Get to Know Your Child's Team
Managing ADHD effectively requires a team approach. In addition to your family and your child, your child's team will consist of your child's healthcare providers and school staff. School staff may include:
- School psychologists
- Anyone else who is responsible for your child's care at school.
Get to know all the members of your child's team, and work closely with them to develop an individual treatment plan for your child. Frequent communication is essential. Communicate often with your child's school about his or her progress during the school year. Overall, your child will have the best chances of succeeding if everyone on the care team understands your child's individual needs and works together on the same plan.
Strategies for Structuring Your Child's LifeStructure and routine are important for helping you and your child manage ADHD. Children with this condition are unable to handle change well. Therefore, establishing a predictable schedule may help improve behaviors. Strategies for providing structure in your child's life include:
- Keeping a regular schedule. This includes waking up and going to bed at the same time each day. It may be helpful to keep a written schedule in a place where your child can view it. In addition to bedtime and wakeup time, include routine activities on the schedule, such as homework, bath time, and time for play. If changes need to be made, try to make them as far in advance as you can.
- Transitioning from one activity to another slowly. Try to give your child a few minutes' warning before changing activities or location. Include a countdown so your child knows when to expect the transition.
- Organizing your child's things so that he or she knows where everything is kept. This is especially important for items your child uses every day, such as clothing, lunch boxes, and backpacks. For example, it may be helpful to keep your child's backpack and lunch box near the door so it is ready to go in the morning.
- Using homework and notebook organizers for school material, information, and supplies. Encourage your child to write down assignments. Stress the importance of bringing home the necessary books to complete homework assignments.
- Creating clear rules that your child can understand and follow, and be consistent when enforcing the rules. Set a good example by remaining calm if rules are not followed. Give praise or rewards when rules are followed.