Written by Dr. John Carosso
Of all the options…
There are a host of ways to help manage ADHD and its primary symptoms of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and distractibility. People often seek counseling for their child, and that approach is worthwhile, given it’s vital to teach coping skills. Of course, medication is often pursued and that too is quite effective. However, what else is vital in treatment?
Structure: It’s what you do, not what you say
The most effective and important strategy in the treatment of ADHD is structure. I’ve explained in prior posts what structure means, and I can’t emphasize enough its importance.
What does structure mean for a child with ADHD?
It means that the day is very well organized, you keep the same schedule each day, everything has its place, and the same place, and activities take place in specific places, times, and time-frames. The work environment is distraction free. It’s recognized that, most often, if something is to be accomplished it will occur because the parent is in very close proximity and providing a guiding hand, gentle prompting, and ongoing reinforcement of desired behaviors while not relying on a raised voice (yelling) from across the room. Children’s play activities will be structured, guided, and time-limited. There will be a behavior chart providing stickers for task completion. I could go on and on, but you get the drift.
If you need help
The hard part about ‘structure’ is knowing how, how much, when, where, and when to back-off. It’s tricky business. I suggest seeking help from a professional who can help answer those questions. I’m always available, just make an appointment or email me at DrCarosso@aol.com. Happy structuring 🙂