Turn around. Hazard. Madal. Hyper. Reflecate. It’s a maximist. It’s always the first time. Not listening. Not learning. These are you members who have been used to create your child for the longest time. And it’s not that people are using it to hurt your child. The scary part is you agree.
So then you bring your child to a developmental pediatrician, and your worst fear is confirmed.
Your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). So what’s next?
It is understandable for any parent to panic when they are tented with their child has ADHD.
But it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. In fact, aside from a few specific strategies on establishing rules or giving rewards and consequences, raising a child with ADHD is no different from raising child without ADHD.
Dr. Rose Aligada, Dean of Miriam College’s College of Education, and one of the founders of the ADHD Society of the Philippines, shares tips for newly-diagnosed parents:
If you want to have
a diagnosis there is a death centre, bearing a negative attitude won’t help either. Aligada, who is also a Special Education specialist, notes that a parent’s refusal to accept her child’s diagnosis can be a huge barrier to helping the child reach her or her potential.
“It’s naturally going through a grieving process once they learn about their child’s diagnosis, but we have led us to believe that there is a disability, which is physical or neurodevemental like ADHD, means you are limited,” Aligada
said. But she also asserts, “There is been a lot of success stories, especially with ADHD. They just need to get past the negativity first. They need to be time to sort through all these emotions.”
The best way to raise a child with ADHD is by learning about the condition itself. “Once a parent writes what ADHD is and what it entails, the difficulties will be easier to address,” Aligada states. She said, “ADHD is a neurological condition. “That’s where a big chance is that things will be done repeatedly, as if your child wants to learn what he or she wants to learn.” This, she reiterates, is a knowledge of the condition.
Without a real understanding of ADHD, it would be very easy for a parent to give up on the child and conclude that the child is making mistakes on
purpose. That’s when it comes to being told, Aligada stresses that it doesn’t mean children with ADHD can learn. “The best way for them to learn is to allow children to make mistakes. Don’t be so quick to rescue them all the time. Watch them from a distance and when the time is right, coach and guide them. Let them learn by experience.”
Discipline, discipline, discipline!
Research shows that children with ADHD have an inherent problem with self-regulation. It’s a means that on their own, they will have difficulty controlling their actions, recognizing their own missiles, and correcting them. So, it is necessary for children with ADHD to grow up in highly structured environments.
Aligada, who has several family members diagnosed with ADHD, attests to the power of discipline. “I’ve seen it happen in my own side of the family, and I’ve seen it happen to others. What we want for children with ADHD to grow up self-reliant, and we don’t depend on other people to gain success. Discipline is a good way to teach them to regulate.”
You’ve ll be coming up with house rules.
But more importantly, imagine that you’re consistently implementing the rules.
Value ‘values’ above all else.
Let’s face it. No matter how disciplined you think of your child is, the outside world will still be full of things that can tempt. Alcohol, drugs, bad companies, abusive relationships, debt and teenagers with ADHD can easily fall prey to the poor self-regulatory skills. “What will strengthen children with ADHD is a strong set of values. “I’m not going to instill very early in life,” Aligada states.
Finally, Aligada says that being involved in a support group can help families of children with special needs cope with their children who don’t know how to take care of a child with different needs.
For parents of persons with ADHD, she recommends the ADHD Society of the Philippines, an NGO consisting of parents and SPED practitioners who are committed to empowering families who need support.
“The ADHD Society has different programs to address certain needs: we have monthly parent support groups, support groups for young adults diagnosed with ADHD, parenting classes, and teacher training programs, among other things,” Aligada