Medication and professional support can help alleviate the symptoms of ADHD. There are also strategies and techniques that parents and teachers can use to help children, and adults can use to help themselves.
How to Help a Child with ADHD
Parents of children with ADHD can take steps to help their kids best manage the condition. Here are some things to try:
- Learn about ADHD, go with your child to therapy appointments and make sure your child follows their treatment plan.
- Be sure to administer medications safely and store them out of reach.
- Try to keep a predictable routine.
- Use conversations, games or activities to teach your child ways to manage their ADHD symptoms.
- Give specific directions such as “put on your shoes” rather than “get ready to leave.”
- Do what you can to boost your child’s self-esteem.
- Partner with your child’s school. Parents and teachers can work together to make sure children with ADHD get the support they need. Children with ADHD may qualify for special education and may benefit from training in study skills, curriculum modifications, alternative teaching methods and supportive classroom arrangements.
- Recognize that your child’s needs will change as they transition from elementary school to middle and high school.
- Learn the best parenting strategies for a child with ADHD. Talk openly with family members and friends about your child’s condition.
- Join support groups and organizations such as CHADD.
Tips for Adults with ADHD
ADHD is often thought of as a childhood disease, and adults may not know they have it. Sometimes, adults realize they may have it when their child is diagnosed. Adults with undiagnosed ADHD may have performed poorly in school, struggle at work, have difficulty with relationships, be sensitive to criticism and have low self-esteem.
These strategies may help adults with ADHD better cope with the condition:
- Try to keep to a consistent daily routine.
- Put things you’re likely to misplace, such as your keys or wallet, in the same place.
- Keep a list of tasks you want to accomplish each day.
- Break down complex tasks into smaller steps that are easier to manage.
- Keep a notebook or a file on your phone where you can write things you don’t want to forget.
- Write notes to yourself on sticky pads and leave them where you’re sure to see them, such as in your car or on the bathroom mirror.
- Put your appointments and deadlines on a calendar
- Use an organization system for your papers and electronic files.
- Seek social support from your partner, relatives and friends.
- Ask your boss if you need accommodations such as more detailed explanations or more time for completing tasks. ADHD is a protected disability, so adults with ADHD may qualify for accommodations at work under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Learn more about treating ADHD, including counseling and professional support.