Finding out that your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) brings mixed feelings. On the one hand, parents are often relieved to get a diagnosis that provides answers for their child’s behavior, but on the other hand, the realization that their child has any kind of disorder can bring on feelings of despair and grief.
After the initial shock of the ADHD diagnosis wears off, however, parents have to wade through a lot of information and make a number of decisions that will affect their child’s future. Here’s an overview of the “next steps” you’ll be facing:
A multi-pronged approach to treatment often works best. Talk to your child’s doctor or a mental health expert about behavior therapy in the home and at school to encourage positive behaviors. Discuss options for medications that will help your child better manage his or her behavior. Know that finding a helpful medicine takes time. Set up counseling for your child to deal with feelings of anxiety or depression, manage behaviors, and help with low self-esteem.
Encourage your child
Your child needs lots of love and encouragement to move from an ADHD diagnosis to success. At home, set a routine and stick to it. Use rewards to motivate your child to comply with goals set up in counseling and with the doctor. Reinforce positive behaviors and use clear directions. Find activities or hobbies your child excels in, and encourage those strengths to build up your child’s self-esteem.
Become an advocate
Your child spends a lot of time at school, dealing with the realities of an ADHD diagnosis—without you. Let the school know about the diagnosis and get involved. Taking a proactive role at school, attending meetings as a representative for your child, and offering helpful input when deciding on services and placements that will help your child succeed.
If you’re reeling from a recent ADHD diagnosis, the professionals at Appleseed Community Mental Health Center are here to help. Give us a call today to set up an appointment with one of our caring counselors