Managing ADHD can be complex and may require a multi-tiered approach tailored to your specific needs.
A multi-tiered approach might include some of the following:
Simply having the diagnosis can provide comfort in the reasoning that not all past behaviours were within your control.
Be advantageous and learn to use the positive attributes of ADHD.
Find support from organisations. Help everyone around you to understand ADHD and let them know their roles are and what you want them to do that would help you.
ADHD is a medical disorder and so needs to be assessed and diagnosed by a medical person. One who specialises in ADHD and who can recognise, diagnose, treat, and support you and your family.
Make sure the medical check includes eyesight, hearing, blood, thyroid function, infestation (eg. lice, worms), blood sugar levels and thrush. It would also be wise to test for allergic reactions to dust mites, grasses and pollens etc. and if there has been a fall or an accident and the behaviour is extreme, ask for an EEG.
Carefully look at the mineral, vitamin and protein etc. intake to ensure appropriate amounts for growth and proper function of the child’s developing brain. It is suggested that a professional health practitioner, eg. naturopath, nutritionist, dietitian be consulted if you are not confident in dealing with it on your own.
Chemical Sensitivity, Toxicity, Allergies
Be aware that exposure to a range of chemicals and toxic metals that can affect the brain and immune system eg. chlorine, lead and mercury.
The easiest way to find out what foods your child may be intolerant to, is to make a ‘food diary’ and start to eliminate certain foods that research has shown to be effective in improving mood, health, learning and behaviour. Read Sue Dengate’s books on the Failsafe diet. There is now overwhelming evidence of the effects of food on children’s behaviour.
Family counselling can play an important part in family dynamics, providing the counsellor has good knowledge of ADHD.
You can find counsellors in our extensive list of healthcare providers around New Zealand.
This is an evaluative process of collecting and organising relevant information about your functional ability. This includes gross and fine motor control (from poor hand writing skills to riding a bike), eye-hand co-ordination (catching a ball), visual-spatial relationships, body image, self-concept and much more.
You can find an occupational therapist in our extensive list of healthcare providers around New Zealand.
ADHD children seem to have a wide range of abilities here, and can have either delayed speech or talk well before and beyond their years.
The former may need early intervention at a speech therapy clinic. You can find a speech therapist in our extensive list of healthcare providers around New Zealand.
Children with ADHD may also have a Learning Disability, language disorder or weakness in maths.
They can do very well on a 1:1 basis with a remedial teacher and we advise parents to get help from their school or go privately.
The stimulants Ritalin, Rubifen (methylphenidate) and Dexamphetamine are the most commonly used.
Your healthcare provider may suggest other medications or combinations for specific reasons.
A good time to start the trial of medication is during the holidays or weekend so you can observe any changes. Note any side effects that concern you. Work with your doctor, child’s teacher, extended family. Check your healthcare provider is available ‘on call’ during the first few weeks of medication.