Communication tips for Parents of Children with ADHD
What is ADHD?
Let’s start with clarifying the term ADHD. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder believed to affect up to 1 in 20 children in the USA. It is marked by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity which can significantly impact on many aspects of behaviour and performance, both at school and at home. In approximately 80% of children with ADHD, symptoms persist into adolescence and may even continue into adulthood.
It is extremely important to give right kind of instructions to your child with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, so here are nine tips to better equip you to handle your child’s needs.
1. Physical contact
It is always recommended to make physical contact with your child while giving instructions, shouting from a distance, for instance, loses its impact and child hardly pays attention to it. This is because of executive functioning issues with your child.
2. Eye Contact
Try to make eye contact with your child during conversations or while directing him/her to complete a task.
3. Hold their hand
During a conversation, holding your child’s hand can be beneficial because this will help you to grab their attention.
4. Mind your tone
Maintaining positive intonation during your conversations with your child is very important. While giving instructions, your voice has to be firm but affectionate at the same time.
5. Keep it Simple
Your directions should be short, and one at a time, since your child has attention and memory issues, he might get confused and end up doing nothing. For example “Get up and brush your teeth, once this is completed, Polish your shoes” and so on
Explain the reason behind the directions so they can learn to work out cause and effect, and are more invested in that task.
7. Careful with your words
Be clear in your words, no sarcasm or taunts, as they may find it difficult to interpret
Don’t start the sentence with “don’t”. Instead of saying something like “Don’t touch the laptop” a better way to phrase it would be “Good boys and girls don’t touch their parent’s laptop without their permission, I don’t want you to touch it.”
9. Rewarding good behaviour
If the child is able to comply with your commands then he/she must be rewarded immediately either by giving them extra play time, internet access for extra 15 minutes, immediate praise etc. This will help to reinforce their behavior.