ADHD: Back-to-School and Beyond

ADHD: Back-to-School and Beyond

ADHD | (ARA) – Chances are you have begun to think about your child’s needs for the upcoming school year. If your child has Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), this may include working with your child’s doctor and teacher, and developing an individualized learning plan that will result in a positive experience for you and your child.

ADHD, often linked to concentration and behavioral difficulties in the classroom, doesn’t end with the school day. In fact, the condition often affects a child’s ability to participate in extracurricular activities, complete homework assignments, sit through family meals or participate in other family activities without disruption — all leading to increased family stress.

ADHD affects many aspects of a child’s life,” says Christopher J. Kratochvil, M.D., associate professor, Department of Psychiatry and assistant director, Psychopharmacology Research Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“Combining input from the school, prescribing physician, and therpaist, along with the parent and the child with ADHD, can help the child to function better in all areas affected by the disorder.” As you develop your learning plan, consider the following elements for back-to-school and beyond.

** Back-to-School Plan

You can help improve your child’s school experience by working with his/her teacher(s) to address your child’s needs to avoid distraction and follow instructions.

* Try to limit distractions by seating your child near the teacher, but away from the door or window

* Support your child’s concentration process, which may require additional time for tests or assignments, reading test questions aloud and providing a non-distracting environment

* Provide written materials to support information that is delivered verbally

* Include visual, auditory, and hands-on learning opportunities to maintain the child’s attention

* Redirect your child without embarrassment if he or she becomes distracted

** Beyond-the-School-Day Plan

Children with ADHD may have a tendency to interrupt conversations to share an idea before forgetting it, mix up words or fail to understand instructions, which can lead to frustration all around. As a parent, you can use everyday activities to help your child overcome these issues.

* Help your child recognize visual or verbal signs of other people that indicate his or her conversation may not be appropriate

* Identify and support creative activities that your child enjoys, such as music, art and computer design, to increase your child’s focus and self-esteem

* Consider alerting your child’s coach, music instructor, scout leader or other adult in charge of your child’s extracurricular activities about his or her ADHD, and what works and doesn’t work for your child

* Ask your child to name what he or she sees during car rides to the grocery store, music or sports practice to develop his or her ability to think and respond quickly

* Encourage your child to tell you about his or her day during dinner to strengthen his or her thought process and communication skills

* Balance constructive feedback with positive encouragement

** Physician Partnership Plan

Parents also need to partner with their physician to design a treatment plan for their child with ADHD that works during and beyond the school day. Treatment may consist of appropriate medication, developing behavioral skills and coaching.

With the availability of a nonstimulant treatment that provides full-day relief of symptoms without insomnia or abuse potential, parents can now expect more from their child’s ADHD medication. A medication that controls symptoms after school and into the evening can help to improve interaction with family and friends and reduce stress for parents.

ADHD affects 3 to 7 percent of school-aged children and is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood. This medical condition manifests itself in levels of attention, concentration, activity, distractibility and impulsivity that may be inappropriate to the child’s age. In the last decade, experts have recognized that 60 percent of children will carry symptoms into adulthood.

For more information on ADHD and a nonstimulant treatment option, call (800) 545-5979. Courtesy of ARA Content


What is ADHD exactly?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder that affects how you pay attention, sit still, and control your behavior. It happens in children and teens and can continue into adulthood. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder in children. Boys are more likely to have it than girls.

Is ADHD a bad thing?

Untreated ADHD can cause problems throughout life. People with ADHD tend to be impulsive and have short attention spans, which can make it harder to succeed in school, at work, in relationships, and in other aspects of life.

Is ADHD a serious mental illness?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a severe mental illness, associated with major impairment and a high comorbidity rate. Particularly undiagnosed ADHD in adulthood has serious consequences. Thus, a valid diagnosis is important.

What are the behaviors of ADHD?

The primary features of ADHD include inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behavior. ADHD symptoms start before age 12, and in some children, they’re noticeable as early as 3 years of age. ADHD symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe, and they may continue into adulthood.

How does an ADHD child feel?

Children with ADHD can become frustrated and overwhelmed very easily. They have trouble regulating their emotions and struggle with executive function issues. They may, for example, have great difficulty: Planning.

What is the root cause of ADHD?

Genetics. ADHD tends to run in families and, in most cases, it’s thought the genes you inherit from your parents are a significant factor in developing the condition. Research shows that parents and siblings of a child with ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves.

What foods trigger ADHD?

Some of the common foods that can cause ADHD reactions include milk, chocolate, soy, wheat, eggs, beans, corn, tomatoes, grapes, and oranges. If you suspect a food sensitivity may be contributing to your child’s ADHD symptoms, talk to your ADHD dietitian or doctor about trying an elimination diet.

What is wrong with ADHD brain?

Brain development is also slower in people with ADHD. The neural pathways don’t connect and mature at the same rate, making it harder to pay attention and focus. This can impair executive function, which handles organization and routine tasks. ADHD impacts brain chemistry, too.

How can I tell if my girlfriend has ADHD?

** Signs and symptoms of ADHD in girls

* talking all the time, even when parents or teachers ask them to stop.

* frequent crying, even from small disappointments.

* constantly interrupting conversations or activities that include their friends.

* trouble paying attention.

* frequent daydreaming.

* having a messy bedroom, desk, or backpack.

Is ADHD caused by trauma?

Trauma and traumatic stress, according to a growing body of research, are closely associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). Trauma and adversity can alter the brain’s architecture, especially in children, which may partly explain their link to the development of ADHD.

Is Montessori better for ADHD?

For a child with ADHD, the Montessori environment can be a relief. With fewer distractions, your child is free to concentrate on the task at hand.

What vitamin helps with ADHD?

Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in healthy brain development and function. Several studies have found a link between vitamin D deficiency and neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ADHD.

Can ADHD get worse as you age?

ADHD does not get worse with age if a person receives treatment for their symptoms after receiving a diagnosis. If a doctor diagnoses a person as an adult, their symptoms will begin to improve when they start their treatment plan, which could involve a combination of medication and therapy.

Can someone with ADHD love?

Intense emotions and hyperfocus

When teens with ADHD fall in love, the feelings of joy and excitement can be even more intense for them. Teens might feel a deep sense of intimacy and acceptance, perhaps for the first time. They might also have a surge in confidence, something a lot of kids with ADHD lack.