My child has ADHD Now What?

 After receiving their child’s diagnosis of ADHD, many parents ask, “Now what?” Unsure of where to turn for help, parents rely on the internet, aka “Dr. Google,” to get information. However, there is so much information that parents become overwhelmed and feel at a loss of what to do next.

This list will help you understand the next best steps to take to get you well on your way to promoting your child’s success at home, at school, and with friends.*

1. If you haven’t already, see your doctor.

If you don’t have a pediatrician, be sure to get a referral because waitlists can be lengthy.

  • Before you make a hasty decision about medications, ask about different types, as well as their benefits and potential side effects.
  • Also talk to your doctor about different treatment options. Medications combined with behaviour therapy at home and school are considered best approaches to helping kids manage ADHD.

2. Understand ADHD and how it affects your child.

You can better help your child when you know what is going on and what your child needs.

Be sure to understand any other emotional, social, and/or learning needs your child may need.

3. Talk to your child about ADHD.

Teach them about their brain. No two brains are alike. Kids with ADHD have brains that works very fast, which makes certain things difficult for them (e.g., sitting still or thinking about what they want to say before they say it).

Highlight your child’s strengths and teach them how they can make their brain stronger. Having lots of ideas and energy can be great things!

4. Meet with your child’s school.

Give them a copy of your report and discuss your child’s learning needs. Ask what accommodations and supports they can provide.

5. Create a support plan/team for your child.

Include teachers, other family members, doctors, and professionals (e.g., psychologists, coaches, and/or occupational therapists) in this team.

Parent coaching is an essential piece of this plan.

6. To manage ADHD effectively.

Ensure you also have your own support team from others you trust.

When you feel supported, you are better able to support your child and show love, which is the most critical factor to their long-term success.

*This is a brief overview of next steps. Over the next few weeks, you will receive detailed information about each step.

Feel free to email Dr. Caroline Buzanko with any questions you have related to this article or ADHD.

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