6 Things To Do After an ADHD Diagnosis
Your Super Hero just got diagnosed with ADHD. You’re not sure what to do next. Where to research? Who to call? Who will understand? Do I request a pediatrician, developmental pediatrician, psychiatrist, psychologist, neurologist? I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, but it’s all going to work out. First, let your pediatrician guide you where medical advice is needed. But we’ve put together a list of things to do at home to help you manage ADHD naturally.
Don’t sweat it. Did you know some of the most gifted, talented and famous people also have a diagnosis of ADHD? Bill Gates, Justin Timberlake, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Richard Branson, and Albert Einstein are only a small list.
Our children have amazing minds that will change the world. These gifts make them different because their purpose in life is unique. If we maintain their self esteem, build them up and keep the education system from tearing them down, they will do amazing things.
Our 6 items below help you navigate the education system, which is a large part of our Super Heroes lives, and how to manage and improve our Super Heroes gifts as they learn how to navigate through a world that loves to put labels on people.
Get An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) –
If your Super Hero attends public school in the United States, request an evaluation for special education services right now. Learning Disabilities are common among our Super Heroes because their brains think differently from other kids in the education system. Stephen Spielberg has dyslexia and he is brilliant. Even though our kids are brilliant, the education system is structured in a way that our Super Heroes struggle because they don’t fit in with the herd mentality. Because they think differently, they learn differently. Therefore, it’s necessary to make accommodations to their education plan to level the playing field.
Unless your state has established different timelines, The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act IDEA requires that testing be completed within 60 calendar days of written notification (parent request) and another 30 days to assess the testing results and complete an Individualized Education Plan if eligible.
In Texas, the school district has 45 school days to complete testing and 30 calendar days to schedule and conduct a meeting to go over the results with the parents.
It’s not a quick process. The faster a parent can request the evaluation, the quicker the student can receive much needed accommodations.
If the student does not qualify for special education services, they can still be eligible for a 504 Plan due to an ADHD diagnoses and receive accommodations as well.
An IEP is a legally binding contract the school district is required by law to follow, while a 504 Plan is an agreement or a handshake between the parents and the school to help accommodate a medical need of the child.
Whole Food Nutrition –
ADHD comes with many gifts and talents. If not managed, it comes with traits such as extreme independence (defiance), never-ending energy, sleep problems, lack of focus, meltdowns, and tics.
Our Super Heroes are more sensitive to additives in processed food so it is important to monitor and control their diet. A racehorse doesn’t perform well if he eats cotton candy and sodas and neither does your child.
Many parents have found that these traits can be managed by maintaining a whole food approach with minimal or no processed or artificial ingredients.
Start with eliminating
- red dye (red 40)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
If significant improvement is not achieved after one week, move to eliminating other artificial additives such as colors and flavors.
- gluten free
- dairy free.
The Feingold Diet is and excellent structured diet if parents need help following a plan and knowing which foods are the most detrimental and beneficial.
“Healing without Hurting” by Jennifer Giustra-kozek which outlines various non-medicine methods to control ADHD symptoms.
- Whole Food: Clean Food love FB Page
- Gluten Free: Mama Know Gluten Free FB Page
- Dairy Free: Go Dairy Free FB Page
Behavior Modification –
Our Super Heroes are highly independent and occasionally hard to manage, so they need a consistent, structured behavior and discipline plan. The key to any structured program is consistency. Parents must be consistent every single time. The consequences must fit the offense and rewards and incentives are valued most.
Our heroes thrive on positive reinforcement….look for positives and give lots of compliments. Pay more compliments than complaints!
1-2-3 Magic was a game changer for our family. It provided us a way to be consistent every time and eliminated the frustration, emotional outbursts and anger we were showing our son which was counter-productive.
Our super heroes must learn that every action and decision they make has a consequence, either positive or negative. This is a life lesson that leads to more positive behavior and decisions as long as the consequences are always consistent. Consistency is key!
Other great resources:
The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
Is your Super Hero getting enough sleep? The ADHD mind is very powerful and is always moving, thinking, and actively assessing every scenario. This is one of the gifts of ADHD, but even Super Heroes need to rest or the mind becomes less efficient.
Because their minds are so active, they may need some help relaxing and settling before bedtime.
- A consistent routine before bedtime is helpful…Bath, Book, Bed, every night, same time, same routine.
- Essential oils like “Peace & Quiet” and “Calming” are amazing for relaxation and preparing for bed time. Diffuse a few drops just before bed. Both of these are favorites in our house.
- Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body that promotes relaxation and sleep. Many doctors recommend it for our Super Heroes.
- Play some relaxing music.
Organize and De-clutter –
As a parent, this is the hardest step for me. I have ADHD too, so I live with a feeling of being overwhelmed and always two steps behind other moms.
Organize your home. Minimize and de-clutter your child’s space. Keep everything neat and in it’s place.
My house is usually a mess, which means my mind is a mess. Which means my Super Hero’s mind is a chaotic mess when he gets home and needs to do homework. This makes sense. If you are surrounded by chaos, it’s difficult to organize your thoughts, therefore it is difficult to be focused and productive.
A chore chart with incentives is a great way to motivate your Super Hero to make the bed, keep his/her room clean and other chores needed to be completed.
My mission lately is to improve my health (as a mother) and organize our home and space. A surprising way that has helped with keeping our living space organized, is I started using a supplement line called Tohi.
Tohi is an all natural supplement line from Rocky Mountain Oils (RMO) for adults. I’ve trusted RMO for years with my family’s health, using their 100% Pure Essential Oils and this line is another WIN for my family.
Since I’ve been taking these supplements, the house has stayed neat and tidy. I find I’m more productive. My to-do list is completed daily. I’m able to prioritize projects and, a bonus, I eat less and make better food choices without constant cravings (this is my weakness).
Research Other Natural (Non RX Medicine) Methods
Besides a whole food nutrition plan free of artificial additives and chemicals, behavior modification, and improved sleep, there are additional ways to improve and manage ADHD through natural methods.
100% Pure Essential Oils
CBD Hemp Oil
Continuous And Courteous Open Communication With School