ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a common developmental disorder that affects about 8% of the children in the United States (and 2.5% of adults). An ADHD diagnosis may give parents a name for and some understanding of their child’s behavior, but coping with your child’s ADHD can still be a challenge.
For Dr. Gina Labovitz and our team here at Ross Bridge Medical Center Pediatrics in Hoover, Alabama, a proper and accurate diagnosis is the first step in dealing with this issue. Then we can treat and help control your child’s ADHD. We understand the great struggle that comes with an ADHD diagnosis, so we offer exceptional therapies and support for both children and parents. We’re here to help you and your whole family get a better grip on the situation.
Know if your child has ADHD
Many of the behaviors associated with ADHD may be normal for children of certain ages. This is why it takes a pediatric professional to diagnose ADHD. And it’s also why parents need to pay attention not only to their child’s behavior, but how long they’ve been acting that way.
There are three types of ADHD. The first is inattentiveness, the second is hyperactivity, and the third is a combination of the two. If you’ve noticed any of the following symptoms, especially after at least six months, please come in to see us for a thorough evaluation. Is your child:
- Not paying attention
- Unfocused and easily distracted
- Daydreaming or just not listening
- Not following through
- Being forgetful
- Having issues with organization and schoolwork
The above are all inattentive behaviors. Hyperactive behavior is the more manic side of ADHD. Is your child:
- Fidgeting and constantly moving
- Unable to stay seated or in one place for long
- Behaving inappropriately
- Talking too much
- Impatient and not willing to wait their turn
- Prone to interrupting others
Dealing with ADHD
Once ADHD is diagnosed, medication is the main treatment and, when combined with behavior therapy, it can help you and your child manage their symptoms. With children, stimulants are the safest and most effective medication, but sometimes they need to be adjusted or switched out, so patience is key. We do all we can to get to the right solution as quickly as possible.
Here are some tips to help you cope with the diagnosis and keep things as positive as possible:
Being honest with your child, and not too overprotective, is important. Too often parents want to coddle a child with ADHD and shield them from reality, and this won’t serve them well.
Communication is vital: Make sure your child knows that ADHD has nothing to do with who they are as a person. They may make mistakes and act differently than other kids, and that’s okay. Help them figure out all the great things they can do and focus on that.
Don’t let your child (or yourself) use ADHD as an excuse. You still need to be a parent, and bad behavior needs to be dealt with. The key is to always stay calm and in control.
If you believe your child has ADHD and seek answers, or you’re struggling to cope with your child’s ADHD diagnosis, let Dr. Labovitz and the Ross Bridge Medical Center Pediatrics team help you. We’re here to support you with our experience, expertise, and understanding. Call us or use the convenient Request Appointment button.