Making Counseling More Fun For Children With ADHD

There is a quite popular saying that parents can feel whatever their children are feeling and vice-versa. Parents are happy when their children are happy. Children can get sad when their mom and dad are not in the best mood. A family goes through both joys and hardships together. That is why many parents work hard to nurture their family and provide only the best for their children.

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But what happens when a child gets diagnosed with a disorder? Parenting is already challenging enough as it is. According to statistics, ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses in children or youth. Does your kid having ADHD mean you have failed to become a good parent? No. It only means your child needs your love, understanding, and support more than ever.

It is natural for children to have trouble listening or following orders, especially during their formative years. They may get naughty from time to time, which is expected of them as they are still growing and learning. A little tantrum at the supermarket or your kid being loud at home is all part of everyday life as a parent. Their unruly behaviors are part of their developmental process.

So when should you start worrying if your child or children may have ADHD? ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder where children become overactive and may possess impulsive behaviors. If not provided a healthcare professional’s attention, it is a medical condition that may progress until your child reaches adulthood.

ADHD symptoms share similarities to signs of disciplinary problems with kids. Many parents and other adults often mistake ADHD symptoms and write them off as simply “misconduct.” These ADHD symptoms include difficulty paying attention, sudden outbursts of emotions, inability to finish tasks, talkative, and more.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, up until this day, is one of the mental disorders with no definite cure. As parents, you must seek a psychological expert’s assessment and diagnosis. Therapy or counseling is often a treatment approach recommended by mental health providers to help your child cope.

How Counselors Can Help Your Child With ADHD

Parents with children struggling with ADHD often complain about academic and social impairment due to the disorder. Aside from medication for ADHD, counseling is also an effective way to help children mitigate the symptoms of the psychological illness.

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Counselors may work hand-in-hand with parents, your child’s pediatrician, and school teacher so your kid can perform better. In counseling, numerous techniques are used to help your child have better focus, complete tasks or chores needed, and exhibit less hyperactivity.

ADHD can severely disrupt your child’s life as the disorder can become very overwhelming. Having your kid attend counseling sessions will help him/her improve his/her daily life.

Effective Activities To Help Your Child Have More Fun At His/Her Counseling Sessions

Children with ADHD often have difficulty focusing for long periods of time. Counseling may become boring or dreading for them. You may request your child’s counselor to incorporate activities to help your kid stimulate their awareness and control. That way, counseling will be something your child will look forward to.

Physical Exercise

It is believed that the mind and body are interconnected. When the body is healthy, an individual’s state of mind is also doing well. Having a child with ADHD do some physical exercises is like hitting two birds with one stone. They will become physically more fit while at the same time channeling and using up all their energies.

Play-Based Activities

Board games, flashcards, bingo, and puzzles are only some of the play-based programs that can help kids with ADHD. These interactive activities will encourage them to develop social and cognitive skills, such as problem-solving. They will also be able to open up their curiosity and let their imagination run wild.

Art-Based Activities

Drawing, painting, or any other form of art has long been used in different therapy types and counseling. Research suggests art-based activities are not only fun and engaging but also therapeutic. ADHD can become very distressing for children, and doing art can help them soothe their minds.

Sports

Sports benefit a child not only physically but also emotionally and mentally, like exercise. Different types of sports can teach your child plenty of skills. Team sports such as basketball or soccer may help your child build rapport with other children. On the other hand, martial arts training can be a good learning ground for your child to develop self-control. Your kid’s counselor may work together with a sports coach or trainer.

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In Conclusion

If your kid is struggling with ADHD, do remember that you have not failed as a parent. Having a mental illness is no one’s fault. Not the parents’, nor ever is it the child’s. 

Show your parental support with more love and warmth. Find a trustworthy counselor for your kid as soon as possible. And always remember to ask if your child is comfortable and having fun during his/her counseling sessions.

Effective Counseling Types For Managing Your Child’s ADHD

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CDC characterizes Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as a neurodevelopmental disorder that persists from childhood until adult stages. Children diagnosed with ADHD may find it hard to pay attention, control overexcitability, and manage impulsive behaviors.

Luckily, some effective therapies can go hand-in-hand with medication.

Family Therapy

A trusted Family Therapy help with managing the stress and struggle of living with an ADHD-diagnosed family member. A therapist can help sort out each family member’s emotions, opinions, and concerns and create a more positive environment for the child with ADHD.

Family Therapy sessions may help in reducing tensions in the family that may worsen or appear while raising a child with ADHD. Therapists in this area of practice help caregivers, parents, and children to create their preferred solutions towards family-related conflicts.

Therapists are equipped to plan and set up behavior modification strategies that enable families to work together in helping their family members with special needs. You might call your family doctor or ask your pediatrician for referrals in the field of Family Therapy.

Social Skills Therapy

Social skills therapy helps people with ADHD, especially children, learn how to interact, behave, and manage emotions more acceptably. Unlike other children, kids with ADHD might find it hard to move and socialize as normal and fluent as others.

It uses various techniques such as role-playing, videotapes and films, interactive practices, and also personal coaching in helping children with ADHD achieve their goals.

These goals usually depend on your child’s needs and preferences. But most of these needs could be the following:

  • Adhere to groups dynamics and group situations
  • Giving and reciprocating praise and criticism
  • Face and cope with daily frustrations
  • Taking turns in actual conversations 
  • Asking for help and raising questions

Also, your Social skills therapist might decide on what setting your child might be more comfortable with. Your Counselor may set up your child in well-controlled personal sessions or group dynamics where your child may interact with a small group of children.

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Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy clings in developing strategies your child can use in behaving and managing emotions for specific situations. It is an effective co-treatment for ADHD. Also known as behavior modification, behavioral therapy allows your child and his teacher to cooperate in forming desired behaviors through various rewards and praise-based feedback. This theory believes children are more likely to adhere to new behaviors when receiving praise from trying or reinforcing an act towards change.

An example of this will be using a token reward system in devising and applying support to your child’s positive behavior. Parents are highly encouraged to modify their behavioral therapies to help suit their children’s specific needs and preferences with ADHD.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists use talk therapy in helping children with ADHD open up, share, and realize their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Therapists in this scope of practice focus on providing practical solutions to children’s struggles with this disorder.

Similar to Behavior Therapists, they allow a system of rewards and consequences to support and shape your child’s behavior. This includes reframing negative thoughts with positive ones that are more realistic and appropriate.

The overall goal of CBT is to help kids build self-esteem and treat various anxiety and depression tendencies.

Psychotherapy

A more advanced therapy style called Psychotherapy may also be used in managing your child’s ADHD. This disorder can bring children problems interacting with peers and authorities, making them face more struggles handling and managing their relationships.

Psychotherapy helps children explore various behavioral patterns, which may create better choices for them in the future. It can also help your child share his or her thoughts and feelings while coping with ADHD.

Parent Skills Training

Parents of children with ADHD are also asked to assist and facilitate their youth’s growth and development while continuing therapies and counsel at home. Parent skills training helps you amplify assistive techniques and traditional tools to understand and manage your child’s behavior and attitude. Various techniques that are recommended in this type of therapy and training for parents include:

  • Timeout – Children with ADHD will only learn in non-stressful situations. When you feel that your child is feeling overwhelmed or out of control from overstimulation, you might want to take a short break or a ‘timeout.’
  • Immediate Rewards Parents may use their point system or any interactive means to give timely praise and reward for their child’s good behavior or work.
  • Motivating or Striving for Success You may form and create situations that motivate your child to achieve success. An example would be limiting your child’s playmate so they would not feel too overly stimulated in play-based activities.
  • Stress Management In teaching your child the skills he needs, there can be moments where your child can feel stress. Stress-relieving activities such as meditation, low-intensity exercises, or relaxation strategies are used in times like this.
  • Togetherness Feeling togetherness and being in strong bonds at least once or twice a week can help look for opportunities where your child can flourish and grow. At the same time, bonding with your child once in a while may help in pointing out areas of improvement and giving helpful praises in your child’s daily tasks and activities.

Support Groups

Support Groups allow children with ADHD to connect and hear about the experiences, struggles, and coping mechanisms with the same disorder. The duration of support groups is usually in regular meetings, which allow relationships and support networks to fortify and be built. Also, hearing from other parents of children with ADHD may ease the worry and stress of many parents in their daily routines.

Support Groups for ADHD are most beneficial in children who are recently diagnosed with the disorder. Mental health psychologists, therapists, or volunteer organizations may facilitate and manage these support groups in general.

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Many therapy styles help manage your child’s ADHD. While most therapies occur once a week for a few months, the duration of treatment still depends on your child’s perceived goals and preferences.

While early diagnosis of ADHD helps attend to treatments right away, the choice of therapists or care provider is also a factor in treatment. Be selective in choosing a Therapist. Make sure the one you will be hiring is experienced enough to work alongside children with ADHD.