Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) challenge the loving bonds of parental kinship to the extreme. Neither scientific research nor statistical data brings comfort to the parent of a son or daughter in the midst of an impulsive rage or the barrage of a child’s meaningless, compulsive chatter. Simple instructions become cumbersome word algorithms and a routine math assignment remains the equilvalent of academic mountain climbing.
While the diagnosis of ADD or ADHD may seem an insurmountable obstacle at first, keep in mind a few basic steps to help weather the initial onslaught of uncertainty and insecurity. By following a few simple tips, children and parents may better accept the ADD/ADHD diagnosis and begin to reconstruct the framework for a better functioning and peaceful home life.
1. Educate, but don’t suffocate. Resources abound on the web, some good and some bad, but without a doubt the pool from which to fish for information is vast and overwhelming. Start with literature referrals from a trusted pediatrician or sanctioned, well known weblink such as www.help4adhd.org or www.addresources.org and begin an accumulation of information slowly and systematically. Too much information all at once will only serve to fan the flame of hysteria and choke the inception of clear, concise and useful ideas for creating a step-by-step plan.
2. Seek help. Again, a trusted pediatrician is a safe first step. Ask for recommendations to local psychologists, learning centers and even alternative resources, such as holistic health doctors. It will become an essential aspect of the brave new world of ADD/ADHD in which you have entered to familiarize yourself with the different avenues of treatment.
3. Get Support. Every community can boast an ever flowing stream of resources, particularly about ADD/ADHD. Check local schools and libraries for support groups. Online blogs and websites abound and will provide a sounding board for open, honest discussions. And lastly, ask around. Someone you know is experiencing the same feelings and hurdles. If not, then a friend of a friend of a friend. All it takes is a cup of coffee, a few tears and/or a bitter tirade to ease some of the tension and clear one’s head.
4. Love your child unconditionally. This advice is perhaps the toughest to swallow. It’s difficult to understand a child’s actions and quirks on a good day, let alone the sometime alien ticks and outbursts of an ADD/ADHD kid. Just remember, there is nothing wrong with your son or daughter. According to an article by Kate Goodin in www.parenting.com titled “Famous People With ADHD” some of this centuries most prolific musicians, actors and business men and women claim ADD or ADHD as a catalyst for his/her success, such as Justin Timberlake and Karina Smirnoff, just to name a couple.
5. Get a life. Yes, you read correctly. Aside from being the parent of an ADD/ADHD, you are a man/woman with personality, hobbies, political interests, work accolades, life experience and more. Remember to focus on your own personal growth in order to refill those energy tanks; self worth and inner strength are vital components to tackling the often times depleting task of parenting, under any circumstances.