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Success For Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Updated on August 18, 2016
JT Walters profile image

JT Walters has a Master's of Science in Behavoralism from Florida State University. She is a researcher in many professions in Florida.

Facts and Fiction about Children with ADHD and Their Parents.

Caring for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

About 10% of elementary school boys are considered ADHDand of those about 80% will have experienced behavioral, academic and social issues related to their ADHD. But how much do we really know about this disorder? Children with ADHD are often considered immature to peers their own age and have difficulty getting along with the world. The faux pas of the child with ADHD stems not from negativism or maliciousness but he/she is often quite surprised when his behaviors elicit anger from others. About 5% of females in elementary school will receive the label ADHD.

Another way to identify children with ADHD is to their poor relations amongst their peers. They lack the intrinsic self regulatory mechanism to understand:

1) What time is it?

2) What should I be doing during this time?

3) How to I make certain I complete assignments.

Culturally in the USA children are medicated but this approach doesn’t address the compensatory skills needed. It is abundantly important to emphaisze that children with ADHD have a biochemical neurological disorder and that their parents are kind loving people who need our accpetance, love and support. So please if you respond to this artilce do so with that in mind. I will moderate all comments on this subject as I will not tolerate any cruelity to child with ADHD or their parents.

Controversy over Medications

Although the medication makes life more tolerable for all involved in older cultures the compensatory mechanisms are taught because giving medication to children is considered controversial for the following reasons.

Controversy over Medications

1) There is not a significant academic skills increase. Standardized test scores for children on ADHD medication actually go down and not up. In most instances the learning curve is flattened by medications.

2) We know that ADHD improves somewhat when a male child reaches puberty. Puberty is attained by weight. There is a standard weight in which a male child reaches puberty. This is also true for females. Most of the ADHD medications are stimulants thus prolongIng the ADHD by preventing weight gain and puberty causing further social and emotional immaturity.

3) Limited if any compensatory skills are taught to the child with ADHD while on medication. Compensatory skills I might add that would demanded of the typically developing peers without the medications and labels.

4) Sometimes children share medications in school and the medications for ADHD are not benign. If a child with ADHD is given a medication not prescribed while on his medication there can be a serious drug interactions.

Other Cultural Approaches

Social Role Play is super critical. It is important that the child with ADHD know how they interact with the world is different not necessarily incorrect but that it can offend others. They need to be taught social cues and how to dodge socially questionable circumstances.

a) Role play so the child with ADHD can identify anger readily or aggression readily. Be creative because the child with ADHD can find himself in very socially awkward situations. Prepare for everything.

b) Teach the child with ADHD to apologize not matter what. An apology isn’t an admission of guilt but it does require the other party to be humane.

c) Always encourage your child to be involved in restorative justice. If the child with ADHD breaks something he pays for it. If he spills something he cleans it up. I believe in restorative justice as a parenting tool for all and it provides a learning opportunity. You would be surprised how quickly children stop spilling things or breaking them when they have to clean them up or fix them. These lessons also increase social maturity which is what a child with ADHD needs.

d) Mending broken relations. I know this sounds like an AA thing but really it is important for children with ADHD to have good peer relations. By incorporating restorative justice into the child with ADHD’s life and then making them socially responsible it puts the ownice on society to accept the child with ADHD. The more acceptance the child with ADHD receives the more friends he will have and therefore the more positive role models. Now let me preface this with you should screen all your children’s friends well. Because not all children are good role models. But friends are crucial for social and emotional development of child with ADHD. All socialization is a learning opportunity for maturity.

e) It is really important that the word failure be removed from a child’s life. It has a negative connotation and has no place in a child’s rearing. There must be an emphasis on the importance of learning opportunities and a mind set of “Practicing to succeed.”.

Social Contracts

When All Else Fails Make a Social Contract and Stick to It.

This can be very informal or you can write on you your computer. The goal is you ask for something from your child and agree to give the child what he requests if he succeeds. It is a very basic tool which has real world applications. We have such high expectations of our children that they attend school and learn without any reward or even worse that education in of itself is rewarding. We only educate ourselves for the financial and monetary benefits. I can’t imagine why we as a country expect our children to habitually and continually work for free and in some dire circumstances. A contract ties the reward to the behavior and is perhaps one of the most effective forms of behavioral management available.

Teach Social Manipulation

Teach Social Manipulation

Children with ADHD lack the ability to socially manipulate others. This is both an endearing quality and a limiting quality. Teach social manipulation for good purposes and the Child with ADHD will have street smarts to compensate.

Count to Ten Rule

Count to ten rule and then go.

So much of the child with ADHD’s behavior is impulse drive. Before acting, ask them to count to ten before and then ask then to identify the problem, possible solutions and consequences to behavior.

Song to Help Along

Success is within each child's grasp

Ater School Sports

After School Sports

I recommend every child with ADHD be involved in an after school sport. It is important for social, emotional reasons, and sometimes it offers the child with ADHD a place to be accepted and even lead. In conjunction with exercise before school and the ability to request breaks after school sports offer children’s with ADHD a place to burn their extra energy off so they can settle down for homework in the evening. This is especially true in middle school when children are swamped with homework. After school sports also provides a child with a healthy outlet to vent frustrations during the day.

Sleep for Children with ADHD

This is really important that these children receive their sleep. So turn the TV off at 6pm before dinner and keep it off al night. Books are good to read at night but low stimulation activities in the evening. Children should have rituals/schedules before bed and they should g to bed the same time every night. Children under 5 need atleast one nap a day for about an hour.

Alex is Still Thin On This a Diet


Sample Diet for Children with ADHD

Sample Diet for Children with ADHD

Without boring everyone with biochemistry I will attempt to give a general over view of diet and a sample diet to follow. There are many theories as to the cause of ADHD including but not limited to Fiengold’s Diet. I have to say I have reservations about the diet theories but I tend to believe there is a biochemical reason for ADHD. I have often recommended parents, who could not get their children medication for ADHD, to give their children caffeine before exams. But I always recommend this be done sparingly. Again I believe it is the responsibility for all adults to bend to make the school system fit the child and not require our children to be cookie cutter soldiers.

The idea is to mix rapidly burn foods like sugars with complex carbohydrates while also having enough fat to keep the hyperactive well nourished. With all the exercise I have recommended your child’s diet will have to be increased just to maintain weight. It is also important for social and emotionally maturity. So be prepared because it is quite a daunting diet but I believe if you following the advice for six months you will see quite a turn around in six months.


First I believe your child should have a multiple vitamin that is iron free and B-2 tablets each day.


*Pediasure with a tablespoon of corn starch

Fresh Fruit (Strawberries and Blueberries)

Cereal/Hot Oatmeal with Buttermilk

Cup of Orange Juice

Mid Morning Snack

Peanut Butter and Crackers

*Pediasure with Cornstarch


Mac and Cheese with a chopped up hot dog in it and yes, I put some cornstarch in this as well



More Strawberries

2 Cookies (Any kind is fine)

After School Snack

2 cups of Cheese Grits with lots of butter

1 Slice Corn Beef Hash with Potatoes

Juice (Any kind is fine but about 8 oz.).

10 Cookies (Again any)


Spaghetti and Meatball )I add egg and parmesan to my meatballs before making them. Serve atleast 2 cups.

Garlic Bread with butter

*Pediasure with cornstarch for sound sleeping


1 inch slice of Sara Lee Pound Cake

1 scoop of ice cream any flavor is good.

1 tablespoons fudge or caramel

Whipped cream to delight

1 cherry.

It is important to note that your child will not eat all of this to begin with but with the additional exercise his/her appetite will increase. There are also other tricks you can play on your child’s mind to make eating not so overwhelming. Always serve food on really large plates so it looks like really small portions. Always pretend to eat the same things.

I also always leave fruit in bowls around the house for my son to eat whenever he gets hungry and as I moved him onto this menu he did gained his appetite.

The cornstarch will be a hard sell. I know I have had to do it. Start with small amounts and then increase as tolerated. Cornstarch is binding so it can cause constipation but that is why there are so many fibers included in the diet.

Substitutions to this menu are tolerated. Replace protein with proteins and complex carbohydrates with other complex carbohydrates. It is how the meals are mixed that is important and the ultimate calorie count

I also tried to make the menu as low cost as I could. For all of us food is really expensive and the amounts here are quite expensive. Fresh fruit will always be costly. I know there are no vegetables in this menu feel free to add. *Pediasure could cover all the nutritional requirements. This menu is designed for calorie count and optimum fuel for children with ADHD’s bodies.

It is also important to note that this diet will not always be required. It is a marathon in feeding your child through this but if properly done, your child will soon be eating you out of house and home regard less of what you put on the plate. Atleast that has been my experience. Once you create a healthy eater their appetite doesn’t wave unless they don’t feel well.

Nutrition for Health is the foundation of development, education and maturity but it begins with Nutrition for all Children. Children with ADHD and Autism require specialized diets. Obtain consent of your child’s doctors before following any advice provided here as individual cases may vary.

* Boost can be substituted for Pediasure to save money.

Behavioral Interventions

For the purposes of this article I have provided guidelines for parents because parents have the most vested interest in reading and following through. I believe parents of children with ADHD need supports through their communities, schools, assistance, and understanding. As I believe Autism is a biochemical brain disorder so do I believe ADHD is as well. And throughout this article I have incorporated behavioral interventions but I did not firmly because I believe their is a biochemical issue going on within the brain. I would also tell the reader I believe a lot can be addressed through diet and the recommendations I have made above. It isn't a cure but a management plan to help your child succeed with ADHD.

Behavior Support Plans


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    • profile image

      jt walters 6 years ago

      Hi Denise,

      Try the diet. I will check out your article. I believe ADHD and Autism to be biochemical in nature and not behavioral issues.

      Thanks for reading, commenting and providing feedback. I am aways glad when I wirte something that interest my audience.


    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Very informative. JT, my nephew (I'm raising) and two oldest grandkids have ADHD. I wrote a hub: Girls with ADHD b/c one grandchild is a girl and girls often exhibit their symptoms differently. Therefore, they are frequently missed in the diagnosis arena and struggle throughout their lives w/o having answers or assistance, the way boys are helped.

      My nephew is sooo immature (now almost 18) he alienates other kids his age. He is more comfortable around younger kids. He absolutely refuses to do sports b/c he is embarrassed that he is picked on and kids give him a hard time, even though his long legs allow him to be a perfect candidate for track!

      Well written-voted up.

      You've brou

    • profile image

      jt walters 6 years ago

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for reading, commenting and providing feedback. Although there are no people your age labeled with this disorder, I have no doubt they do exist. They have always existed amongst us. As a scoiety we are juts more focused in on children now than we use to be. It reminds me of the Japanese children in the 1970(s) when they had an epidemic rate of suicide amongst 5 year old who couldn't get into the right schools. In the USA there is greater acceptance and there is this thoguht that if the child is here it is up to society to find a place for them in which they can utilize their specific skills. Now don't quote me but I believe both Bill Gate sand Mark Zuckerberg are considered to have Aspberg's which is a form of Autism and Autims and ADHD are very similar.

      I have the picture of Palin in her Bikini on my Palin hub. Can you believe Democrats actually think I am Democrat? I am not anything except undefinable. I think that Bikinni picture guarantees 4 more years for Obama.

      All MY Best,


    • profile image

      jt Walters 6 years ago

      Hi N.E.,

      Is your son in PALS or PAL becuase I am familiar wiht the peer assisted learning program which is PALS. It would not be abnormal for your son to not do his homework if other children are playing around.

      You may need to provide frequent reinforcers for him to do his homework. A sticker for every page.

      The term restorative justice is a criminal justice term. My poor son has to endure hearinga criminal justice term when he misbehves but I believe in it and it has saved me from cleaning many messes more tha once. It has also saved my applicances within the home and while I worr about my son when I take a shower. I no longer get out of the shower to find the television, telephone and oven, disasembled. So my son takes it apart. He puts it back together again or he pays for it. He only has an allowance so he can pay for things he breaks. And when it is his money (I am the Bank.) he chooses to spend his money on toys. I would caution you though Restorative Justice doesn't necessarily fix the products that are taken apart. Put it does put your son through the trouble of having to try to do so. Often my son puts things back together and they don't work exactly like they use to. It is the act of having to put them back together that limits the destructive behaviors.

      If your son has school sports enroll him. Since I know he is think I know he can run and the events you put him in this summer will prepare him to join after school sports programs at his school in the Fall.

      With diet and exercise so to follows sleep and all three need to be in place to keep your son happy, healthy and whole. So hit the approach from a three pronged perspective.

      You take care as well my friend and keep me posted on how things are going.


    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      What a wonderful thing you've done. This type of article changes peoples lives like NE. There are no ADHD children or autistic children now at my age. But i can appreciate the value of your experience and study for those kids and mainly their families. Bravo JT!

      your friend.


    • N.E. Wright profile image

      N.E. Wright 6 years ago from Bronx, NY

      Hey JT,

      This is great!

      I am already doing some of what you have mentioned, but not other things that I am going to look into.

      I love the phrase, Restorative Justice. I do something like that, but I never knew there was a name for it. LOL. I love it. LOL.

      I do not do enough role play with him. That will change today. He did request that this year he is to allowed to stay after school and join to PAL. I always wanted him to, but I said no.

      My son is a follower he will not do his homework when they give them the homework break time. I noticed that most kids did not do their homework -- during the after school PAL programs -- when they had the allotted time to do so. After reading this I may give him probation time there.

      Mean while, I am going to join our local recreational center so he can learn all the things he requested. Baseball, basketball, arts and craft, and Hip hop dancing -- OMG my son is not a stereo type. LOL. I was. LOL. -- I already informed him of that, but after reading this article I am going to make sure I join this week -- not this fall -- when we go to check out the affiliated park. My son needs it.

      I thank you so much for this well researched -- and experienced -- article. It is much needed.

      I shared it with my other followers, on Twitter, and on my Facebook page.

      Take Care My Friend,