How do I know if my Son or Daughter has ADHD?
ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can impact a child's ability to function at school, home, or in the community. The symptoms of ADHD usually vary throughout the afflicted persons lifespan. The following are signs your child may have ADHD:
Some kids will appear very active and may have difficulties waiting their turn or be constantly interrupting.
Your child may look as though they are paying attention but are actually daydreaming.
Children with ADHD often have difficulties acquiring social skills and forming or maintaining relationships.
Emotional regulation is also a common area of difficulty and this presents as quick shifts in mood.
Why does ADHD need to be treated?
ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can impact a child’s ability to function at school, home, or in the community. The symptoms of ADHD vary throughout the lifespan. Some children will appear very active and may have difficulties waiting their turn or be constantly interrupting. Other children may look as though they are paying attention but are actually daydreaming. Children with ADHD may have difficulties with acquiring social skills and with forming or maintaining relationships. Emotion and body regulation are also a common area of difficulty for children with ADHD. It is very common for children with ADHD to experience very quick mood shifts.
What to do if my child has ADHD?
Raising a child with ADHD presents a unique set of challenges and is often different than traditional childrearing. In supporting the growth and development of children with ADHD it is first important to understand how the brain of a child with ADHD works. Children with ADHD often have significant strengths in their areas of interest, and some common weaknesses such as difficulties with attention, focus, organization, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Often children with ADHD are viewed as misbehaving due to such challenges. It is important that your child develops their strengths so they can begin to soar. Learning specific parenting tools can help offset some of the difficulties and reduce frustrations in the home. Setting boundaries that are firm and consistent is often the first step in helping your child with ADHD. Setting boundaries and expectations can be difficult to do when your child pushes back. It can be helpful to develop your own “scripts” or language of how to respond to your child when this happens. Maintaining as much structure as possible can also be helpful for your child to stay organized and focused.
What Helps A Child or Teen With ADHD
Children with ADHD immensely benefit from resiliency and regulation training as well as learning how to become independent problem solvers. Behaviour management tools, such as punishment and rewards, can be beneficial in the short term, however often backfire, as children may have difficulties reaching the reward due to the very nature of ADHD (impulsivity). This may cause your child to feel anxious over time if they are unable to reach the rewards. It is important that your child builds internal motivation for long-term success. This can be done by using your child’s strengths to build areas of challenge.
At Creative Sky Psychology, a strength-based approach is used from the first session. Your child will learn tools that work for them. These tools can be used in the home and school as well. As your child starts to build success, they feel good about themselves. This is what matters in treating any childhood condition. All children want to do well, when they struggle to do well, maladaptive behaviours can emerge.
What is Resiliency Training?
Despite our best efforts, we can't protect our children from adversity and obstacles. However, we can build resiliency in our children. Resiliency is a skill that can be taught like math or science. Adults can helps kids learn resiliency by teaching problem solving skills, building emotional literacy, modelling healthy coping skills, and allowing kids to make mistakes. It can be tempting to fix your child's problems as they arise. This often leads to our kids becoming too reliant on us to solve all their problems as they lack the resourcefulness and confidence to attempt on their own.
How Does Creative Sky Help Children or Teens with ADHD?
Creative Sky Psychology is specialized in helping children, teens, and families with ADHD succeed. I create tailored treatment plans to help you and your child using a laddering approach. Rise offers a unique program that is strength-based and focused on helping your child achieve their potential. This involves a brief assessment of your child or teen’s needs, challenges, and strengths. I also use a combination of skill development and insight building to set your child or teen up for long-term success. Individualized strategies for children, parents, and teachers are part of the Rise program to ensure consistency, growth, and overcoming the challenges that can arise with ADHD.
Does my child need an ADHD diagnosis to get help from a Psychologist?
No. All children can benefit from learning skills in understanding emotions, building resiliency, coping skills, and problem solving. At Rise Child Psychology, I use a laddering approach. This means I start with where your child or teen is at and build success and growth from that point. When children and teens feel success and growth, they are ready for the next step. The goal is to help your child or teen understand themselves and develop a unique skill set for emotional, social, and lifelong growth and success.