Confirming a diagnosis of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be a moment of relief and validation for children, young people, and their parents/carers. Following an ADHD diagnosis often comes the question - what next? We will discuss this further in the blog post.
There are different management strategies for ADHD. We recommended a tailored approach for the child/young person, along with the family's needs.
The demands of the classroom, such as staying focused in classrooms, sitting still for a long amount of time, etc, mean it can be a challenging environment for those with ADHD. Children and young people with ADHD can feel misunderstood by their teachers, therefore, an understanding of ADHD is important for school staff to be aware of.
A clear intervention plan and accommodations should be put in place and reviewed regularly. For instance, allowing rest breaks to channel their energy and refocus in class.
Home Support and Parenting Strategies
Children and young people with ADHD may have problems In their home life, such as conflict regarding behaviour and difficulties following instructions. Family work may be recommended to work on inter-relational patterns, a shared understanding of helpful ways to respond, and parent/carer support.
Emotional and social difficulties can co-occur with ADHD. Therefore, psychological support and therapy can help work through such problems to increase self-acceptance, and self-esteem and learn strategies to manage ADHD.
Occupational Therapy Support
Executive Functioning is the skills involved in planning, organisation and working memory and focusing. This is often an area that people with ADHD find challenging. Occupational therapists (OTs) can help assess the child/young person's participation, performance, and functioning; the recommended adaptations and strategies. This may include:
- Time management – Time processing and task management.
- Helping with budgeting to reduce impulse buying.
- Organisational skills – Break into steps, organise materials, and develop systems and visual cues.
- Sensorimotor Difficulties.
Medication may be considered for those with moderate-severe ADHD symptoms, alongside home and school strategies. The effect of medication differs between people. Some people find that medication can help them focus and be less hyperactive, thus increasing participation in day-to-day activities.
If medication is initiated, this would follow the best and current practice and is prescribed as a trial to monitor the effects of the medication. The medication and dosage may be adjusted. Specialist medication reviews will be needed regularly to ensure the right dosage and medication is being prescribed, with minimal side effects.
We hope this helps explain some possible next steps following an ADHD diagnosis. At Eleos Clinic, we offer a follow-up appointment to discuss the outcome of the assessment and the next steps for the child or young person.