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Many children may have a medium level of attention span which could be because of boredom, laziness or because they aren’t getting stimulated enough. Some may have immense amounts of energy while playing, some kids can also be very excited in general. Then what is the difference between these kids and the children who are diagnosed with ADHD? Let’s see.
Firstly, there are no tests used to diagnose ADHD, rather psychologists diagnose it by checking the child’s symptoms. We will not go deep to see all the criteria for the diagnosis, but let’s go through some important factors. One of the most important symptoms for diagnosis of ADHD is that the symptoms should last for at least 6 months, persistently, only then the psychologist will go ahead to check other symptoms.
ADHD can be of 3 types-
- Predominantly inattentive type.
- Predominantly Hyperactive/ impulsive type.
- Combined type.
The main factor in ADHD is that the children do not showcase inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness on purpose or only on ‘some occasions.’ Their behaviors are consistent in all settings and they take place because of the motor functioning. These children may experience varied emotions such as confusion, frustration, restlessness, feeling lost, disconnected etc. Children with ADHD may also take unnecessary risks such as running on the road, opening a random car door while waiting on the signal etc.
So how to go ahead for the treatment of the children who have ADHD? Read on to know!
What is ADHD Child Counseling?
Therapy or child counseling is the part of the treatment part for children who have ADHD. In these counseling sessions, the therapist helps the children to learn skills and age-appropriate behaviors through various techniques like role-playing, drawing, art therapy, play therapy etc.
Therapy works great for the emotional regulation of the children. They learn how to pay attention consciously, how to wait for their turns and how to communicate properly etc.
With the hyperactive ADHD type, the counselor can indulge the child in some breathing or relaxation techniques to help these children calm down.
Along with therapy for children with ADHD, the counselor conducts timely sessions with the children’s parents or primary caregivers. In these sessions, the counselor may take the child’s history, discuss the child’s progress from time to time. With this, the counselor may suggest a few techniques for the family to perform with the children for their progress.
Does Counseling Help Children with ADHD?
Yes! Counseling tremendously helps a child with ADHD in various ways, rather counseling is the most important treatment part for ADHD. The children with ADHD may feel understood while in therapy, they may feel that they are seen beyond their ADHD and are still heard. Counseling and therapy helps children with ADHD perform better in school and at home.
Therapists who deal with children are highly trained in developmental disorders and disorders that occur in childhood. Because of this, the therapists possess appropriate skills to firstly empathize with the child’s situation and then to guide them towards development.
Secondly, ADHD can be new, overwhelming and at times frustrating for the parents or the primary caregivers of the children.
These emotions or feelings may have an unhealthy impact on the child and on their growth. The therapist, knowing the difficulties of these parents, also understands their genuine lack of understanding and guides them too. This again, indirectly, helps the child.
Children with ADHD must attend counseling sessions because it helps them to understand how to focus better, to consciously pay attention to their behaviors and understand how some behaviors could be unhelpful. Therapy can help these children to learn new skills which they lack such as listening without getting distracted, knowing that cutting the line isn’t appropriate, shouting or being extremely fidgety at some events can be disturbing etc. Learning these skills makes the children control their own impulses.
What Kind Of Therapy Is Best For Children With ADHD?
Different therapies are used to guide children with ADHD depending upon the type of ADHD, the level of distress that is caused to children as well as parents and it also depends on the needs of the children.
There are various therapies but the ones that work with ADHD children are-
1. Behavioral Therapy:
This therapy helps the counselor to help children make changes in their behavior. Good behavior is rewarded, negative behavior is toned down by taking away privileges such as no-screen time, or reduced play time to make children understand consequences of their negative behavior. Behavioral therapy works best with younger children, but it can be a long process and patience is required throughout.
2. Play Therapy:
Play is one of the natural things that come to children. In play therapy sessions, children are given freedom to initiate any activity. It can be role play, sand tray activities, puzzles, toys etc. The therapist observes the child and may instruct them in-between, may comment on any of the emotions that may arise during the play, or work on a situation or a particular thought of the child. This helps the child to gain insight faster.
3. Occupational Therapy:
Occupational therapy helps children in dealing with day to day activities such as taking a shower, making bed, tidying up after playing, tying shoe laces etc.It also helps in other factors such as organizing tasks, controlling energy levels, eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills etc.
4. Talk Therapy:
Talk therapy is the traditional way of therapy where the counselor and child may discuss a few things which might be bothering the child. Sometimes the counselor may discuss topics around emotional regulation, and some sessions for skill development. But talk-therapy with children may also include some part of play therapy, some techniques of behavioral therapy, some relaxation activities.
5. Mindfulness Training
Mindfulness training will help the children to improve their attention levels and self regulation. It will help them to relax whenever they get triggered by impulsivity. When you are mindful- you are aware of your feelings, your bodily sensations, your surroundings which in turn proves helpful for children who have ADHD. Mindfulness can be used in combination with other therapies as required.
How Do You Counsel A Child With ADHD?
As we have seen till now, counseling is the utmost important factor when it comes to the treatment plan of a child who is diagnosed with ADHD. Counseling sessions will be different for every child depending on their level of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity. So it won’t be one fit for all, rather the therapist will have to carefully observe the child, talk to the parents or the primary caregivers of the child, maybe talk to the child’s teacher and then make a therapy plan.
While counseling a child with ADHD, what helps the therapists most is their skill to be truly understanding. This makes the child trust the therapist and they become more open in sharing about themselves and also becomes receptive to listening to the counselor which helps the child to learn appropriate skills.
The key areas of focus for a therapist, while planning counseling sessions for children with ADHD, could be self-esteem, conflict resolution and developing motivation.
Related Blog: How to deal with ADHD child at Home?
What Is The Most Effective Intervention For ADHD?
According to recent research, behavior therapy is said to be an effective therapy for children with ADHD. But again, it is not necessary that behavior therapy will be the best suit for every child, it will again depend on the child’s needs.
Behavior therapy helps the children with ADHD to follow discipline and understand the consequences of their behavior. Agreed, that their behavior is not on purpose, but it isn’t helpful for their growth as well. That’s why using behavioral therapy, the children learn to be caring of other children’s or other people’s needs too. It also helps in motivating these children because their good behavior is praised and rewarded, which gives scope for healthy behaviors and thoughts patterns.
In all, behavior therapy helps in promoting good behavior and it also helps the children to unlearn bad or unhealthy behaviors.
ADHD is a condition that can be developed in early childhood where the child can have symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity or all three. ADHD can only and only be diagnosed by a professional, it is not something that every child has.
Different therapies and approaches are helpful for treating ADHD and therapy sessions are the most effective ways to help your child cope with their ADHD. Depending upon the child’s age, his/her levels of inattention and hyperactivity, and his/her needs the therapist devises a treatment plan. The therapist also helps the parents and primary caregivers of the child with ADHD in understanding this condition and educating them with useful aids to accelerate the child’s treatment.
Counseling for ADHD Child
Do you feel that your child is showing symptoms pertaining to ADHD? Are you someone who is looking for therapy options for your child who has been diagnosed with ADHD? Or do you know someone who could benefit from knowing about our counseling session? Then you should definitely visit to Counseling for ADHD Child our highly trained psychologists will guide you and your child on the right path of the treatment!