- Mental Health
ADHD-Behaviour Therapy, Counselling and Support
Who Can Give Support
Support for children with ADHD can come from a multiple of sources: psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, your paediatrician, support groups, family and friends all have a role to play. Each of these can give care and understanding to your child and to the rest of the family. You may need to use their resources and information on several occasions while learning coping strategies. Always keep a network of helpers so that you never feel swamped by the problems you face raising a child with ADHD.
Do You Know the difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?
If you are visiting a psychiatrist you are seeking help from a qualified medical doctor. This means you may be receive psychiatric therapy or medicines. However, a psychologist is not a doctor and cannot prescribe medication.
Which Treatment Did You Receive for Your Child?
Therapists and ADHD
It may be necessary to seek help from a psychotherapist who can help with the emotional problems that accompany the disorder and improve your child's ability to cope with the everyday challenges of living with ADHD. Your therapist may help with the behavioural problems or recommend someone else to give training or therapy. There are several alternatives.
Educational therapists will help with the difficulties your child is experiencing in learning. The therapist will consult with teachers and offer help with behavioural strategies, emotional problems and recognising such learning difficulties as dyslexia which may seriously affect your child's self esteem and ability to relate to peers both in the classroom and playground.
Speech and language therapists can assist with communication skills and an occupational therapist will help with coordination skills that may affect basic life issues of eating and drinking, dressing,and handwriting.
After Seeking Help
Have You Consulted a Health Specialist about your Child's ADHD? If so How Did You Feel about the Support You Received?
Are You Sure this is ADHD?
Diagnosing the disorder in very young children is difficult because developmental problems like language delays can be mistaken for ADHD. Consequently, children preschool age or younger suspected of having ADHD are more likely to need evaluation by a specialist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, speech pathologist, or developmental paediatrician.
Take a look at this list of medical conditions, some of which become apparent during later childhood and adolescence, that are known to cause signs and symptoms similar to those of ADHD, or exist along with ADHD.
- Learning or language problems - this is aggravated when a second or third language is introduced;
- Mood swings and disorders (such as depression);
- Anxiety disorders;
- Seizure disorders;
- Vision or hearing problems;
- Tourette syndrome;
- Sleep disorders;
- Thyroid medication;
- Substance abuse;
- Brain injury.
How Much Can the School Help?
If you have not already done so, now is the time to find out about the school program. You may not have been informed about the range of assistance offered by your child's school.
It is a fact that Schools are required by law to have a program that ensures those children with any disability that interferes with learning get the support they need. Furthermore, your child may be eligible for additional services offered under the federal laws Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Evaluation, curriculum adjustments, changes in classroom set-up, modified teaching techniques, study skills instruction, and increased collaboration between parents and teachers are all services that can be put into action to accommodate and assist your child; don't be shy to ask about them.
Where to Find Support
Ask around! You will be surprised at the resources available, from social services or support groups which can provide helpful information about coping with ADHD. Your child's doctor will almost certainly know of groups local to your area.
Nowadays there are excellent books, guides and magazine articles for both parents and teachers, as well as Internet sites dealing exclusively with ADHD. However, view Internet sites with caution, many can be extremely helpful, but speak to health advisers about the information you read there, and make sure that it does not conflict with the program you have worked out together.
The Role of the Speech Language Therapist with ADHD
Speech Language Therapists can have a role to play in ADHD cases. Many people believe they simply work with disorders such as speech impediments, but this is not the case. They will make assessments based on several factors, not all of which will apply to your child's challenges. Approaches may include:
- Observing the interactions with peers and authority figures in the classroom/work setting and during formal testing;
- Observing conversation with parents and members of the family;
- Interviewing parents/caregivers about speech and language development;
- Interviewing the child to evaluate self-awareness of needs and difficulties;
- Evaluating speech and language skills, such as fluency, speech articulation, understanding and use of grammar, understanding and use of vocabulary, awareness of speech sounds;
- Evaluating the ability to explain or retell a story, centering on a topic and chaining a sequence of events together;
- Assessing social communication skills Discussing stories and the points of view of various characters;
- Assessing the ability to plan, organize, and attend to details.
There are organizations to help sufferers.
- The National Resource Center on ADHD can be found at: http://www.help4adhd.org/ and
- Wikipaedia has a list of links that you may find helpful at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder_organizations