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How can I Help my ADD Child?

Children and adolescents with attention deficit disorder (ADD) are often prescribed stimulant medications.
Behavior modification may be useful for a child suffering from ADD.
A parent should consult a pediatrician if they suspect their child may have ADD.
Therapy may be useful for a child suffering from ADD.
Research suggests that children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) who take fish oil daily exhibit less hyperactivity as well as improved cognitive skills.
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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2014
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Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a widely disputed diagnosis frequently applied to children who are struggling with school and other structured activities. If you have an ADD child, you are likely facing many difficult decisions regarding how to help him. Helping an ADD child requires a collaborative effort from family, educators, health care providers and caregivers.

Many parents are first aware that they may have an ADD child when their child starts school. A teacher may be the first person to mention ADD to a parent. It is important to keep in mind that, while many teachers are capable of perceiving problems with a child’s attention span and developmental progress as it applies to academics, they are not trained to make a medical diagnosis. However, as of yet, there is no concrete medical diagnosis for ADD.

If you have reason to suspect your child may have ADD, talk to your child’s pediatrician. She may suggest you obtain a Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) form or other written evaluation of your child’s behavior at school and home. After review, a physician may make a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder. If this is the case, he will discuss pharmaceutical treatment with you.

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Medications to treat ADD have proven effective with some children, but you will need to do thorough research. Some ADD medications are federally controlled substances and are psychiatric medications. Discuss the risks and side effects with your child’s doctor before you try any drug therapy to help your ADD child.

Some professionals believe that an ADD child can be helped through behavior modification. If your child has a teacher who is open to behavior modification, discuss possible options. Some children simply cannot sit and perform a single task without being distracted, but sometimes being permitted to perform several tasks at once is easier.

You can try allowing your child to stand while completing school work, or try letting her listen to the radio while doing homework. Some experts have found that children can stay focused longer if they chew gum or suck on hard candy. Behavior modification doesn’t work for every ADD child, and it may take time to find classroom and home routines that the child responds to.

Do not try to make decisions for your child without involving him. Ask your ADD child what he thinks might help him concentrate longer or what would make it easier for him to get his schoolwork done. Listen carefully to what he tells you and see if there is a pattern to the distractions he might name. In some cases, only medication seems to help, though you should be cautious of any school or teacher who will not work with a child unless she is medicated.

If you choose not to medicate your ADD child, you may want to consult with a behavior therapist. Ask your child’s doctor for referrals to medical professionals who can offer advice for dealing with and helping an ADD child. Provide your child’s teacher with the information you gather and insist that she work with you to help your child. Some children are faced with ADD their entire academic career, and others may grow out of the inhibiting signs and symptoms as they grow older. The important thing is to empower your ADD child to make positive progress with both academic and social skills.

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XXYGuy
Post 5

I've always wondered why caffeine is said to be avoided by people with ADHD? I find I simply can't function without my daily dose of caffeine and Rubifen (Methylphenidate). My brain simply turns off as it always did do. Maybe I'm addicted to caffeine?

GreenWeaver
Post 4

Mutsy- I know that many parents receive positive results when their child has taken Concentra or Ridlin but these are strong drugs and parents should be made aware of that.

I would try every possible behavior modification therapy and change the child’s diet before I go this route.

However, I do understand that ADD and ADHD can vary in degrees of severity and some parents may feel that they do not have a choice.

This can be a frustrating condition because the parents know that their child is intelligent, but struggles to finish work and often suffers poor self esteem because school can be a negative experience both academically and socially.

A child ADD checklist will also help the child with homework assignments because children with ADD often forget things and are disorganized. Providing a structured and predicable environment really helps a child with ADD cope with their condition better.

mutsy
Post 3

Suntan12-There is an ADD child site called CHADD. CHADD is a nonprofit organization that offers support group meetings for parents with children afflicted with ADD.

There are online forums and events in which members can bring their children. This also allows additional socialization opportunities because all of the children present have ADD.

It also allows parents to see that they are not alone in their frustrations and sadness over this condition. There is also a lot of education offered regarding ADD which helps parents learn new ways to cope with the condition.

Most ADD or ADHD children have difficulty in school and many get held back as a result. They are often labeled as lazy, but in reality they are intelligent but their brain is wired a different way so they learn in a different way.

It would be the equivalent to asking a child without ADD to put glasses on that had been smeared with petroleum jelly and then asked to read a paragraph.

Most children would not be able to see the words because of their impairment, which is what happens to an ADD or ADHD child. Here you can clearly see that the child is not able to see, but it has nothing to do with his or her I.Q.

suntan12
Post 2

Bhutan-Sometimes an ADD child diet is needed in order to temper the symptoms.

Researchers have linked foods with certain dyes as well as many refined sugary foods as toxic to a child with ADD.

Caffeine, being a stimulant should also be avoided. Some children are helped with just this change while others who have a more pronounced condition may need additional inventions.

Behavior therapy is highly suggested because these children not only need to control their impulses but because of their lack of social adeptness and impulsivity they often have difficulty forming relationships with other children.

They need to learn how to engage other children appropriately and this also takes a lot of practice because unlike other children, a child with ADD does not instinctively know this and will experience more rejection if not addressed.

Bhutan
Post 1

ADD attention deficit disorder or ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a frustrating condition both for the child as it is for the parent.

If your child has difficulty concentrating in school or the teacher indicates problem focusing and not completing his or her class work due to the lack of focus, your child might need to be tested by a psychologist.

The best psychologists for a child with the ADD condition are often in children’s hospitals.

Since this condition is difficult to detect, because the symptoms could mirror a variety of other learning disabilities, it is best to develop a holistic approach and possibly engage a neurologist in conjunction with the psychologist.

This will allow you to receive the most comprehensive information that is best suited for your child ADD test.

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