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Helping Your Child Cope With an ADHD Diagnosis

If your child is one of the more than six million kids in the United States who have ever been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you know that dealing with the condition and the behavior it causes can be difficult.

ADHD is a chronic condition that causes a combination of behavioral problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and more. It often can include struggles in school, low self-esteem, anxiety, and difficulty in relationships. 

Getting an official ADHD diagnosis can make the road ahead easier in terms of treatment and lifestyle accommodations for your child, such as getting extra help in school. Then if these accommodations and supports don’t prove to be effective, medication can be considered as a treatment option as well.

At Henry Hasson, MD, in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York, a board-certified pediatric neurologist, and clinical neurophysiologist Dr. Henry Hasson specializes in diagnosing and treating ADHD. Here are his top tips on how to help your child cope with an ADHD diagnosis.

Create structure

Kids who have ADHD do well with a routine. Work with your child to develop a regular routine for everyday tasks, such as meals, homework, playtime, and bedtime. 

For example, meals and bedtime should be about the same time every day, and you could dedicate a specific time and place for homework, so it’s easier for them to develop automatic habits that tell them exactly where to go and what to do.

Minimize distractions

Distractions can take a child with ADHD way off track, so try to limit them. Regulate screen time, and cultivate surroundings that make it easier to focus. Do your best to keep everything in its place, for instance, and try to maintain a calm, distraction-free environment from day to day.

Plan physical activity

Physical activity helps burn excess energy. It also helps kids focus and concentrate better, decreases the risk for anxiety, and stimulates the brain. Sports are a great way for kids with ADHD to learn how to focus their energy and attention toward a goal. Non-structured activity such as riding a bike or jumping on a trampoline is valuable, as well.

Break tasks up

ADHD makes it hard to remember multiple commands or steps, so don’t set your child up for failure by giving them one general command. Instead of saying, “Get ready for school,” for example, tell them to get dressed and make their bed. Once those tasks are done, ask them to eat breakfast and brush their teeth. Then, ask them to grab their backpack on the way out the door. 

Kids with ADHD tend to receive short and simple instructions along the way much better than one general request that requires them to carry out multiple tasks on their own.

Encourage your child

Having ADHD can be difficult for kids. You’ll have to correct them often, but do so in a caring manner that shows how much you love and respect them. Be positive and encouraging, and praise their good behavior as much as you can, so they can build the confidence and motivation they need to continue making progress.

If you suspect your child may have ADHD and you would like them tested, or if your child already has an official diagnosis and you need guidance for treatment, Dr. Hasson would be honored to serve your family. 

Just call the office in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York, to schedule an appointment, or use the easy online booking tool to choose your own time. Remember: there is hope — and help — available for kids of all ages who struggle with ADHD.

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