A brave mother like me, who has a child in the spectrum, would definitely join seminars like the 2017 ADHD Summit. I was just so happy when I learned from a cousin who studies at UVU (Utah Valley University) that their College of Humanities and Social Sciences have created this event, featuring a Pulitzer Prize winner as a keynote speaker to talk about ADHD. And to top it all off, the speaker who is an award-winning writer is managing ADHD herself.
Trying To Accept The Fact That My Son Has ADHD
Trying To Accept The Fact That My Son Has ADHD (And How I Was Able To Help Him Just In Time!)
“There is nothing wrong with my son! Who are you to tell me that there is something wrong with him – that he lacks focus, is inattentive and very hyperactive? He is just five years old! All kids are like that! How dare you isolate my boy like that!”
That was me a year ago and I was speaking with my son’s Kindergarten teacher. She was telling me that my boy has difficulty reading because he is easily distracted and can’t focus on school lessons. She also mentioned that he fidgets all the time and that my son is very hyperactive.
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Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms And Diagnosis
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is believed to affect between five and ten percent of the population. The condition appears to be hereditary. Over thirty percent of children diagnosed with ADHD have a parent who has the condition. Normally, it is the child’s teacher that picks up the behavioral problems associated with ADHD. Approximately three times as many boys as girls are diagnosed with ADHD, but this may be partly due to symptoms going unnoticed in girls, as they tend to be less disruptive. Girls with ADHD will, however, have the same academic and social problems as boys.
Children with ADHD have difficulty socializing. Undiagnosed or untreated ADHD can have serious consequences including parental conflict, substance abuse, depression and anxiety and learning disabilities. Fortunately, in the case of substance abuse, there are professionals who can help people with addiction.
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Attention Deficit Disorder Is Not The Result Of Bad Parenting
Many adults believe that Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral problem caused by permissive parents or misbehaved children. This is however not the case, according to the National Resource Centre on ADHD no strong evidence exists connecting bad parenting with ADHD. Although circumstances and parenting styles can mitigate or aggravate the behavioral problems, the cause of ADHD is thought to be a combination of genes and environmental factors. Shirin Hasan, MD further says that, “ADHD is not caused by too much screen time, poor parenting, or eating too much sugar.” Diet was once also considered a possible cause, but most of the suspected dietary causes have been ruled out.
ADHD sufferers have a problem with the way the neurotransmitters in their brains work. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that make it possible for nerve cells to communicate with one another. In ADHD sufferers, there are insufficient neurotransmitters in the area of the brain that are responsible for regulating attention and behavior.
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Thoughts Of Children With ADHD Sibling
Don’t get me wrong. I love my brother very much. He is such a darling when he wants to and I’m just a regular older sister who wants to “understand” him. But there are times when I just can’t. He is super inattentive. I talk to him and tell him what needs to be done, but he just drifts away. He doesn’t listen to me or maybe, his ADHD deters from him from doing so.
Coping Mechanisms for Young Ladies
Though you may not always realize it, our much-loved children are often stressed and might need some help with, especially with the lifestyle that we are living in this modern world. It is affecting young ladies just as much as for young boys. However, because girls seem to be able to handle it a bit better, people think that girls are coping a lot better than boys. This isn’t true at all. And, it is vitally important that you teach your children—especially young ladies—some coping mechanisms to ensure that they are learning how to cope better while they are growing up. Here are some tips on how you can teach these coping mechanisms to girls and even boys:
Teaching them at a young age to cope
Coping mechanisms are being taught at a young age by professional counselors. The sooner and younger they get to learn how to cope with life and the stresses that come with it, will make them enjoy their lives a lot better. Continue reading “Coping Mechanisms for Young Ladies”
ADHD in Young Girls
When it comes to ADHD and how to control anger, it is known that this is a problem among boys. However, there are some girls who are struggling with ADHD as well. However, because they are girls, they aren’t always seen in the same light and aren’t getting the same treatment. There are a couple of things that you should know about ADHD in young girls so that you understand how this problem could be affecting them as well. Here is some vital information about girls and ADHD that every parent of an ADHD girl should know about:
They often don’t have the behavior problems like with boys
One of the main reasons why boys are often diagnosed with ADHD as opposed to girls is because the boys have more behavioral disorders than girls. What’s more, they struggle more with how to control anger.
“For many girls with ADHD, paying attention to the task at hand is their biggest challenge. They can get distracted by external events or drift off into a world of their own. For example, a bird outside a classroom window may take attention away from something more important in their environment, like a teacher announcing the date of an upcoming exam,” shares Joel Forman, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics and environmental medicine and public health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Put simply, this means that boys have far more problems with behavior and controlling themselves than with girls. Most often, you will have more trouble controlling a boy with ADHD than a girl. This seems to be the key reason why people claim that more boys than girls are affected with ADHD as it is more obvious. As a result, most girls are going untreated with the disease. Continue reading “ADHD in Young Girls”
Occupational Therapy for ADHD
Occupational Therapy For Mental Health Challenges
My son gets occupational therapy for ADHD. An occupational therapist recommended it when other treatments failed. In our first session, our occupational therapist from the American Occupational Therapy Association invited me inside this playroom with a whiteboard filled with drawings and words. The first drawing I saw on the board was a chair. Next, another drawing was a hand with five fingers. Following the third drawing during the treatment plan was a pair of opened eyes. After that, it came with a drawing of closed lips. I read that this was part of the initial patient evaluations in the occupational therapy process.
Occupational Therapy And Occupational Therapy Programs
Next, I saw a drawing of ears. After the drawings, there were phrases that said “FINISH WORK”, NO HITTING HEAD” and lastly, NO SLAPPING, GRABBING, PUSHING”. Besides the eight occupational therapy rules, there were three boxes and one of those boxes had an “x” mark.
On top of the board, it said, “8 OCCUPATION THERAPY RULES FOR MICHAEL.”
Sit And Wait
My son is extremely hyperactive and that’s because of his ADHD, which is considered a mental illness. I know that now. And one way to control a child with excess energy is “The Chair” wherein they have to sit and wait for a few minutes in the clinics. The occupational therapist told me to teach my child to “sit and wait” for 5 minutes at home – doing nothing, but just IT. It was to be included as one of his everyday activities.
This occupational therapy rule is focused on the concept of patience which kids with ADHD don’t possess.
They have to understand, his occupational therapist explained, that they can’t stand until the time is up. Also, no asking when it’s done and no fidgeting (these are all symptoms of his mental health condition), as well. They just have to wait it out. The number of treatment minutes has to increase each day until he learns to behave on his own without the need to prompt him. This is a very effective occupational therapy practice, especially for those with developmental disabilities.
“The Hand” rule means not to touch things especially if it’s not yours. In the occupational therapy setting, kids with ADHD don’t understand the concept of boundaries and would grab anything that has their interest. They won’t even ask permission to borrow a certain thing and that behavior needs to be curbed. This is part of their mental illness.
Kids who have ADHD as a condition, before treatment and occupation therapy, cannot focus on a certain task at 100%. This is really a mental health challenge for them. So many occupational therapists try to incorporate tasks within their everyday activities that involve attentiveness.
“The Lips” rule is very simple – training them not to talk when inside the classroom and while the teacher is speaking. On the same platform, don’t interrupt a person while he is talking, and wait for your turn to speak.
Children with ADHD are excessive talkers.
This treatment rule is one way to address one of their most common behavioral problems – their communication skills are not excellent. This rule will also give time for the child to assess his thoughts, organize them in his mind and speak out when called upon or when it’s his turn to talk. Restraint is being practiced by the child and the rule will create this skill. These are skills needed to improve for individuals with learning disabilities.
Kids with ADHD don’t have the skill to listen intently. In order to treat this type of behavior using the treatment, the children are being taught the concept of listening – listen to your teacher, mom, dad, older siblings and etc. During the session, the child will learn to “listen” without inattentive issues. That is “The Ears” rule.
Occupational Therapy For Behavioral Problems
As for my son, he is sometimes unable to finish his tasks or activities. It’s not that he doesn’t want to finish it. His fine and gross motor skills are delayed (he also has ASD) and that interferes with what he is doing. His social skills also need improvement.
With the “Finish Work” rule, he has to act accordingly and efficiently in order to complete his work.
“School–at least schools as usually defined these days–is a place where you must concentrate on what you are told to concentrate on, no matter how tedious; follow the teachers’ directions, no matter how inane; complete assignments for the sheer purpose of completing them, even though they accomplish nothing useful; and, while doing all of that, control your emotions,” writes occupation treatment expert Peter Gray Ph.D. Education classes are complemented by physical activity and occupational therapy services for promoting health, reducing environmental barriers, and learning social skills.
At first, it was really difficult for him because of his disability. But with his will to complete his task and as pushed by the occupation treatment tools, he was able to do the task.
No Hitting In Occupational Therapy
When my boy gets frustrated, he hits his head on the wall or with his fists (resulting in injuries at times). This too was treated by occupational therapy professionals.
It made him understand that it’s ok to be frustrated at times. You just have to let it out vocally, instead of hitting your head. (He doesn’t do it anymore with just after 8 OT sessions.)
“Previous longitudinal studies have found a higher suicide rate in a sample of both men and women with ADHD. It is also one of the first studies that show a higher self-harm rate in women with ADHD,” writes expert Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D.
So, when he is angry or sad, he talks to me about it. The “No Hitting Head” treatment rule in the occupational therapy setting made him learn how to speak what he’s thinking and feeling like any normal person would do.
“The nonstop leisure activities, impulsive actions, and more frequent aggressiveness of children with the hyperactive or combined types of ADHD are obvious sources of annoyance to peers. They are more likely than other children to argue and start fights,” notes expert Eileen Kennedy-Moore Ph.D.
It was a very productive first occupational therapy session not only for my boy but also for adults like me – I learned about RULES and why the treatment rules were necessary.
I needed to change the ways how I handled my son. Rules were truly needed for his behavioral modification and for promoting health
After all that, I asked, “Teacher, what’s that “x” in the box? ”
“If your son breaks an occupational therapy rule, there will be an “x”. This “x” is his punishment like – no tv, no gadget, no dessert, no candy, no going out, no playing with new toys, etc. I need your help with enacting this rule at home. Will you do that?” our expert said.
Me? Can I punish my son for having ADHD? My heart cringed at that thought, but it needed to be done. I had to be strict. The occupational therapy rules must be implemented. He has to learn how to behave.
“Yes, I’ll do it.”
Final Thoughts On Occupational Treatment Therapy
Now, as I look at my son after occupational therapy sessions – rarely fidgets, sits down in class, includes himself in family conversations, has a toy-sharing older brother, and a whole lot more – I know I made the right decision to sign up for treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions On Occupational Therapy
What is the main purpose of occupational therapy?
What is the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy?
What conditions do occupational therapy assistants treat?
Why would a child need occupational therapy?
Is occupational therapy hard to study?
What is the highest-paying occupational therapy job?
Why is occupational therapy not well known?
What type of patients do occupational therapists see?
Who would benefit from occupational therapy?
How do I know if I need occupational therapy?
How does occupational therapy support people?
Why is occupational therapy meaningful?
Does occupational therapy improve quality of life?
How long should occupational therapy last?
Is occupational therapy proven?
My Son’s Double Diagnosis: ASD With ADHD
When the Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrician told me a year ago that my son has ADHD, I was relieved. I had that feeling all along and it was a thorn off my chest to get that validation from a specialist. At least, I don’t have to speculate anymore. I used to answer people with an “I don’t know. I’m not sure. Still waiting for our appointment to come.” And they would say – “I really think he has ADHD. His behavior is not normal.” I would just roll my eyes.