Perhaps like many parents, you find yourself saying over and over again, “Please get dressed. Please get dressed. PLEASE GET DRESSED!” Sometimes getting out the door with your school-aged child feels like a whirlwind where you find yourself wishing you could stay home instead getting the family ready to go out to eat or have a nice afternoon at the park. It’s a situation that drains you of your energy and patience. It takes a toll on your relationship with your child and could have a negative impact on her self-esteem. You try to tell yourself, “He’s just a kid.” Or “She just has a lot of energy.” Or maybe, “It’s just a phase.” But, it is possible that your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD in children must be diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional but there are some things you can look for including:
Appearing restless, constantly in motion or appearing as if to be driven by a motor. For example, a child who jumps on an exercise trampoline while watching TV.
A child who has difficulty taking turns, interrupts conversations, or blurts out answers in class.
Inability to pay attention to details or follow multi-step directions for his developmental stage, such as a second grader who isn’t able to focus long enough to learn how to tie his shoes.
A child who often seems to not be listening when spoken to—often referred to as “selective listening.”
A child who often does not follow through with homework, forgets to bring homework home, or to take important papers back to school.
Loving and raising a child with ADHD can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are many interventions other than (or in addition to) medication that can help you and your family navigate the challenges of ADHD. At Olive Branch Family Therapy, Jim can help you and your child take steps to manage the impact ADHD is having on your quality of life. Often therapy for ADHD involves helping parents talk through strategies for communicating with their children or making other simple changes to everyday routines like using timers, preparing for transitions, using a picture board and a checklist as a reminder of daily routines. If you and your family are struggling with an ADHD diagnosis give Jim a call at (919) 428-7746 or visit his website at www.olivebranchtherapync.com and schedule an appointment using the online client portal. Be good to yourself!