If your child has recently been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, you may be experiencing a variety of emotions. You may be wondering how this could have happened, trying to recall any lifestyle or parenting choices you may have made that could have led to your child’s condition, or maybe you’re wondering what you could have done to prevent it. This is a completely normal, even expected reaction, but the truth is that your child’s condition is more likely a product of heredity or chance than any particular decision or behavior you may have initiated. Once you realize this, the next step is to begin seeking out resources that may offer help for ADHD children and their families. To assist you in this, in the following article we will outline several specialists, organizations and other resources through which you can find education and support for your ADHD child, including some ideas on where to start.
Help for ADHD Children: Doctors, Pediatricians, Mental Health Professionals
The first place you should look for help for ADHD children, and also one of the best resources for you, your ADHD-affected child and your family, is the family doctor, pediatrician, or a licensed mental health care specialist. These professionals have dealt with thousands of ADHD cases and can suggest a number of effective treatment options, including:
- Medication. Sometimes the best help for ADHD children comes in the form of stimulant or non-stimulant ADHD medication. These prescribed drugs, which include names such as Ritalin on the stimulant side and Straterra on the non-stimulant end, are very effective in controlling many of the troublesome symptoms of ADHD, including hyperactivity, inattention and impulsive actions.
- Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy. With the assistance of a licensed mental health care professional, usually a psychologist or psychiatrist, help for ADHD children can also come in the form of behavioral and cognitive therapy. Therapy allows children to share the variety of different problems they are facing every day, and to get advice on how to act on these problems in the most appropriate way. These professionals also will work with parents and families to establish the most optimal environment at home, one in which an ADHD child can flourish.
Help for ADHD Children: Support Groups
ADHD children, as well as their families, face an abundance of issues not faced by those families unaffected by the disorder. Fortunately, there are many support groups out there that can help families cope with some of these issues. Support and resource groups, including the group CHADD, the largest and most comprehensive ADHD support group in the nation, consist of thousands of families that have encountered many of the very same issues you and your child are now facing, and can offer helpful tips and advice on how to make the most of this challenging situation. In groups such as these—and there are many—parents can learn behavioral and disciplinary strategies that have worked for other parents of ADHD children, and learn how to implement these strategies at home.
Help for ADHD Children: Online Resources
There are a countless number of online resources that can provide information on ADHD in children. On these websites parents can educate themselves about ADHD, learning the various causes, symptoms and treatments for the disorder, and find helpful advice on how to help the ADHD child succeed at school and at home.
When you get the diagnosis that your child is coping with the effects of ADHD it can come as a real shock. You may even feel all alone. However, help for ADHD, the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in school-age children, is literally everywhere. From doctors, mental health professionals, support groups and other resources, parents not only have the opportunity to become more educated on the causes and effects of this common disorder, but can find helpful advice on how to meet this unexpected challenge head-on.