Parenting a restless and impulsive child is challenging, often raising concerns that the child has signs of ADHD.
Typical ADHD behaviours may include:
- tuning out
- trouble following instructions
- poor focus and attention
- easily distracted
- poor coordination, especially fine motor control
- poor spatial awareness
- interrupting others when speaking
- poorly controlled emotional reactions
- trouble sitting still
- fidgeting, tapping toes or fingers
- talking excessively
Then there are times when your impulsive child can seem totally focussed, fully absorbed in something, such as watching television, or playing video games. Blocking out all external sensations, they can react in anger and frustration when interrupted.
There are a number of reasons why your child might have signs of ADHD. Generally, they are struggling to process sensory impressions, becoming easily overwhelmed in a busy environment. They might seem excessively “touchy”, or highly anxious, with a nervous system constantly in a high state of alert.
Unable to self-regulate their emotions, they may react impulsively, often to seemingly small stimuli. Self esteem can be damaged as your child struggles to fit into a world full of confusion.
In the Classroom
Your child with signs of ADHD may struggle to concentrate and maintain focus in a busy classroom. They are often in trouble for being disruptive, talking or not paying attention. Generally described as “attention seeking”, this child can be easily triggered. Sometimes just a tone of voice, or the general noise levels in the room, will cause them to feel overwhelmed.
In this state of overwhelm, the child’s survival instinct kicks in, shifting them to an automatic fight/flight or shutdown response. Restlessness often escalates as their anxiety increases. In this state they are unlikely to be able to learn anything.
Unwilling to “get into trouble”, the child will struggle to stay present, and “pay attention”. An authority figure in the room may react in frustration, inadvertently triggering the child’s fears, increasing their restlessness and anxiety.
The child is not choosing to be annoying. We can view the behaviour as a “cry for help”. It is telling us a story. Rather than asking the child to “try harder”, we need to understand the “why” of the behaviour.
Treatment does not always need to involve medication. Exploring these behaviours by “stepping into” your child’s world can help bring about a deeper understanding. You might like to explore interventions aimed at recovery by addressing underlying issues.
Offering a drug-free approach, I view ADHD as a description of behaviours, rather than as an illness. I look for reasons underlying the behaviours, such as immaturities in stages of early development, or developmental delay. Then we work together to address the “gaps” and build “superhighways” for learning.
Children have a basic need for connection, to feel safe and secure. The first step in therapy is to form a relationship with your child, accepting them for who they are. I also offer a place of safety and trust, where your child can feel free to express themselves. The aim is to build security and self esteem, fostering a connection through acceptance, helping your child to achieve to their individual potential.
A Family Issue
Of equal importance is supporting you as your child’s parents, helping you to build a closer relationship, based on understanding. We will work together as a team, and you will be invited to share your parenting concerns in a time set aside just for you.
My experience is that when immaturities in early development are addressed, children become much calmer. Positive attributes such as empathy and self-regulation develop naturally. We also see gains in academic achievement as your child’s ability to focus and pay attention improves.
To learn more, or to book your initial parent consultation, call Rosalind on 0474 095 432.
Accredited Holistic Counsellor and Psychotherapist, Registered NDIS Provider