ADHD in Children: When to See the Doctor
What to Expect in an ADHD Evaluation continued...
In most cases, an ADHD treatment plan will involve both ADHD medication and behavioral therapy, such as a program of rewards for appropriate behavior and consequences for inappropriate behavior, or a system to help inattentive children get organized. Sometimes the school can help with accommodations to your child’s learning and testing environment. If you choose treatment with ADHD medication you will need a prescription and follow-up from a medical doctor (such as your pediatrician, a pediatric psychiatrist, or a neurologist).
Some children diagnosed with ADHD may also be experiencing depression or anxiety. In such cases, therapy is often recommended as part of the treatment plan.
What You Can Do Now
If you are considering having your child evaluated for ADHD or are waiting for an appointment to start the diagnostic process, there are several things you can do in the meantime to help him or her now:
- Establish a schedule. Make sure your child has the same routine every day. The schedule should include homework time and playtime. Post this schedule in a prominent place in your home.
- Be clear about expectations. Make sure your child knows what you expect, and be consistent with consequences if those expectations are not met. At the same time, be quick to reward your child when he or she meets expectations.
- Praise and be positive. Rather than nag and criticize your child, make a point of praising positive behaviors.
- Help your child organize everyday items. Work with your child to have a place for everything. This includes clothing, backpacks, and school supplies.
- Jog your child's memory. The same system you use to remember tasks or appointments -- a watch alarm, lists, sticky notes, or a calendar -- may work for your child. Help him find a system that helps him remember appointments, chores, school assignments, and so on.
- Model good behavior. When you're with your child, manage your own emotions the way you want him to control his.