Having a child with ADHD can make tasks and activities that may be simple for other parents to deal with very difficult. This includes things like school, athletics, after school activities, music lessons, and even trips to the store. Much of this depends on the severity of ADHD and the personality of your child.
However, all hope is not lost. Just because dealing with ADHD can be hard does not mean it is impossible or without its own rewards. You can cope with and treat your child’s ADHD in a number of ways.
One of the primary treatments for ADHD is medication. The first step to getting the right medicine is to see a physician who specializes in ADHD and knows how to both test for the validity and severity of your child’s condition, but who also can look at overall medical records and determine possible drug interactions as well.
These doctors often know of various programs to mitigate the cost of the prescriptions not covered by insurance, including a Vyvanse savings card, prescription discounts, and even subsidy programs.
In addition to medication, you child needs to learn to handle everyday situations that might normally frustrate and even anger them. This means that they must modify their behavior, and to do so they often need behavioral therapy. This can come in a couple of forms.
- General: General therapy is therapy similar to what anyone else might receive. It focuses on behavior modification through role playing and other devices that teach situational reactions and proper response.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy: This therapy focuses on the thinking behind actions, and worked to correct the thinking behavior, a deeper root than the simple response based on stimuli.
No matter what type or types of therapy your child gets, it is important that at some point they learn to focus on behavior and thinking. This creates the right foundation for educational transitions and moving into adulthood.
There are alternative therapies to traditional behavioral therapies, and these include things as simple as diet and exercise. They can, of course, be combined with more traditional therapies, as often a more holistic approach leads to better results.
- Diet: Diet includes lowering sugar and other stimulant intake, including carbohydrates, and instead focusing on healthy, organic foods and those containing long burning energy, like protein.
- Exercise: Exercise can often focus the mind on tasks, help with repetitive practice, and release pent up energy and frustration. Routines that are flexible and not tied to a rigid schedule are often the best for children with ADHD. A variety of exercises will serve them well.
While not always the first factors considered, diet and exercise can play a huge role in the lives of those with ADHD, and often determine how successful they are in various endeavors.
Nature therapy is exactly what it sounds like. Spending time in nature, whether on hikes or walks or even just sitting and meditating often allows the ADHD mind to wander and come back to the task at hand.
The focus needed to hike and take nature walks is not great, and studies have shown that those who suffer from ADHD are often calmed by outdoor activities, and that calm can last well beyond the duration of the activity.
Mindful Meditation and Yoga
Yoga can result in similar effects to nature therapy. The physical aspect of the activity combined with mental focus is often good for children with ADHD, and there are a number of programs designed specifically for these children.
Yoga for those with ADHD specifically involves positioning the body to calm the mind, and involves a number of simple poses that can be done by children of nearly any age. The duration of the poses is increased gradually, increasing both ability and focus.
Just as with any athletic endeavor, a coach can often see an athlete’s weaknesses, the same is true of those with ADHD. A coach often helps parents, teachers, and others spot how an overall strategy is working, what areas need improvement, and if changes in medication, dosage or even supplements and diet is warranted.
Having an ADHD coach may seem like a lofty ideal, but often the role can be fulfilled by a social worker or one of the parents depending on how objectively they can look at the situation. In some cases, insurance may even cover or assist with the cost of coaching, so be sure to check with your specific insurer.
Dealing with and treating your child’s ADHD is no easy task, and just as no two children are exactly the same, there is not a singular solution for every situation. Any combination of treatments, from medication to therapy to diet and exercise and coaching may work well for one child and not another. Knowing the options and exploring them carefully is the key to a successful coping strategy.