First steps when you suspect ADHD

ADHD-blog-postConfronting the possibility that your child is struggling with ADHD can be upsetting. Knowing what to look for, and what you can do, puts things into greater perspective. In addition, it helps to know that children with ADHD have specific strengths that help them overcome their diagnosis.

What to Look For

The symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) fall into three major categories, which include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. These categories are fluid and the different traits associated with each of them typically occur in combination. For example, a child who has trouble staying on task, which is associated with inattention, may also have difficulty sitting still or waiting his turn, traits associated with hyperactivity and impulsivity, respectively.

More specifically, in addition to difficulty staying on task, inattention includes forgetfulness and a lack of follow-through, as well as giving little or no attention to detail. Excessive daydreaming and not listening to others are also typical. In addition to having difficulty sitting still, hyperactivity is generally characterized by running or climbing when inappropriate, struggling to engage in activities quietly, excessive talking and speaking in an overly loud voice. Blurting out thoughts and responses, interrupting or intruding on other and reacting without thinking, along with having difficulty waiting, are typical of impulsivity.

What Can You Do?

There are many resources available to support your child, both in and out of school, and exploring what’s available in your community will help you decide the best course of action. One of the first things you might do is speak with your pediatrician about evaluating your child’s behavior. If your child can be identified as having ADHD, the pediatrician may make a number of different recommendations, including medication, a change of diet or counseling to help manage symptoms.

Something else to consider, either before or after consulting with you pediatrician, is a formal evaluation by a qualified mental health professional. One reliable screening test is the Conners 3 assessment, which can be administered by an LPC or LCSW.

In addition to these steps, you can contact your child’s school to see what resources they may provide. This might include special accommodations for test taking, access to resources outside the classroom, or even an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

It’s not all bad.

Although many of the behaviors associated with ADHD can be disruptive, it’s important for you, as a parent, to recognize that there are some real positives associated with the ADHD brain. Many even object the term diagnosis because in some ways, people with ADHD just have a different set of skills. Some of their strengths include creativity and the ability to generate a lot of new ideas. In fact, some have argued that the creative genius of people like Leonardo Da Vinci and Amadeus Mozart were fueled by characteristics of ADHD. In fact, Forbes wrote an article about entrepreneurs  

ADHD: The Entrepreneurs Superpower who attribute their success to having ADHD. The ADHD brain is not linear, which allows for out of the box problem solving. In addition, children with ADHD tend to have excellent critical thinking skills, being able to see things from multiple perspectives. Lastly, children and adults with ADHD tend to be very likable and socially engaging, typically demonstrating contagious positive energy. Everyone wants them on their team!

If you are looking for treatment for ADHD for yourself, or for your child, you are most likely overwhelmed by the negative aspects of this diagnosis. Research has proven that a combination of medication and counseling be effective in helping children and adults overcome ADHD, and reap the benefits of this special type of brain.

For more information on how counseling can help you or your child, contact us or sign up for an appointment online.

2017-04-05T10:00:30+00:00 By |0 Comments

About the Author:

Mark is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist in Richmond, VA. He is the founder and CEO of LaunchPad Counseling, a private practice that aims at helping children and adults find happiness and peace of mind by discovering strength inside themselves to improve their lives.

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