ADHD medication can be an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan for kids with ADHD. When a child or teen responds well to medication, the positive impact on almost every aspect of their life is profound.
When a younger child is receiving therapy for ADHD, there’s no question that parents should be highly involved in their treatment. In fact, all evidence-based treatments for ADHD require parents to learn skills and strategies to support their child at home. But when it comes to teenagers, being involved in treatment can feel like more of a gray area for parents.
When your teenager is struggling, you naturally want to do everything that you can to help them. For many teens with ADHD, that means working with a therapist as part of their treatment plan. But what can do you do as a parent if you know that your teen needs therapy, but they refuse to attend sessions? How can you get them the help they need if you can’t even get them into the therapist’s office in the first place?
Age-appropriate books with characters who have ADHD symptoms can be a great resource when it comes to helping kids with ADHD understand their own experiences. These books can spark “aha” moments for kids and serve as excellent conversation starters for meaningful discussions between parents and kids.
In my previous post I discussed the reasons why so many kids with ADHD struggle to successfully transition from one activity to another throughout the day. The good news is that while transitions are much more difficult for kids with ADHD than kids without ADHD, with some targeted support and accommodations, transitioning between activities can become much easier.
For many kids with ADHD the most difficult times of the day are those that happen when they are transitioning from one activity to another. At school, it may be when they are ending an academic period and getting ready to head to art class or to lunch. Or it may be during more subtle transitions, like when they are moving from circle time on the rug to classwork at their desk. At home, challenging transitions come up when a child needs to settle down for homework time after playing video games, or when they need to transition into their bedtime routine.
It’s that time of year again when we all work hard to find just the right toy or gift for our kids. If you have a child with ADHD, gift giving is yet one more area where you may find yourself being even more thoughtful than most about the items you choose. The team at ADDitude Magazine recently published a whole host of gift ideas for kids with ADHD, ranging from fidget kits to stress relievers, to books to toys. Their articles cover great non-tech toys (https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/gift-ideas-adhd-kids/), gift ideas for kids with sensory issues (https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/sensory-gifts-for-adhd-children/) and products designed for tactile learners (https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/educational-toys-for-children-with-adhd/). They are terrific resources for parents.
While it may appear that a disorganized child with ADHD is careless or sloppy, often these students care very much about their materials and wish they could have a neat desk like their classmates. The problem is that the executive functioning skills required for organization are underdeveloped, making it almost impossible for them to maintain an organized desk and work area on their own.
Transitioning smoothly from one activity or setting to another can be very challenging for students with ADHD. Somewhat surprisingly, difficulty managing transitions is actually one of the least talked about problems associated with ADHD, yet it is at these times of the day that students with ADHD are typically the most disruptive or emotional.
Getting assignments completed during the school day is challenging for all kids with ADHD. Unfinished classwork is a frustrating problem for teachers, who struggle to find ways to motivate kids with ADHD to complete work at the same pace as other students in the classroom. It’s also a frustrating problem for students, who often feel like they are failing when they see their peers staying on task and completing assignments easily. Often unfinished work is sent home and added to the day’s regular homework assignments. This extends the frustration to parents who see their children struggling to complete the typical homework load, let alone added work at the end of the day.