Understanding ADHD in the home
How does ADHD present whilst at home?
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, can present unique challenges within the home environment. Unfortunately, these genuine difficulties are sometimes mistaken for laziness or rudeness, leading to misunderstandings and strained relationships. Recognising the signs of ADHD-related behaviors at home can help foster understanding and better support for individuals with this condition. Common ADHD-related behaviors at home include: 1. **Difficulty Listening and Remembering:** Individuals with ADHD may struggle to follow instructions or remember tasks they committed to doing. 2. **Messy Bedrooms:** Maintaining a tidy bedroom can be a constant challenge, with the room often becoming disheveled shortly after tidying. 3. **Punctuality Issues:** Consistently being late for meals, curfews, or family and friend gatherings can be a hallmark of ADHD. 4. **Frequent Misplacement:** Despite efforts to keep belongings organized, those with ADHD may frequently lose items and struggle to locate them, even moments after use. 5. **Morning Routines:** Getting ready for school or leaving the house can be particularly challenging, often resulting in morning chaos. 6. **Time Management Difficulty:** Individuals with ADHD may lose track of time easily and become distracted by seemingly unimportant matters. 7. **Excessive Talking:** Endless chatter and difficulty maintaining quiet times can be a common behavior. 8. **Physical Restlessness:** Running around the house, climbing on furniture, and other physically hyperactive behaviors can occur, even when they are not allowed. 9. **Task Focus Challenges:** Staying focused on everyday tasks, such as getting ready for bed, can be a struggle. Individuals may frequently start new activities at inappropriate times.
Many individuals with ADHD are keenly aware of their struggles, which can often lead to low self-esteem. The relentless effort required for even the simplest tasks can be exhausting. Understanding and support are critical for individuals with ADHD, even when they don't always achieve their goals.
Supporting your child or teen with ADHD at home
Parents of children or teens with ADHD may find themselves in a cycle of constant reminders, which can strain the parent-child relationship. Here are some strategies to provide support without becoming the nagging parent: 1. **Voice Reminders:** Utilise voice assistants like Alexa or Google Home to set reminders for tasks. This reduces the need for verbal reminders from the parent and can be scheduled as needed. 2. **Phone Reminders:** Encourage your child to set reminders on their phones. Consider using a family scheduling app that sends reminders to their phone, making it a collective effort rather than singling out the child with ADHD. 3. **Post-it Notes:** Place reminder notes in locations your child frequents, such as the mirror or fridge. These visual cues can be invaluable for individuals with ADHD. 4. **Time Management:** Offer to time your child for short intervals during activities like homework. Breaking tasks into manageable chunks can improve focus. 5. **Fidget Toys:** If fidgeting helps your child concentrate, provide them with fidget toys in their room. 6. **Organized Clothes:** Lay out clothes the night before in the order they should be worn. This can save time and reduce cognitive load during the morning rush. 7. **Task Lists:** Explore apps that assist in creating to-do lists, allowing your child to track tasks and progress. Lastly, engage in open communication with your child or teen to understand their needs and preferences. Collaborate to find strategies that work best for them, creating a supportive and positive environment at home.