Talking to Your Child about ADHD

When you or your child is newly diagnosed with ADHD, there are three aspects of care that should follow directly. Education, about the disorder, Adaptation, or environmental and behavioral changes to facilitate improved functioning, and Medication.
  In talking to your child about their diagnosis, each of these three subjects needs to be discussed at a level appropriate to your child’s age and level of maturity. It is important that you convey the good news component of being diagnosed. “Now that we know why certain things are harder for you to do, we can start working on making things a little easier for you.”
 Your child will take his or her cue from your reaction to the news. So, if you aren’t freaking out, chances are your child won’t be either. So be sure you are calm, cool, and collected before you start. 
 A key element of what you say will be to be honest about the future. Tell them that life is going to change now, but stress that this change is a good thing, because for now, (at least at home), we will understand things a lot better. We will be breaking complicated tasks down into smaller, more “doable” pieces. There will be more rules, but you will know what they are, and we will tell you when you are crossing the line more quickly, so you won’t have to guess. We will try to acknowledge your good choices more quickly too.
 We will be exploring medication as a tool that can help you better follow rules, think before you act, and remember what you know when you need to know it., not just after it’s too late.
 We will never tell you again to “just try harder.” Other people will probably continue to do so, but we will not. We know how hard you try to get things right, and we will believe you when you say you are trying your hardest.  We promise.

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