After your child is diagnosed with ADHD, the next concern for most parents is, ‘can a child with ADHD live a normal life?’
Let’s find out…
Do you know that over 6 million children in the United States have ADHD?
And that the number of adults with ADHD is rising by the day?
As kids grow, it is common for them to get easily distracted.
However, there are times when their actions get in the way of their schooling leading to multiple disciplinary actions.
ADHD is one of the most prevailing neurodevelopmental disorders affecting kids in the United States.
Most children with ADHD struggle with multiple symptoms including:
- Chronic loss of attention
- Excessive talking
- Difficulties organizing tasks
- Loss of items
Though not common, some children with ADHD may struggle with anxiety disorder, insomnia, and Tourette’s syndrome.
Now back to the main issue… Can a child with ADHD live a normal life? Read on to find out…
Straight answer…IT DEPENDS.
When your little angel is younger, they’ll find it easier to manage their ADHD because you are always there to help.
You talk to their teachers and close friends about their problem and how they should handle you to make things run smoothly.
However, when your child grows into an adult, you’ll no longer be as available as you were in the early years.
This makes things harder and can lead to low self-esteem, difficulties in keeping jobs or maintain relationships or inability to stay organized.
These put together may result to depression or even suicide.
From this info, it is clear that:
- A child with ADHD will live normally if they get the right support from people that matter to them. Parents, siblings, teachers, and friends.
- Early interventions will help children with ADHD live normally
Let’s look at what you can do to help a child with ADHD live a normal life:
How to Help a Child with ADHD Live a Normal Life
As an answer to the question, ‘can a child with ADHD live a normal life?’ Here’s what you can do so your child can enjoy life like other kids:
1. Create a routine
Try as much as possible to follow the same schedule from wake-up time, bathe time to breakfast all the way to sleep time.
This followed over time helps the child not to forget things.
2. Get organized
Encourage your child to put their items in the same place always. This helps them stay organized themselves and not to lose their items.
3. Manage distractions
Turn off the TV, limit the noise. This helps your child focus on one thing e.g. their homework.
Some kids however learn better when they are moving or when listening to some nice background music.
Observe your child and establish what works for them.
4. Limit choices
Too many things to choose from might leave your child feeling overwhelmed or over stimulated, give them lesser choices.
E.g. if dressing up for a hike, give them two outfits to choose from.
5. Be clear and specific when you talk to your child
Ensure your child knows that you pay attention to what they tell you. Repeat what they told you.
Give them easy straight-to-the-point guidelines when giving them a chore to make it easy for them to follow through.
6. Help your child plan
Break down complicated tasks into simpler shorter steps. For long tasks start early. Giving them breaks in between makes it easier for them.
7. Use goals and praise or other behaviors
Use a chart to list tasks you want them to do. Track their performance and let them know how they’ve faired.
Reward tasks completed well or give them gifts. Small steps to achieve the end-goal are extremely vital.
8. Discipline effectively
Instead of yelling or scolding, use the steps you give them to mark their progress.
Remove privileges as punishment for inappropriate behavior.
9. Create positive opportunities
Study your child and note their strengths or activities they enjoy more. Encourage and support those activities eg football, swimming as that helps them learn more and get better at such activities.
10. Provide a healthy lifestyle
Nutritious food, physical exercise and enough sleep are really important. They can keep ADHD symptoms from getting worse.
How does ADHD affect behavior?
ADHD affects kids’ behavior in specific ways, namely;
- They have trouble getting along with other kids
- Experience trouble learning
- Impulsive nature may put themselves in physical danger
- They may experience low self esteem
Children with ADHD have trouble waiting for their turn can find it difficult getting along with other children because it brings out the picture that they are not fair and are self-centered.
This may lead to other kids not wanting to play or associate with them
Also, these children have trouble paying attention, ending up having a really hard time learning because they are very easily distracted.
They cannot even sit still to concentrate on any school assignments
Kids with ADHD are impulsive in nature keep making very careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks which in turn put them in a lot of physical danger.
So, is it really possible that a child with ADHD can live a normal life?
All said and done, it’s important to note that a child with ADHD can really live a normal life.
This entirely depends on what role you play as a parent to help your child overcome.
You really must go an extra mile to ensure your child gets the support and attention they need through-out treatment.
Effective treatment is available in form of medication and behavior therapy depending on how old your child is and at what stage the diagnosis was made.
Your pediatrician can offer a long-term treatment plan to help your child lead a healthy normal life. If left untreated, ADHD can continue causing serious life-long problems.
Like any other disease, the earlier the diagnosis the better for everyone.
This therefore calls upon us as parents, guardians and teachers to always be extra cautious when dealing with kids.
Are you a specialist or a parent to a child with ADHD? Based on your experience and research, can a child with ADHD live a normal life?
Please share your findings with us in the comments section.