ADHD Guidelines for parents

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ADHD Guidelines for parents

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is being increasingly diagnosed in young children nowadays and it can be very stressful dealing with them as parents .   It is now recognized that restructuring and behavior management at home has a major role to play in a management of childhood ADHD:

  • Create a calm environment.  Parents should respond to  significant behaviors, learn to underplay those that are irritating but unimportant, and at all time, model calmness and composure.  

  • Enforce rules with non-physical punishment.  Correct in a firm but matter-of-fact voice.

  • Communicate clearly.  Give instructions in simple and step wise fashion. Do not bombard the child with too many dos and don’ts at the same time.

  • Break down tasks into small, manageable segments.

  • Reinforce successful completion of sub-tasks and tasks with praise and rewards.

  • Set limits. The day should be planned and predictable as far as possible. Children do best when parents and teachers set clear boundaries.  

  • Childproof the environment.  Prevention of accidents is better than regretting later.

  • Biological factors like hunger, sleep and tiredness can aggravate restlessness and irritability. Try to get the child to eat, sleep, or rest as required.

  • Organize sports and outdoor activities regularly. Swimming, bike riding, gymnastics, running, climbing are all good activities for children to let off steam and expend their excess energies.

  • Stretch the child’s attention span.  Encourage coloring, building blocks, card games, dominoes, dice games, matching pictures, listening to stories, checkers, sequencing activities will enable the child to improve focus.

  • Train children in self instruction. The method of instructing child while working at a task, is to tell him “stop, think, act” This trains children to evaluate their behaviors, think of alternative strategies and to think before acting.

  • After behavioral regulation is developed at home, introduce the child to more formal situations.

  • Identify and encourage any special strengths or talents in the child. Solicit the child’s ideas when planning an activity.  Activities that the child enjoys and feels good about, can build self esteem and enhance compliance.

  • Occasionally enlist the support of your family and friends in taking care of your child and be sure to take a guilt-free break.

Do not hesitate to seek professional help if needed. -

- Dr. Sulata Shenoy