So, your child has ADD or ADHD

A very popularized diagnosis for many children today is ADD or ADHD. The category includes children who find it hard to concentrate, fail to give close attention to details, have difficulty sustaining attention to tasks, don’t listen when spoken to directly, fail to finish tasks when instructed, is unorganized, avoid tasks that require sustained mental effort (except video games or other fast moving interests), don’t keep track of items they are responsible for, easily distracted and forgetful in daily activities. Further they may fidget with hands or feet, they may take unwise risks that reflect poor decisions, have difficulty in quiet activities, and may be continually in motion. They may blurt out answers and find it hard to wait their turn. While no child has all of these characteristics, a given child may have a combination of them.

Anger is not a feature of this disorder. The condition may increase parent frustration and anger, and given enough hostile interactions over the years ADD/ADHD children can develop anger problems that complicate the ADD/ADHD issue.

There are many ways that ADD/ADHD is assessed, however most measures are limited to observations of the child’s behavior by teachers, parents, physicians or therapists. After filling out various rating scales a decision is then made as to whether the child has ADD/ADHD or not. These approaches don’t truly test the child to see if they have ADD/ADHD. There is not an actual test that diagnosis ADD or ADHD. If medication is observed to be needed, a physician may prescribe a variety of medications available to affect the desired outcome.

The reasons for more cases of ADD/ADHD are diverse. The tendency for biologically based ADD/ADHD may be inheritable. Certain ADD/ADHD children may be susceptible to certain dietary reactions. Still other children become behaviorally unregulated through emotional disruptions. What may be seen as restlessness may be anxiety that is carried out behaviorally. Still other reasons may include excessive television, video games, and videos (It has been suggested that the flicker effect and rapid transitions of videos can re-regulate the brain to some extent).

Families with an ADD/ADHD child often are highly stressed dealing with the issues described. Our approach to interpersonal regulation helps parents lead children rather than react to them. As children calm and differentiate feelings of calm and trust of parent leading, impulsiveness often diminishes, children can learn to be successful within parental care and discover more effective “cause and effect” thinking. It is a journey that must take place throughout their entire development.

If you have a child that is ADD/ADHD and you want to look into what can be accomplished before and beyond medication, contact our office to find out what other options are available for you. Leading your child wisely may increase parent confidence and family fun, restoring joy to family living.

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