If you suspect the person is experiencing ADHD, use this symptom checklist to better determine.
The American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) considers it necessary that the following be present before diagnosing a child with ADHD:
- The behaviors must appear before age 7.
- They must continue for at least six months.
The symptoms must also create a real handicap in at least two of the following areas of the child’s life:
- in the classroom
- on the playground
- at home
- in the community, or
- in social settings
There are some circumstances in which a child or adolescent’s behavior might seem like ADHD, but might not actually be ADHD. Many other conditions and situations can trigger behavior that resembles ADHD.
For example, a child might show ADHD symptoms when experiencing:
- A death or divorce in the family, a parent’s job loss, or other sudden change
- Undetected seizures
- An ear infection that causes temporary hearing problems
- Problems with schoolwork caused by a learning disability
- Anxiety or depression
- Insufficient or poor quality sleep
- ADHD Therapy Advice
It is normal for every person to zone out in a boring biology class, forget their homework in the kitchen counter, and act in a excited—high energy way. This is not ADHD. Persons with ADHD experience these issues to a degree that is drastically negatively impacts their performance in school and in life.
When helping someone with ADHD, a multimodal approach is often used. Medication in combination with therapy has been found effective in treating ADHD. Informing teachers, coaches, and others is also an effective approach to ensure appropriate approached to learned are used with the person with ADHD.
ADHD Counseling Therapy Action Steps
Below are several action steps for helping a person with ADHD.
Certain medicines can help people with ADHD by improving their focus and attention and reducing the impulsiveness and hyperactivity associated with ADHD. People with ADHD used to have to take medicine several times a day, but now there are some that can be taken at home once a day in the morning.
- Counseling therapy
Counseling can be used to help the person learn new strategies for coping with ADHD symptoms. In addition, family counseling helps treat ADHD because it keeps parents informed and also shows them ways they can work with their kids to help.
- Maintain structure and supervision
One of the hardest parts of helping a person with ADHD is that a higher level of structure will consistently be necessary. Parents of ADHD persons often ask “when can we finally relax the increased structure we have created to monitor our person’s school performance and home behavior?” The answer is often that parents should maintain the established structure until the person leaves for college. This does not mean being a prison warden, this means adding additional structure and supervision to help the person be happy and succeed .
- Remember, ADHD is a disability
Parents must remember that their person with ADHD has a neurologically based disability, and that there is a “can’t do” as well as a “won’t do” component to their unthinking actions. This means that parents of person with ADHD need to provide an extra helping of grace, patience, and forgiveness with their person.
- Help them build on their Strengths
Having ADHD is not just practically difficult for a person, it is also emotionally difficult. Parents and caretakers should be a constant positive force in the life of a person with ADHD. In addition, help the person find and build on his or her strengths. Personal strengths always overshadow the weaknesses caused by having ADHD.