Psychologists / Psychologues
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ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

A Basic Guide to
ADHD For Parents

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you probably feel as though you have been plunged into a strange new world filled with big words and strange medications that doctors swear will work miracles. Despite the fact that nearly 10% of all children suffer from ADHD, there is astonishingly little information readily available on the facts about ADHD for parents.

There are two things you need to understand about ADHD before going any farther.

1) ADHD is not a learning disorder, and
2) It is not your fault your child suffers from ADHD.

Many resources on ADHD for parents dance around those two points, leaving parents feeling as though they have somehow failed their child and they are doomed to spend the rest of their lives lagging behind their peers. ADHD is classified as a developmental, behavioral and neurological disorder that results in the impairment of the child to perform at a developmental level that corresponds with their age.

Toddlers have a notoriously short attention span, but toddlers with ADHD will not lose this short attention span as they grow older. Instead, they will continue to have difficulty controlling their impulses, releasing their energy in an appropriate manner and focusing on specific tasks (particularly those they find unpleasant) for any length of time.

ADHD is a chronic condition, and it is one for which there is no cure. Your child will not "outgrow" ADHD; however, as they grow older they will learn how to better control their symptoms. The precise cause of ADHD is still unclear. Resources on ADHD for parents list a variety of factors that are suspected to contribute to ADHD, including (but not limited to):

  • Genetics
  • A chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters
  • Diet
  • Differences in brain structure

The effects of ADHD are easily recognizable. Children with ADHD are restless, prone to fidgeting in their seats and playing with their fingers and toes when they are able to sit at all. They have a very difficult time focusing on one task, often rushing through work or wandering away in the middle and leaving it incomplete.

The most difficult symptom of ADHD for parents, however, is the lack of control children with ADHD have over their actions and responses. Children with ADHD seem to have an almost manic energy, screaming, running and shouting at improper moments and making statements that are rude, tactless and hurtful without seeming to realize that their actions have consequences. These symptoms impact children both academically and socially, making normal development in both areas very difficult.

ADHD is treatable, and as a parent you have many options for the treatment of your child's ADHD. There are numerous medications on the market that have proven extremely effective in children with ADHD, including Ritalin and Adderall. A recent study showed that children who were treated with dietary supplements responded as effectively as those treated with Ritalin without the harmful side effects, and there are numerous herbal and other non-prescription alternatives available.

Behavioral therapy is often the preferred method of front line treatment of ADHD for parents. Through behavioral therapy your child will learn how to calm their mind and body to think clearly and therefore respond appropriately to situations, eliminating the impulsive behavior that can make ADHD a living nightmare for parents and children both.

There is nothing wrong with your child. ADHD is a very common disorder among children, and it's one that can be treated and controlled to offer your child a best-odds chance at a spectacular future.

For more information on surviving, treating and helping yourself and your child succeed with ADHD, check out the ADHD Survival Guide [http://adhd-survival-guide.com/].

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Hébert & Assoc.
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Dr. Gilles Hébert, C. Psych.
Dr. Francine Roussy Layton, C. Psych.
Dr. Alan MacDonald, C. Psych.
Dr. Lorraine Overduin, C. Psych.
Dr. Adam Heenan, C. Psych.
Dr. Carole Lamarche, C. Psych.
Dr. Catherine Sabourin, C. Psych.
Dr. Daniella Sandre, C. Psych.
Dr. Lisa Carswell, C. Psych.
Dr. John Kowal, C. Psych
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