For You and Your ADHD Child
Holidays are about family, giving, visiting, traditions, and parties. As an adult, most of us have fond memories of holiday vacations. What happens when you have a child with ADHD or Asperger’s or Autism? Holiday can be a major source of stress, anxiety and guilt for parents with a special needs child.
How can you make this holiday season a more pleasant time for you and your child? I am sure you have heard it before, but I will re affirm the importance of structure during this period . If your child will be attending a daycare during the vacation, some type of structure will be in place. If they will be home however, it is up to you to set regular sleep and wake times, set certain times for TV and play, especially outdoor play, set meal times, homework and chores times. One suggestion is to create a special vacation calendar with your child. Work with them on setting up the structure for each day and have fun decorating it.
Another source of stress: the various social commitments, parties and school functions that take place during this time. If you find that you are overwhelmed with commitments, limit them! Don’t feel guilty, if it is overwhelming for you imagine what it is feels like to your child with ADHD. Once you have decided which activities you will attend or participate in, go to your special vacation calendar and with your child add them in. Talk to your child about each one so they are prepared. Maybe along the way you can make one of these a family tradition.
What about the family get-togethers?
· Taking them outside for a short walk or trip to the store; the physical activity in combination with being outdoors can help your child focus better
· Take them to a quiet room for 10 minutes of quiet time; try some deep breathing with them or if you practice meditation try this with your child.
I hope you can take away some tips for your holidays with your child. It is so important that both you and your wonderful child remember this time in a positive, affirming way.
Anahi Ortiz M.D.
AO – Coach and Organizer