Children First: Coping with ADHD - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Coping with ADHD

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5.2 million. That's how many children between the ages of three and 17 were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 2011, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It's one of the most common mental disorders in our nations youth, and more cases are being diagnosed now than ever.

Meaning, chances are high that you know someone, or are even dealing with yourself, a child who has ADHD.

Allen is Alanna's youngest of four children, all of whom have ADHD.
 
"ADHD is neuro-biological disorder. It's basically developmental in nature and it affects the frontal lobes of our brain," says Profession Counselor Tally Salisbury with YFS.
 
That's the part of the brain where we process information, solve problems, and make future decisions.

"Kind of like the conductor of an orchestra, so it's almost as if kids with ADHD, it's like the conductor steps off the podium," says Salisbury.
 
Meaning Allen needs structure, and routine to be successful.
 
 
"Routine is very very important to him, if you get off track on that routine, it's disturbs him really bad," says Allen's mother Alanna.
 
Meaning Alanna must do things to keep Allen interested.
 
"We do all sorts of hobbies, we make cards, we make gifts," she says.
 
"They can pay attention to things that they are interested in. But they can have difficulties sometimes even argue and fight to do things that they are not interested in," says Salisbury.
 
And it can be hard on parents.  "At times yeah, I want to pull my hair out but that's the time you know what? We can take time outs," says Alanna.
 
Alanna says it's a lot of give and take raising a child with ADHD.  "He has to learn and I have to learn," she says. "Anybody that is willing to help, you need to look for that extra hand. YFS has been wonderful to us."
 
Counselors like Salisbury have plenty of advice.  "There's a lot of things parents can do to help their children. First of all don't concentrate on attention and don't belittle the child. Because when you're brain isn't awake, when it doesn't have a conductor on the podium it's pretty difficult to make the choices," says Salisbury.
 
And children with ADHD can be very successful. Allen is currently excelling in school.
 
"He has an imagination that you will not believe. I think he's going to direct movies," says Alanna.

ADHD diagnoses vary greatly based on gender.

The CDC reports 13.2% of boys and only 5.6% of girls were diagnosed with the disorder. Salisbury says that is because people accept girls as being more talkative and hyper in younger ages.

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