit of structure and guidance when learning how to set realistic goals for themselves.

Setup Goals
Goals and Rewards chart

Allow your child to be involved in setting up the behavior plan. Make sure you are firm and clear regarding the behaviors you want to see started and stopped.

When a child becomes part of the plan and is able to pick the rewards and the consequences he or she usually will work harder to achieve it.

3. Don’t fulfill unreasonable or unhealthy demands – Be Consistent
Child might show tantrums to get unreasonable or unhealthy demands fulfilled, make sure as a parent you don’t fulfill those demands without showing irritation on face, explain how harmful those demands are for him/her.

Strategies for refusing additional demands with role playing scenarios where child and parent rehearse saying “NO” and refusing to comply with the request.

4. Be Strict but don’t show irritation on face
Showing irritation on face while dealing with ADHD kids provokes them and things might get worst, rather just be firm, strict without showing irritation on face.

The best long-term solution? Setting up routines. For example, parents must establish and enforce calmly but firmly regular study times for each child.

It may take weeks, or even months, until the ADHD child accepts these routines and follows them consistently. No matter how long it takes, don’t give up. And don’t let yourself be drawn into needless conflict with your child. When tempers flare, the parent must remain calm and maintain control of the situation.

5. Give quality time as a parent to kid
Just being in a room with kid and working on laptop/mobile is not a quality time, involve in the activity with kid. Go on long outings in nature (beaches, hills, long drive, trekking, toys, eat together,  etc.) with kid.

Spend Time with Kids

Children need to know that they are important to us. Walking with your kids is a great way to slow down the pace of your lives and to have more unscripted moments with them.  Talk about where you’re going, what you’re thinking, what they’re thinking, what you see on the way, and who said what to whom in school today. Hold hands of your kid and walk back home together.

6. Maintain happy environment in home
It is very important that both parents spend quality fun time with kid on daily basis, where he will enjoy his favorite activities (out in park, bike ride, indoor/outdoor game etc.).

Parents should maintain happy, healthy and motivating environment in home. 

Enjoy the company of every member of your family, always make time for your family to listen to their little stories, to give them yours while sitting in a couch sharing potato chips together.

A happy home is a combination of shared love and satisfaction from the parents. Life sometimes can be stressful with a lot of things going on at the same time, make sure you create a stress-free environment, where all the members of the family, are happy to come home and relax.

7. Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists focus on identifying and eliminating environmental barriers to independence and participation in daily activities, it helps to create structure and organize time.

Main aim is to increase self esteem and child must experience success in activity. 

Preliminary findings from a study show that sensory intervention for example, deep pressure and strenuous exercise can significantly improve problem behaviors such as restlessness, impulsivity and hyperactivity of the children receiving occupational therapy improved.

Occupational Therapy

Therapy techniques appeal to the three basic sensory systems: The tactile system controls the sense of touch, the vestibular system controls sensations of gravity and movement, and the proprioceptive system regulates the awareness of the body in space.

Therapy is tailored to each child’s needs and can involve such techniques as lightly or deeply brushing the skin, moving on swings or working with an exercise ball.

8. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Due to surrounding, kids with ADHD might get into other issues like Depression, Anxiety, Panic disorders, Anger Issues, which will escalate their behavior negatively. Treatment involves teaching children different methods of responding to situations more positively. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on
Neurocognitive functioning – Learning strategies to improve attentional control, memory, impulse control and planning.

Problem solving – Developing adaptive problem solving strategies, anticipating consequences, and managing conflict.

Emotional Control – Learning to manage feelings of anger and anxiety.

Pro-social skills – Learning to recognize the thoughts and feelings of others, negotiation skills, and conflict resolutions skills.

Critical reasoning – Learning to evaluate options and develop behavioral skills to pursue goals appropriately.

9. Pet Therapy (Animal Assisted Therapy)
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment.

The goal of AAT is to improve a patient’s social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. Advocates state that animals can be useful for educational and motivational effectiveness for participants. A therapist who brings along a pet may be viewed as being less threatening, increasing the rapport between patient and therapist. Animals used in therapy include domesticated pets, farm animals and marine mammals (such as dolphins).

Generally pet dogs are commonly used as a treatment to improve the patients
social, emotional or cognitive functioning.

10. Use Medication/Drugs only when necessary
So far there are no medications which can sure ADHD. Medicines which are available in market are generally to stimulate central nervous system which might cause extremely dangerous side effects on body organs and brain like Heart Disease or High Blood Pressure, Seizure or Irregular Heartbeat, Abuse or Addiction, Psychiatric Problems.

Careful diagnosis and thoughtful treatment are key to a good outcome.

Before you consider medication, it’s important to be sure your child has gotten an accurate diagnosis from a professional who is trained and experienced in child and adolescent mental health. And if medication is being prescribed, make sure your doctor has the time to carefully determine the best dose, and monitor your child over time.

11. Yoga / Meditation
As soothing as yoga is for adults, the practice might hold even more benefits for children with ADHD.

Find out more about this alternative ADHD treatment from a longtime kids yoga instructor.

Tips for teaching Yoga to kids

1. Practice Making Eye Contact

2. Model and Instill a Can-Do Attitude

3. Practice Listening and Giving Feedback

4. Practice Stillness

5. Encourage Setting Goals and Making Plans

12.  Don’t argue, fight as parents in front of child.
When parents repeatedly use hostile strategies with each other, some children can become distraught, worried, anxious and hopeless. Others may react outwardly with anger, becoming aggressive and developing behavior problems at home and at school.

Children can develop sleep disturbances and health problems like headaches and stomachaches, or they may get sick frequently.

Don’t Argue with kids

Their stress can interfere with their ability to pay attention and create learning and academic problems at school. Most children raised in environments of destructive conflict have problems forming healthy, balanced relationships with their peers.

13. Provide encouraging environment and complement your child.
How do you feel when someone compliments your shoes, your cooking, or a job well done? It’s a good feeling. But how do you feel when someone you really care about compliments you on something? That’s a great feeling.

Children also crave for complements, it acts as motivation, praise the effort, not the ability.

Effort + Ability + Opportunity + Motivation = success

Following are few ways you can complement your child.
Compliment them for simply being part of the family.
Compliment obedience and respect.
Compliment contributions to the family.
Compliment the quality of their work.
Compliment the effort, even when the result is not the best.
Compliment when they achieve something new.
Compliment their sense of style, even if we don’t exactly share their taste.

14. Set rules and consistently follow them to help your child think before acting.
Helping your child understand social expectations is a good first step toward helping him meet them. Here are key social rules that can be challenging for kids with learning and attention issues:

Social Rules for Students at Risk for ADHD

a. Meet and greet politely.
b. Take turns talking.
c. Pay attention to others.
d. Cooperate with others.
e. Think about others before acting.
f. Watch others and watch yourself

15. Break tasks into smaller chunks
Break tasks into smaller chunks and ask child to perform those tasks (it may be reading, writing, crafting, science experiment, puzzles).

Provide the child with supervised opportunities to break down a long assignment into a sequence of short, interrelated activities.

For example, allow students to complete five math problems before presenting them with the remaining five problems.

16. Allow for breaks during activities.
Concentrating or focusing for prolonged periods of time, which may be required for a written assignment, a reading assignment, or listening to a teacher-directed lesson, they feel a need to get up and move, or simply need a mental break because they can only sustain attention for so long.

       a. Provide frequent breaks for the student to get a drink or walk around the room.

       b. Allow physical activity breaks (stretching) and incorporate movement activities into a lesson. If possible, allow for outdoor instruction time.

       c. Provide the student with a stress ball or other object for the student to play with discreetly at their seat, especially when they need a break.


17. Use visual prompts

Use visual prompts like checklists, visual schedules and sticky notes to help your child focus, stay organized and get things done.

18. Create an organized study area, prefer workshop like teaching.
Classroom interventions for the student with ADHD should be based upon a solid foundation of general behavior intervention principles.

Classroom Strategies for children with ADHD

Instead of focusing on ADHD symptoms, you should first directly target the specific problem behavior.

19. Give advance warning about changes
It helps a child with ADHD to know what’s coming next. The more warning your child has, the better she can handle the transition.

Whenever you can, discuss and plan for any change in the day’s routine with your child. Some parents find that setting timers helps a child better understand how much time is left before it’s time to move on to the next activity.

For major transitions, such as returning to school from vacation, prepare your child well in advance.

20. Don’t enforce schooling on to your kid.
The traditional approach to learning in  a school with teacher standing in front
of children sitting behind desks is not the most productive for attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children who get bored easily.

If your child is demoralized by his poor grades, receives punishment for forgetting or misplacing pencils or messing notebooks, is looked down upon by teachers, or is bullied by classmates, he may be a candidate for homeschooling.

21. Give a thought on Homeschooling option for your kid.
Some smart kids are not very compatible with a traditional classroom. Smart
and energetic kids have limited tolerance for repeating of information they already know, and catch on very quickly to new skills, making extensive
practice unnecessary most of the time.

They are easily bored and frustrated, and basically don’t learn much when asked them to sit, read, and write answers on paper.

So, through necessity, it is required to give them new skills and knowledge. you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on curriculum products to be purchased because they just wouldn’t be compatible with some kids learning styles.

Home Schooling

Read another article about homeschooling 

22. Always keep in mind that child is going to do the best.

23. Do not give a feeling of left alone to child by your behavior.

 

>> Parenting and Health


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