Q: I think my child could have ADHD, where do I start, where can I go for help?
A: The first step is to ask your GP for a referral to a Specialist who specialises in ADHD and co-morbidities. Once a diagnosis is made you can move forward, learn all about ADHD and start making positive choices to benefit both your child and you.
Q: If my Specialist suggests medication for treatment, do I have to give it to my child?
A: No, you do not have to give your child medication if you prefer not to. It’s your choice, not the doctor’s. However, you might need to have an alternative plan for your child.
Q: What are the alternatives to medication for ADHD treatment?
A: There are many things you can try which can help.
Q: I have heard that diet can play a big part with ADHD. Is this true?
A: We think that attending to your child’s dietary and nutritional status is vital. Like it or not, we are what we eat. Dietary measures will not take away the ADHD but can make it more manageable. ADHD NZ has information on all aspects of diet via books and DVDs that ADHD NZ financial members are welcome to borrow.
Q: Our child seems OK at school but his behaviour changes when he gets home. Is this ‘normal’?
A: Yes it is ‘normal’ for many parents to experience this!
School life for someone with ADHD can be very stressful. Many are astute enough to know what is required of them ‘to get through the day’ without getting into too much trouble. Tension can build up at school by having to behave in a way that is not natural for them. By the end of the day this tension can reach a tipping point, so when they get home their stress levels are extremely high. This may be what you're seeing.
A suggestion – some team sports or other exercise can be beneficial for relieving some of the stress.
Q: Teachers don’t seem to understand how ADHD can affect children. What can I do?
A: You need to find a way to work with teachers manage ADHD in the classroom.
One way to do this is to get an IEP (Individual Educational Plan) set up. At the IEP you and your support person/advocate will be able to identify, with the teachers, your mutual concerns and what can be done to accommodate your child’s needs. The best possible plan is drawn up with everyone’s agreement to be reviewed at a later date.
Whatever you do, the sooner you do it the better it will be for everyone. The problem won’t go away if you do nothing.
Q: Our family is really stressed out after each school day trying to get the required homework completed. What can we do?
A: Homework should never cause stress, cause family disharmony or disruption in the home.
Talk to the teacher and ask that if you make sure your child spends the required time on the homework, but does not complete it in that time, that this not incur a punishment.
Home-life is far more important than any homework will ever be.
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