Ask the Expert: How to deal with a child diagnosed with attention deficit disorder
My daughter is 14 and has a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder. At least we now have some explanation for her problem behaviour at home and at school. Although everyone’s patience has been severely tested, people at the school and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) have been very supportive.
But my daughter refuses to take medication and misses some of her appointments at CAMHS. She still tries to provoke me and cause arguments. House rules are fairly relaxed now, because it’s summer time and we could all do with a break. We’ve also had some family come to stay over and, if I give her space, we get along and the visits have mostly been enjoyable for everyone.
But what will happen in September when she has to go back to school and I have to insist on rules? I can’t go through another year like last year.
A diagnosis of a condition such as attention deficit disorder can be helpful for parents, young people and professionals alike.
Parents and young people can welcome a diagnosis because it can lead to a better understanding of what is happening when a child seems out of control. Living with someone with mental health difficulties can also place a huge strain on family and couple relationships. This is not the fault of anyone.
But the strain on relationships associated with living with someone who has emotional, behavioural and/or mental health difficulties may not be openly discussed. Instead, the focus may be mostly on finding an assessment and intervention that can guide CAMHS practitioners and family in developing a treatment plan. A diagnosis can also lead to more resources at school such as a Special Needs Assistant.
But we can sometimes confuse understanding with excusing. A diagnosis can help us understand, for example, why it might be more difficult for a young person to manage emotions or to develop conflict…
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