September 13th, 2011
Lately there have been a lot of questions in regard to how best to manage ADHD within the family. ADHD is not isolated to the individual (or individuals) in the family that have it. It effects the entire family on a daily basis in significant ways. So for this reason, my next few blog entries will address some of these concerns.
When a family member presents with what we would consider many common ADD symptoms, and has been properly diagnosed, the next step is to educate the whole family so that everyone understands what the diagnosis of ADHD actually means. Make sure to clarify that having ADHD is no one’s fault and to provide each family member the opportunity to ask questions. Do take your time to answer all questions because understanding what ADHD is all about can often alleviate many of the problems that arise in the family.
Try not to label the individual in the family as being “the one with ADHD”. Giving someone in the family a role or reputation of the “problem person” can set the family up for more of the same behaviors they are trying to avoid. What we expect from our children is often what we get. Focus on the strengths and special talents that all of the children in the family have and particularly focus on the special talents, creativity and sense humor that is indicative of children with ADHD. This will encourage those positive talents to be further developed and flourish.