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SUPPORT GROUP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ADHD: CHADD

Vera Joffe, Ph.D ABPP

 

 

I had the pleasure of presenting at the CHADD of North Broward Chapter this week.

The parents asked very important questions, and I based my presentation on their questions and to maybe help them take home practical information to apply immediately with their families. These are some of the “take home” points that were discussed:

 

1.     “The earlier, the better”: The earlier one detects symptoms of ADHD and of other conditions in children, the easier the treatment and the less complications (and comorbidities) are developed.

2.     If parents have a suspicion (or a “gut feeling”) that their child is not developing likes other children, they have to talk to the child’s pediatrician about it. They need to take time and they need to ask for the pediatrician’s time during a visit to clarify their concerns and to answer their questions.

3.     The more comfortable parents feel with their doctors and with other professionals treating their children, the better outcome of therapy will be.

4.     Parents need to take care of themselves in order to find energy and to keep peace of mind to take care of their children with ADHD.

5.     It is important to have a comprehensive assessment when there is suspicion of ADHD: there could be some other conditions as well, or it could be something else and not ADHD. Only a mental health professional (psychologist, for instance) and a physician can diagnose ADHD. Teachers cannot, and family members cannot do it either.

6.     Research shows that it is important to treat very young children with ADHD symptoms with behavioral management and parent training, such as P.C.I.T.

7.     There is significant and enough evidence to demonstrate that ADHD is a genetic and medical condition. Thus, parents should ask all kinds of questions to solve their doubts about considering medication for their children (and for adults) as this is just like taking medication for other medical conditions such as diabetes.  The difference is that ADHD is diagnosed through behavioral observation and scales, and not by a blood test or by physical symptoms.

8.     Finally, getting support from groups such as CHADD helps parents tremendously in that they learn that they are not alone, and they can learn from other parents and from presentations given by such groups. Learning more about ADHD (and related conditions) can only empower parents to advocate for their children at the doctor’s office, at school, and also in other settings such as with extended families.

 

If you would like to comment on the above comments or ask a question, please, do not hesitate to write or to call Dr. Joffe (verajoffe.com)

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