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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

From MayoClinic.com

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Self-care

Because ADHD is a complex disorder and each person with ADHD is unique, it's difficult to make recommendations that are right for every child or adult. But some of the following suggestions may help:

Children at home

  • Show your child lots of affection. Children need to hear that they're loved and appreciated. Focusing only on the negative aspects of your child's behavior can harm your relationship with him or her and affect self-confidence and self-esteem. If your child has a hard time accepting verbal signs of affection, a smile, a pat on the shoulder or a hug can show you care.

  • Try to remain patient and calm when dealing with your child, even when your child is out of control. If you're calm, your child is more likely to calm down too.

  • Be realistic in your expectations for improvement — both your own and your child's.

  • Take time to enjoy your child. Make an effort to accept and appreciate the parts of your child's personality that aren't so difficult. One of the best ways to do this is simply to spend time together. This should be a special time when no other children or adults interfere. Try to give your child more positive than negative attention every day.

  • Try to keep a regular schedule for meals, naps and bedtime. Use a big calendar to mark special activities that will be coming up. Children with ADHD have a hard time accepting and adjusting to change.

  • Try to keep your child from becoming overtired, because fatigue often makes symptoms of ADHD worse.

  • Try to avoid situations that are difficult for your child, such as sitting through long presentations or shopping in malls and supermarkets where the array of merchandise can be overwhelming.

  • Use timeouts or the loss of a privilege to discipline your child. For children with ADHD, a timeout from social stimulation can be very effective. Timeouts should be relatively brief, but long enough for your child to regain control. The idea is to interrupt and defuse out-of-control behavior. A timeout doesn't work for everything, but many parents have found that it's one of the best tools for managing the behavior of an overactive or impulsive child.

  • Help your child organize and maintain a daily assignment notebook and be sure your child has a quiet place to study.

  • Find ways to enhance your child's self-esteem and sense of discipline. Children with ADHD often do very well with art projects, music or dance lessons, or martial arts classes, especially karate or tae kwon do. But don't force your child into activities that are beyond his or her abilities.

  • Use simple words and demonstrate when giving your child directions. Speak slowly and quietly and be very specific and concrete. Give one direction at a time.

  • Take a break yourself. If you're exhausted and stressed, you're a much less effective parent.

Children in school

  • Ask about and take advantage of any special programs your school may have for children with ADHD.

  • Stay in close communication with your child's teachers, and support their efforts to help your child in the classroom.

  • Be sure teachers closely monitor your child's work, provide positive feedback and are flexible and patient. Ask them to be very clear about their instructions and expectations.

  • Ask about having your child use a computer in the classroom. Children with ADHD often have trouble with handwriting and can greatly benefit from using a computer or a typewriter.

Medications

  • Administer medications carefully to children and teenagers. They shouldn't be in charge of their own medicine.

  • At home, keep medication locked in a childproof container. Psychostimulant drugs are nervous system stimulants. An overdose can cause severe confusion, agitation, and an accelerated heart rate and is potentially fatal. Children age 5 and younger are especially sensitive to drug overdoses.

  • Don't send supplies of medication to school with your child. Deliver any medicine yourself to the school nurse or health office.

  • Make sure your children understand that it's not OK to give or sell medication to others. Ask them to tell you right away if classmates pressure or threaten them.

Adults in the workplace

  • Choose work that uses your strengths. If you're creative, high energy and intelligent, avoid jobs that are dull or detail-oriented.

  • Ask your boss to repeat instructions rather than guess at what he or she means.

  • Try to work at home, at least part time.

  • Ask for a private office. If that's not possible, work in a quiet area and use headphones to muffle noise.

  • Work on more than one project at a time. When you get bored with one, switch to the other.

  • Work on boring tasks when you feel most alert.

  • Break up big jobs into smaller tasks.

  • Use deadlines for structure.

  • Make lists of things to do and use them to prioritize your day.

  • Use a day planner and to-do lists. Post notes for yourself.

  • Ask your secretary or office assistant to help with details.

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/14/08 06:56 PM