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House Call: Back to School for Kids with ADHD

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Getting back into school routines can be a daunting task for many kids, especially for children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Children with ADD often exhibit signs such as forgetfulness, and an inability to complete tasks that require sustained mental concentration or avoidance of these tasks.  They may also struggle to focus, be easily distracted, be disorganized and be unable to listen when spoken to or sit still or quietly during activities that require mental effort. Those with ADHD often exhibit signs of ADD in addition to excessive talking, impatience, impulsiveness and constant restlessness and/or movement. 

With proper diagnosis, medication and parental support, children with ADD and ADHD can learn to cope with their condition and balance schoolwork successfully.  Therefore, it is important for parents of children with ADD or ADHD to learn tips to help their kids succeed in the upcoming school year. 

Organization is key, therefore parents should establish a designated spot in the house for the child to keep their backpack.  Keep a family calendar at home, which includes all appointments, assignments, tests and other weekly commitments; and check it with your child each night before dinner.  Communication is also extremely important, so parents should stay in close contact with their child’s teacher to know what assignments to expect. 

Establishing a routine for your child maintains consistency and helps reduce stress.  If your child is exhibiting signs of ADD or ADHD, it is important to discuss the symptoms with their pediatrician or primary care physician. If the condition is suspected, they can refer your child to a behavioral health specialist to be properly evaluated, tested, diagnosed and treated. 

Cone Health has an exceptional network of behavioral health professionals and services dedicated to properly diagnosing and treating children with ADD or ADHD throughout the community.

Spokesperson Background:

Neil Mashburn is a physician assistant at Behavioral Health Outpatient Center at MedCenter Kernersville and Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital, specializing in psychiatry with more than twenty years of experience in family medicine. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences and human services at Elon University in 1979.  She completed the Physician Assistant Program at Duke University School of Medicine in 1988.