Do you have difficulties paying attention from time to time? These difficulties may be because you are bored, tired, or don’t understand what is going on. Children and teens are the same. They can have trouble sitting still, keeping focused on their work, and remembering instructions. However, if your child or teen has a much harder time paying attention than their peers the majority of the time (even when they want to) so much so that it causes problems at school and other environments, they may have Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. More commonly known as ADHD.
How do you know if your child has ADHD?
- Hyperactivity- constantly fidgets and is unable to sit still, and may seem restless.
- Inattention- is easily distracted and forgetful, appears not to listen.
- Impulsivity- constantly interrupts conversations or games, talks excessively, and needs to be ‘on the go’.
It is important to note that your child or teen may experience some or all of the difficulties listed above, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they have ADHD. That’s why it’s so important to talk to a trained Clinical Psychologist, who are experts in this field, and will help you figure out whether a diagnosis of ADHD fits for your child.
What can you do?
- Develop consistent rules and routines.
- Give advanced warning of changes. Eg “Ethan, in 5 minutes, please put your work away”.
- Give clear, concise directions that include maximum two steps at a time to ensure that ALL the directions are heard.
- Before giving directions, say your child’s name to make sure you have their attention.
- Ask them to repeat instruction so that you know they have understood it.
- Reinforce and praise helpful, caring and appropriate behaviour.
- Ensure a fresh start once a hiccup has been dealt with.
By talking to a trained Clinical Psychologist, you can learn more about ADHD and how it affects your child. Also, you will learn different strategies to help negotiate your child’s challenging behaviours.
We’re here to help. Call us now on 8559 0704.