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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (cont.)

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But use of cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs during pregnancy may increase the risk for ADHD.

Home Treatment

There are many things you can do at home to help your child who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—and to help yourself.

Tips for self-care

Tips for your child

Help at school

In the classroom, more demands are placed on children to sit still, pay attention, listen, and follow class rules. So elementary school teachers are often the first to recognize ADHD symptoms. Many times teachers advise parents to have their child tested or to see a doctor.

Most children with ADHD qualify for educational services within the public schools. If your child qualifies, you will meet with school personnel to identify goals and plan an individualized education program (IEP). This usually means that your school will try to accommodate your child's extra needs. This may be as minor as placing your child at the front of the class. Or it may be as involved as providing classroom staff to help your child.

Your doctor will talk with you about setting realistic and measurable goals for your child's behavior at school and at home. Your child's specific problems and needs will be taken into account.

Helping your teen

Regular communication among parents, teachers, and doctors benefits a teen who has ADHD.

You'll need to stay closely involved with your teen. The teen years present many challenges, such as increased schoolwork and the need to be more attentive and organized. Making good decisions becomes especially important during these years when peer pressure, emerging sexuality, and other issues surface.

Use consequences that are meaningful to your teenager. These may include losing privileges or having increased chore assignments. Parents and teens can work together to establish reasonable, obtainable goals. And they can negotiate rewards when those goals are met.

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