Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed at an early age and may become more noticeable when a child's circumstances change, such as when they start school.
Most cases are diagnosed when children are 6 to 12 years old.
The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems.
People with ADHD may also have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders.
Many children go through phases where they're restless or inattentive. This is often completely normal and does not necessarily mean they have ADHD.
If you are concerned that you think their behaviour may be different from most children their age, then get in touch with your child's teacher or school ALNCo - Additional Learning Needs Coordinator. You can also book an appointment and raise your concerns with your GP.
As a parent, you set the stage for your child’s emotional and physical health. You have control over many of the factors that can positively influence your child.
Children with ADHD are more likely to succeed in completing tasks when the tasks occur in predictable patterns and in predictable places. Your job is to create and sustain structure in your home, so that your child knows what to expect and what they are expected to do.
Tips for helping your child with ADHD stay focused and organized:
Find a sport that your child will enjoy and that suits their strengths. For example, sports such as softball that involve a lot of “down time” are not the best fit for children with attention problems. Individual or team sports like basketball and hockey that require constant motion are better options. Children with ADHD may also benefit from training in martial arts (such as tae kwon do) or yoga, which enhance mental control as they work out the body.
Insufficient sleep can make anyone less attentive, but it can be highly detrimental for children with ADHD. Kids with ADHD need at least as much sleep as their unaffected peers, but tend not to get what they need. Their attention problems can lead to overstimulation and trouble falling asleep. A consistent, early bedtime is the most helpful strategy to combat this problem, but it may not completely solve it.
Children with ADHD need consistent rules that they can understand and follow. Make the rules of behavior for the family simple and clear. Write down the rules and hang them up in a place where your child can easily read them.
Children with ADHD respond particularly well to organized systems of rewards and consequences. It’s important to explain what will happen when the rules are obeyed and when they are broken. Finally, stick to your system: follow through each and every time with a reward or a consequence.
As you establish these consistent structures, keep in mind that children with ADHD often receive criticism. Be on the lookout for good behavior—and praise it. Praise is especially important for children who have ADHD because they typically get so little of it. These children receive correction, remediation, and complaints about their behavior—but little positive reinforcement.
A smile, positive comment, or other reward from you can improve the attention, concentration and impulse control of your child with ADHD. Do your best to focus on giving positive praise for appropriate behavior and task completion, while giving as few negative responses as possible to inappropriate behavior or poor task performance. Reward your child for small achievements that you might take for granted in another child.
Diet is not a direct cause of attention deficit disorder, but food can and does affect your child’s mental state, which in turn seems to affect behavior. Monitoring and modifying what, when, and how much your child eats can help decrease the symptoms of ADHD.
All children benefit from fresh foods, regular meal times, and staying away from junk food. These tenets are especially true for children with ADHD, whose impulsiveness and distractedness can lead to missed meals, disordered eating, and overeating.
Children with ADHD often have difficulty with simple social interactions. They may struggle with reading social cues, talk too much, interrupt frequently, or come off as aggressive or “too intense.” Their relative emotional immaturity can make them stand out among children their own age, and make them targets for unfriendly teasing.
Don’t forget, though, that many kids with ADHD are exceptionally intelligent and creative and will eventually figure out for themselves how to get along with others and spot people who aren’t appropriate as friends. Moreover, personality traits that might exasperate parents and teachers may come across to peers as funny and charming.
It’s hard for children with ADHD to learn social skills and social rules. You can help your child with ADHD become a better listener, learn to read people’s faces and body language, and interact more smoothly in groups.
You can fine more information about these helpful hints here -https://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/when-your-child-has-attention-deficit-disorder-adhd.htm