How should I handle a child with ADHD?
Q: My son is 5 years old and very hyperactive since he was 2 years old. He is getting worse. He talks a lot at school and at home. He does not listen to the teacher, and when given work to do, he sometimes wanders off, doing his own things. He draws on the back of his notebook and does not complete the work. He is unable to sit or stand at one place and moves at all time. I am trying to discipline him at home, and I have to stress myself out. He watches TV only for 3 hours or less everyday. While doing his homework, he does not focus on the work. When told to do it all over again, he slaps his head, yells and gets his anger out and cries loudly. I also lose my temper by spanking or punishing him. He is the only child so I let him play soccer, but this doesn't help. Many told me that he is hyperactive and it gets worse when he eats candy. He has attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and is dyslexic. He forgets things in a minute and sometimes cannot hold a conversation. Please advise.
A:Since your son has been diagnosed as having ADHD, your treatment of him must be sensitive to his condition. There is no point in your shouting at him or scolding him. Only patient and firm handling will help. If he does walk about in the course of doing something, what harm is there? Do not try and impose a military discipline, for its own sake. You must reduce his sugar intake. Do not give him any of the Cola drinks. These tend to aggravate hyperactivity. TV watching should also be cut down, but you must be able to replace it with music, interesting games and physical activity. It would be a good idea to consult the person who first diagnosed him and ask for advice on how to rear him. If that person is not available, you could consult a Child Psychologist in your area. In my view, a 5 year old should not have a lot of reading and writing homework. It is much too early. Have the whole situation reviewed. Your child may be different from the average child of his age, but that is no reason to make him conform to your idea of what he should be. Over the years, he will get over his problems, but parents and teachers need to be sympathetic to and well informed about his needs and abilities.