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ADHD and the Middle School Student

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 148

If ADHD was detected and treated properly during early childhood, there's a good chance that a child will have control over his symptoms by middle school. However, children currently being treated for ADHD may have some difficulties when they graduate from elementary school and move on to middle school. Aside from more complex academic challenges, middle school is the place where many adolescents develop meaningful friendships, experience their first taste of independence, and handle more responsibilities. Prepare your child for middle school by being aware of these changes and challenges.

New academic structure

In elementary school, kids stay in one classroom for the entire day and keep their books on their desk. Middle school works differently - students have to move from one classroom to the next and carry their school supplies, books, and notes with them. Transferring from room to room can be a problem for ADHD kids who tend to lose their things or forget their schedule. It's important that kids with ADHD develop organizational skills at this point; otherwise, keeping track of schoolwork can be a problem.

Issues with self-image

During middle school, adolescents learn to value their self-image through the eyes of their peers. Belonging to a group becomes important for social survival, and any uncontrolled ADHD symptoms may damage potential friendships or make a child feel left out. You can help your child by seeing therapist who specializes in social skills training. Practice conversation skills together and reinforce good manners and behavior. At the same time, expose your child to extracurricular activities so he or she can hone a skill and develop positive self-image by doing so.

Changing symptoms

The social and academic demands of middle school may make some ADHD symptoms more pronounced. For instance, researchers just discovered that many ADHD symptoms become worse in the middle school years. Although hyperactivity becomes significantly reduced in adolescence, this is often replaced with a sense of restlessness. Inattention, if not treated, may continue into adulthood. Problems with executive function - the ability to organize, prioritize, multitask, and plan - are also more pronounced at this stage. Students in middle school are expected to complete multiple tasks like taking down notes while listening to a lecture. Organization and prioritization is an absolute must when accomplishing homework and doing school-related tasks. All these new responsibilities may overwhelm your child during the first few weeks of school; try to be around during this important period of adjustment.

For these reasons, it is important that all ADHD treatments be continued throughout middle school. When ADHD-related problems are ignored at this stage, a child has an increased risk of developing conduct disorder, repeating a grade, or experimenting with alcohol and drugs. It is also important that you maintain good structure and communication. Be aware of your child's needs and teach skills that will help him work towards being self-sufficient.

Dr. Yannick Pauli is an expert on natural approaches to ADHD and the author of the popular self-help home-program The Unritalin Solution. He is Director of the Centre Neurofit in Lausanne, Switzerland and has a passion taking care of children with ADHD. Click on the link for more great information about what is adhd.

Source: EzineArticles
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