How to Tell Your Child About ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Having a child tested for ADD and ADHD isn’t an easy decision. But in order to have grasp on the situation, it is important to gather as much information as possible. Once you find out the results, the real work will begin. The evaluator will make recommendations including treatment options and professionals to seek for additional assistance. In some cases, the evaluator will ask the child to be in attendance during the wrap-up meeting, but I prefer these evaluations without the child because this can be very devastating and it should be filtered.

So how do you filter this information? What is the best way to tell a child? The truth…I would research details about ADD and ADHD from reputable sources and present this information to your child. A good place to start is Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey. I’d be cautious of the Internet because information isn’t vetted as well. In other words, your information can come from a drug company that may be trying to sell you a medication.

The next step is to clear your schedule and make this meeting in a safe place. You need to tell them as much as possible and if you don’t know an answer, don’t lie. I have found that sugar coating and lying make this whole process more difficult. Your child needs to know the truth, so be prepared with the truth.

Finally, remember that this isn’t a death sentence. I have ADHD and I’m doing just fine. So are many other individuals with ADHD both currently and throughout history. Your child will need your love and support, so help your child see his or her strengths. Your love will be the most helpful tool they’ll have.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdcoachchicago.com. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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