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Back to school tips for children with behavior issues

A new school year can be a stressful time for families, but if you have a child with a behavior issue like ADHD, the stress can reach a higher level.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Almost all children have times when their behavior is out of control. 

From getting easily distracted, fidgety at the dinner table to making nonstop noise and daydreaming. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for more than six million kids, this kind of behavior is a daily occurrence that can interfere with school and learning.

These kids are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) a medical condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to focus and control their behavior.
It is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood but can progress into adulthood.
Pediatricians say these children often have trouble getting along with siblings’ other children and may be labeled "bad kids" or "space cadets."

It can also be tough for all children to adjust to the day to day of homework and scheduling after a long summer break but parents of kids with ADHD have their own set of challenges to tackle. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Study-Finds-ADHD-Symptoms-Can-Affect-Childrens-School-Readiness.aspx

Doctors and experts who work with children with behavior issues like ADHD, suggest the following tips to help parents and caregivers’ transition from the summer vacation to the new school year.

 Set goals for the upcoming year.

Goal setting can give your child a sense of focus and fulfillment if goals are met. Experts also say, goals for ADHD kids should follow the SMART method. Meaning they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

Stick to a routine.

Parents can reduce or eliminate the morning and evening struggle by establishing a set schedule.  Researchers say sleep is the most important factor in the routine.  A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that children who sleep more than nine hours a night and spend less than two hours on screen time are less impulsive.


Make time to move.

Sports and non- school activities can offer a way for kids with ADHD to manage stress and burn energy. However, not every sport will be a good fit for your child and can bring on anxiety.
Therapists suggest talking with your child about their interests and evaluate their personal strengths and weaknesses before they engage with any activity.

Finally, doctors say to communicate. Not only communication between the parent and ADHD child, but also with teachers and other parents. You are a role model for your children. If they see you communicating effectively with other adults and not over reacting, they may follow your lead.

For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html