Once parents have gotten the “diagnosis” of ADHD, typically medication is offered as the next step. Parents will think the medication will do more than it can do in reality.
The goal of the medication is to help the child pay attention and focus better.
A 20% or so improvement in paying attention would be significant.
With ADHD there are common deficits that cluster together including:
- Poor problem solving.
- Low frustration tolerance.
- Weakness “reading” cause and effect (in actual reading and in social interactions)
- Weak reading comprehension.
- Poor reading accuracy and fluency.
- Pervasive writing deficits.
- Social misjudgment.
- Low motivation.
- Difficulty getting started on tasks.
- Overcoming sense of boredom.
- Poor time management.
While medication can improve focusing, it has little impact on these variables of concern.
However, there is much that can be done with these deficits. For example, by putting the phrase, “The skill of…” before a deficit of concern, helps you realize that the skill can be targeted and improved.
If you say your child lacks, “The skill of frustration tolerance,” then you can start thinking about how to teach and practice this skill.
Even if the medication is working, don’t be lulled into thinking that the skill areas are improving.
The skills need to be taught and practiced in order to be internalized over time.
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