How can I help my son who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
Q: I have recently tested my ten year old son for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and he seems to have a mild disorder. The IQ test conducted (along with this test) showed that he scored over 130. This is an amazing score and therefore he has not had a problem attaining his aggregate of 93% since he joined school. He finds it difficult to conform to school regulations due to his deficient attention span. He talks constantly despite warnings and does not copy his notes in the class. His handwriting is atrocious, to say the very least. The professional who tested him informed me that his scores where social intelligence is concerned were keeping with 9-10 years of age. His visual motor skills were in the range of 10 years. I was informed that this is the reason that he does not copy his notes in school. He is unable to understand consequences to actions which is why he repeatedly gets into trouble in school. He was recently suspended for 3 days on account of repeated minus marks for not copying notes, talking constantly and disturbing the class. How can I get him to understand the importance of conforming to school rules by not talking and by not being restless in the class? How can I help him to complete the work done in class? I have to explain him his lessons and have to check everything he does. Am I preventing him from growing? How can I do to improve his attention as he is unable to take instructions and he can do only one out of three jobs given to him at a time? I am worried about his future.
A:If your son has been diagnosed as a mild case of AD/HD, which is a neuro-biological disorder, he needs some special attention. As a caring and concerned parent, you are in the best position to give him the help. Guide the child, don't chide him! Have regular structure and routines, as far as possible. Give clear and brief instructions. Do not tell him about the three things you wish him to do. It is likely that he has heard only the first one and will do only that. If you are about to start an activity or change it, give him instructions a few minutes earlier, so that he is prepared for the change. When he is rushing, grabbing or fidgeting, physically guide and help him to slow down. Give him a chance to do something for you, like fetching a glass of water, between activities. This will enable him to stretch his limbs and to feel that he has been useful. Praise the child for controlling an impulse or for waiting. Point out what he did well. Such children do not respond to punishment for misdeeds. On the other hand, praise for things done right will work for them. Remember the child wants to pay attention and learn and control himself. He is a very bright child, trapped in a problem. As he grows up, things will improve. Your helping him now is important. But don't talk about how lessons will get more complex in the future. Let him catch up with the present. Break up the task into small units, so that he has the satisfaction of completing the work at each stage. Ultimately, his teacher and the school management will have to realise, that he is not being deliberately inattentive or naughty, but cannot help himself. He will also have to learn, with your patience and good humour in guiding him, that he must comply with the rules of the class and the school. You are doing a good job of parenting. Just reduce your anxiety level, increase your patience and laugh with your son, when he does something difficult. All the best.