In this ADHD Awareness Month series, we share information to help parents to better understand their neurodiverse child.
It can feel daunting and distressing to help your child with ADHD. How can your help them to control their impulses and emotions, learn skills and reach their full potential!
Despite being highly challenging, supporting a child with ADHD in their everyday life can be equally rewarding. Here are my top 5 tips that can help your child with ADHD cope in their everyday life:
Establish a Routine: A structure and routine are beneficial for children with ADHD. You can create a daily schedule with consistent meal times, homework hours, and bedtime. By using visual aids like calendars or checklists your child will be able to easily keep track of tasks, responsibilities and expectations.
Medication and Therapy: Consult with a healthcare professional to determine if medication or therapy is appropriate for your child. Medication can help manage symptoms, while therapies like behavioral therapy or psychoeducation can teach coping strategies and life skills. It's important to know that medication is not essential for your child to learn skills and cope. However, for some families and children it can help in certain situations.
Set Clear Expectations: Setting clear and specific expectations will help your child to know what is appropriate and what isn't. Use positive reinforcement to reward desired behavior. Praise and encourage your child when they follow the rules and meet your expectations.
Organizational Strategies: Help your child develop organizational skills. This can include using tools like color-coded folders, calendars, or apps to keep track of assignments and responsibilities. Show them how to break large tasks into smaller, manageable steps. Help them to put in place their own rewards to help motivate them to complete their tasks.
Physical Activity and Meet Sensory Needs: Regular exercise can help children with ADHD to release energy and improve focus. Help your child identify when they are feeling agitated or restless and guide them to engage in sensory and movement activities. This will give your child the sensory and vestibular (movement) feedback they need to regulate their body.
Additionally, it's important to remember that every child is unique, and what works for one child with ADHD may not work for another. Be patient and open to adjusting your approach as you learn more about your child's specific needs and preferences. Become more aware of the subtle signs that tell you that your child is going to become heightened, and put preventative strategies in place to ground them. Understanding your child is a journey, so practice patience, love and have admiration for how their uniqueness can bring value to the world!