Being a parent is one of the most rewarding yet challenging jobs in the world. When you have a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it can be difficult to find the support you need, affecting both your child and the rest of the family.
As one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders experienced in childhood, it’s important to educate those around us about the condition. While there is no cure, ADHD can be successfully managed. We’ve put together some helpful information about the support available in Charlotte if you have a child with ADHD.
Getting diagnosed: Signs & Symptoms of ADHD
Most people start to notice signs of ADHD in their child when they have problems focusing on any one task for a long period of time. It’s sometimes teachers who pick up on the signs first. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) describes those with ADHD as experiencing hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity, claiming that 9% of 3 to 17 year olds have the condition. While it’s not unusual for children to get bored of an activity, ADHD can be characterized by, but not limited to, some of the following:
- Jumping from activity to activity while being easily distracted
- Inability to focus attention on a single task
- Lack of listening or paying attention
- Forgetting or losing things
- Struggles to follow directions
- Lack of motivation
- Inability to process information quickly
- Need to touch everything around them
- Too much talking
- Difficulty completing quiet tasks
- Acting with disregard to consequences/taking unnecessary risks
- Blurting out
- Difficulty in waiting or sharing
- Difficulty resisting temptation
- Tendency to interrupt others
If you think your child may be experiencing these, it’s important to see your Doctor and explain what’s been happening. Before you go, fill out this symptoms checklist from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Be aware that it’s difficult to diagnose ADHD due to the symptoms being closely related to other conditions. It’s also possible that symptoms could just be related to a child’s changing development and their unpredictable behavior in different settings such as school. Diagnosis is all the more difficult when similar behavior is frequently seen in children without the disorder. ADHD specialists will use a number of tools and assessments to determine a diagnosis.
Treatment & Support
It’s thought that both genetics and environmental factors contribute to the cause of ADHD. Managing ADHD is usually conducted through behavior therapy, combined with medication if required. Behavior therapy is a great place to start because it helps the child with their self-control and gives parents the strategies and techniques to help their child succeed in all settings including home, school and in their relationships with others. There are plenty of ADHD therapists working in Charlotte and treatment centers. Your Doctor may also be able to refer you to the best place.
There’s no doubt that coping with ADHD in the family can be a challenging time. Don’t try to cope alone. There is plenty of support out there including specific ADHD support groups in Charlotte.
You should also use some of the great resources out there for families. There’s tonnes of information available including advice and useful resources from:
- The National Resource Center on ADHD
- Carolina Attention Specialists
- Child Development Institute
- Child Neurological Foundation
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
These sites will help you to understand every aspect of ADHD indicators, managing the disorder and what to expect after diagnosis.
What else can you do?
It’s also a good idea to implement recommended lifestyle changes such as:
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Exercising for 60 minutes a day
- Regulating sleep & sticking to a bedtime routine
- Limiting screen time & distractions
If receiving therapy and specialist support, they’ll also help you to implement changes to your routine as a family so that you can manage the condition together. This can include anything from how to set clear boundaries to ways to give effective instructions and set a home routine.
Staying positive is essential when successfully managing ADHD in childhood, so use every resource available to you and take the support you’re offered, especially if you can get a break to replenish your own energy. It’s also vital to involve your child’s school from early on in the process so that ADHD management can continue into their school routine.
Most of all, don’t suffer in silence. There are so many resources out there to help you and your family successfully manage ADHD, and specialists in Charlotte who will come up with the best treatment plan for both you child and your family.
To speak to one of our pharmacists, contact us or pop in and see us. We’re happy to help.