Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
With the increase in diagnosed cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, we thought it might be helpful to provide some information about it. With a little research from our associates, here are some facts we've found and other interesting thoughts.
Boys are diagnosed three times more often than girls. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder usually presents itself prior to age seven and most often before a child reaches four years of age. Articles published in the Journal of the Medical Association report results from studies done at Harvard Medical School and reveal that children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder were twice as likely to have had mothers that used tobacco and alcohol while they were pregnant. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that boys under the age of eight that snore when sleeping are three times as likely to be hyperactive.
If your child has been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, you might be wondering what you can do to help them. Here are a few tips that may help.
Always focus on positive behavior! This will help with increasing your child’s self-esteem. Be sure to have some type of reward system for good behavior. Always include hugs, pats on the back, and physical affection as part of their rewards not just added privileges or treats. Punishing your child for behaviors and attitudes that are not acceptable, you may want to eliminate privileges and always explain to the child why they have lost them.
Should your young child become highly emotional or too overactive, you should have an area that is reserved for time-outs. This should be a quiet room in the house with no television, toys, video games, or computers. It should be a secluded area where the child can settle down and think about the consequences of their behavior.
Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder usually leave things in a unorganized clutter. To help your child learn organization skills, you must have a space for all of their belongings. You will need to remind the child to put things back where they belong when they are finished with them. When giving your child instruction on what you expect to be done, always look at them and speak slowly. By asking your child to repeat these instructions back to you, you are giving them the chance to make sure they understood your instructions they way you meant for them to be understood, while reinforcing them at the same time. Children with ADHD will function better if their have structure through a daily routine. Events that are unknown to them in advance can create havoc for them.. If you know ahead of time of any plans for the day that are not in their normal daily routine (doctor’s appointments, birthday parties, etc.), it is always best to let them know in advance about these types of changes in their schedule. Always allow them time to think and “prepare” for any upcoming changes.
Have a list of house rules that establish the child’s duties and responsibilities. This can be accomplished by writing them down and placing them where the child will have opportunities to read them often. You may also want to have an area on the list for adding things that they have accomplished that are positive.
Establish a bedtime for the child and stick to it every night, even on weekends. This will build a pattern and help the child to get the rest they need. The morning wake-up call should be at the same time each day. This is part of the consistency in routine that they so desperately need.
Ask your doctor about any foods that should be excluded from your child’s diet. You can also try substitutes that will be better for them nutritionally.
Plan times throughout the day when your child can run and play to help them release some of the extra energy they develop.
While there is no so-called “cure” for ADHD, there are various different treatment options available. Choosing the best treatment plan for your child will take time and after much research and knowledge gained on your part. Become informed and involved in every aspect of your child’s life, and take on this challenge one day at a time!
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