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My child was just diagnosed with ADHD. Now what?

By Lexi Walters Wright

If your child has just been diagnosed with  ADHD , you might be wondering what this means — for your child and for you. Following these steps can help you better understand your child and help provide much needed support at home and at school.

Learn all you can about ADHD.

The more you know, the more you can help. Hear an expert explain the basics of ADHD, including how it can affect daily life. Know the  symptoms .

Understand the  link between ADHD and anxiety . Get answers to common questions parents have about ADHD. Also, get an idea of what your child is experiencing.

Learn about treatments and therapies.

Talk to your child’s doctor about treatment options. These may include  behavior therapy  or  social skills groups . They may also include ADHD medications. Ask any questions you may have about other treatment or therapy options.

Research ADHD medications if you might consider them for your child.

Learn about the  different types of medications  and  common side effects . And find out when or how often you might need to have your child’s  medication fine-tuned .

Talk about supports and accommodations with your child’s school.

Set up a meeting with the school. When you meet, provide a copy of the report from the  specialist or pediatrician . Your child’s school may have done its own  evaluation . Still, having an outside diagnosis and recommendations can help with the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan  process. Discuss informal supports or  classroom accommodations  that might be helpful.

Talk with your child about the ADHD diagnosis.

It’s important for kids to understand how an ADHD diagnosis  might affect them in certain areas . This includes school, home, and  social situations . But be sure to note that ADHD doesn’t define your child. Explain that many  successful people have ADHD .

Teach your child to self-advocate.

Talk through some of the  ways your child can ask for help when it feels necessary. Self-advocacy is a skill that can offer benefits throughout your child’s lifetime.

Understand emotional issues you may see most from your child.

Many kids with ADHD feel things intensely and have trouble managing their emotions . Learn why that happens. Also learn about the connection between ADHD and lying .

Know the signs of mental health issues.

Kids with ADHD have a  higher risk for mental health issues . Know the  signs of anxiety  and  depression . Talk to your child’s doctor if you have any concerns.

Learn more about challenges and ways you can help at home.

Learn  about ways to help  your child with  organizational problems  and  impulse control . Look into other common symptoms of ADHD, too.

Keep in touch with your child’s school.

ADHD symptoms can  change over time . So might what your child’s  teachers see in the classroom . Regular communication with your child’s teachers and specialists can keep you on the same page about  whether the supports and services in place are working .

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Share My child was just diagnosed with ADHD. Now what?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Text Message
  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom