A Family Plan To
Treat ADHD

My six year old son was on the verge of expulsion, and the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) burned on his shirt like the Scarlet Letter. Desperate to save his short academic career, self-esteem and my sanity, we engaged in a remarkable journey that has made our family grateful for a label that, at first, seemed like a death sentence.

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Take Back Your Power

You are in charge. Many parents assume that educators, physicians, other parents and the butcher know more about how to raise their children than they do. Especially when dealing with a diagnosis, knowledge is power. Learn as much as you can about your options. Even if the teacher has taught school since the beginning of time, or your doctor has the highest of degreed credentials, you have intimate knowledge of your child, and that trumps all else.

Read books, surf the internet and talk to other parents with ADHD children. Visit www.chaad.org to find a local support group of parents of ADHD children. Give yourself permission to try, fail and try again. Eventually, you will find a creative fusion of tools that will work for your family. What may have seemed like the end of the world is a new beginning.

Develop a behavior plan

Have a clear plan for consequences and rewards. As you might have already noticed from the stack of demerits from school, the intensity and intellect of ADHD kids cause traditional parenting and discipline methods to fail miserably.

Our shift from traditional parenting to structured, positive feedback has alleviated frustration and nurtured Ryan's self-esteem at warp speed. There are positive discipline methods that truly work, and can turn the label and negative connotations on their heads. Transforming the Difficult Child, by Howard Glasser and 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan are both must-read books to consult when shaping your behavior plan.

Weighing your options and aligning with your child's school >
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Comments on "Kids outside of the box are our teachers"

Sandra A Mahyles May 30, 2008 | 12:22 AM

I too had a child with ADHD however he is 31 now and at that time they used detension only. I even heard from 3 teachers how he passed gas. The punishment for that was to have all the kids call him stinky. I blew up and asked them how they were raised. I told them I was taught to pretend I didn't notice so as not to embarse the person. I also informed them that his passing gas was a sign of sever stress and what they were doing to him emotional was cruel.Wish I could have had this article then I think life would have been much easier for him then and now. Thank You for all those who you will help.

Jill Hall April 28, 2008 | 12:57 PM

Great article! Very informative. This article is well written by someone with a tremendous degree of first hand experience with ADHD.

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