According the the CDC publication, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published on November 12, 2010, heath officials are saying that ADHD is becoming more common in the United States. Nearly one out of 10 children ages 4 through 17 are being diagnosed with ADHD, also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The disorder makes it difficult for children to pay attention in school or at home and they often have problems with impulsive behaviors. As a mother, having a child with ADHD, I know how difficult it can be. If you are a mother just finding out that your child has ADHD, here are some things that I have learned about ADHD to help your child with the use of medications.
Acceptance and Learning about the Disorder
Accept that your child has the ADHD disorder and try to learn everything about the disorder so that you can properly help your child. There are many mothers out there with children having the ADHD disorder, so you don’t have to be alone. As mothers, we know that each child has a different manual and this is the same with a child who has ADHD. What will work for one mother, may not work for another mother. The library or Internet are great places to research the disorder so that you can learn everything you need to know about ADHD.
According to WebMD and based on my personal experience, diet can really help a child with ADHD. Eating certain foods, including a high protein diet in the morning, such as eggs, cheese, meat, nuts, or beans can really help your child in school. Eating more complex carbohydrates will also help your child, including oranges, tangerines, pears, apples, kiwi, and vegetables. Taking Omega-3 fatty acid supplements will also help children with their ADHD or you can find the Omega-3 fatty acids in foods, such as tuna, salmon, walnuts, Brazil nuts, olive and canola oil. The foods to avoid are candy, drinks that contain corn syrup, honey, sugar, or any other foods that are simple carbohydrates, including white flour, white rice, and potatoes.
Children with ADHD usually have behavior problems. Having a behavior contract at home with a reward system works great with children with ADHD. There are many places online where you can find free printable behavior charts that you can try with your child. You can also arrange to meet with your child’s teacher to have a behavior contract at school and to modify anything that needs to be modified for anything that your child needs, including extra time for an assignment. You can get free behavior charts at the Free Printable Behavioral Charts website.
Place that is Distraction-Free
At home during homework, it is important to provide a place that is distraction-free where you can see your child to help them stay on task. Try not to pressure them when they get off task, but help remind them to keep working. Try doing your homework at the same time each day. Some children with ADHD do better being an early riser and doing homework in the morning, such as the case with my child. Another thing you can try for your child is giving them sugarless gum to chew on while they do their homework. Some children with ADHD work better when they are humming or chewing gum while doing homework.
Don’t over Schedule
Don’t over schedule a child with ADHD, they need to keep things simple. Even when you are doing homework, break the homework down to give them breaks in between and reward them for each accomplishment. Children with ADHD have to break everything down and take things slow, they can’t get overloaded and they are not great at multitasking.
Help Keep them Organized
Children with ADHD have difficultly being organized. Help your child get organized at home and especially for school. This may require a little help on your part. Once a week, go through their backpack with them and clean it out. Everything that is organized for an ADHD child will help them copy better and feel better.
Children with ADHD get frustrated very easily and it is important to keep a positive attitude with them and try to stay away from anything negative. Positive reinforcement will go a long ways with a child with ADHD.
With the number of children who have ADHD, most likely their is someone you know that has a child with ADHD that you can share and support each other regarding your children with ADHD. There are also a lot of online support groups that you can find to get support from other parents who have children with ADHD.