Steps to take before ADHD diagnosis, medication

Boys Town

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is generally first seen when a family’s child is in school, and is having trouble. But what steps can parents try before they resort to medication when treating a child that may be suspected as having ADHD?

“It's pretty unfair to just blame a condition or a set of problems on the child when it really could just be the environment, whether it be the classroom environment or the household environment,” said Robert Wingfield, a Boys Town Psychologist “So, that should be stage one, making sure that the environment is where it should be, environmentally strong.”

Teachers and parents are a part of that environment. The things that parents do in terms of their parental practices has an impact on whether symptoms will be exacerbated or minimized.

1. Having a trained counselor help parents with behavior issues is a good first step.

2. Sleep is very important. Sleep can have a dramatic impact on whether ADHD symptoms are low, medium, or high. The less sleep a kid gets with ADHD the more symptoms we're going to see across the day.

3. Diet could be something that is very meaningful simply because if you're getting a lot of red foods, or anything that is calorically dense it can have an effect on their mood.

If all the behavioral interventions have been exhausted by a teacher and parents and there are no changes with the child, then the conversation may be need to expanded to include a behavioral psychologist and possible medication options. It’s a tough road for parents, but getting help can make a big difference.

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