ADHD: What Comes After the Medication? | El Paso, Texas, USA!
Last week’s article touched a lot of people, and for a reason: a lot of parents struggle with their kids’ ADHD, and find themselves clueless after the diagnosis. It can be a tricky situation, even with the right medication and therapy, especially if you yourself have never experienced ADHD.
You want to help your child, but you don’t know where to start. It doesn’t make you a bad parent or a bad person, it just makes you human. The first question you ask yourself is, "Will medication change my child?" To answer this question, we need to take a closer look at ADHD medication:
Stimulant medications have been proven to be the most effective treatment for lack of focus and concentration, poor impulse management, and risky behaviors. When taken by a child, this medication changes the level of dopamine (a chemical that has to do with attention and focus) in the brain. It increases dopamine, and thus, increases the focus level of your child.
ADHD medicine will not change your child’s personality (if it does, you should inform his or her physician), and is not addictive.
Medication might be helping your child right now, but you know that, one day, they’ll have to get off the meds and start functioning without the help of chemicals. The question is what will happen then?
From my own experience, and the experience of many people I know who suffered from ADHD, the outcome is different. For some, their brains were so wired on medication that it took them some time to get used to functioning without them. For others, it felt rather normal, as if their brain has been completely rewired. There are still no studies that really show what happens when a child goes off their ADHD medication, since each case is different, but if you decide that your child could go without their meds, here are some tips for you to help them manage their disorder.
- Don’t focus on what your child can’t do: Instead, focus on what they can do well. ADHD children might have difficulty with their focus, but they can also hyper-focus on things that interest them. If your child loses his or herself in reading, painting, writing, playing strategy board games, or even just daydreaming, be sure to encourage it. A strategy board gamer today can be a leader tomorrow. A daydreamer today can be a filmmaker tomorrow.
- Help them focus using classical music or white noise: It is known that ADHD people who go off their meds will need some kind of anchor to help them focus. Make that anchor an auditory one for your child and use soft classical music or white noise to help them keep their focus. Many studies show that this technique works, and I actually use it myself.
- Show them that they’re not alone: Many famous, successful people suffer from ADHD or ADD. Michael Phelps, Justin Timberlake, and Jim Carrey to name just a few. These people have successful careers, and your child can be like them too.
There is still this stigma around ADHD sufferers, not only in the US, but in the whole world. Some think that people suffering from ADHD are lazy, undisciplined, and can never reach success. My goal is to show them that a child with ADHD can be an excellent student at school, and a successful adult later. Your child can do it! #trust