How to Help Children With ADHD Without Drugs
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder that consists of three different types: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive or a combination of the two. ADHD can cause disruptions in social interaction and school if left untreated, as the disorder causes disorganization in the individual’s life. According to “Kids in the Syndrome Mix,” ADHD can hinder a child’s ability to develop executive functions necessary for a healthy adolescent and adult life. Although medication is available to treat children with ADHD, behavioral therapy is an alternative option that assists the child in becoming better organized and focused without the use of drugs.
Remove distractions from your environment. When you are talking to your child, it is important to have her undivided attention. Turn off radios and televisions and remove reading material that can remove her attention from you.
Maintain eye contact. Establishing eye contact helps your child concentrate on the conversation. Tap on a table or hard object if you notice his attention is waning.
Break down long directions into smaller, simpler steps. Long directions can cause your child to forget the first few steps, due to the amount of information given.
Create a list of daily tasks. Lists are a great way to help your child organize her day. As your child accomplishes each task, have her cross it off. When the day is complete, review the list.
Establish a consistent sleep schedule. Getting your child on a sleep routine can help reduce low concentration and improve accomplishing tasks.
Incorporate rewards and punishments. Tell your child what she needs to do, how long the task should take and the punishment for not completing it on time. Rewards can include increased time in television watching or playtime with friends. Do not use food as a reward. Punishment should be limited to additional chores or loss of privileges.