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International Healthcare News: Parents of children with ADHD 'should educate themselves'

Although international private medical insurance may be useful for parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they could also benefit by educating themselves about the condition.

Chief executive of the National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service Andrea Bilbow explained this can help mums and dads to avoid arguing with their offspring.

She noted parents cannot simply go to their child's room if the youngster has ADHD and is playing computer games to say "right, we are going to the shops now".

Instead, they ought to give their offspring plenty of warning from around 20 minutes beforehand, before repeating themselves when there is ten minutes to go and suggesting that the child begins to shut the computer down.

Failing to do so could result in a "major row", she stated.

The specialist recommended providing a motivational aspect to any task a parent tells an ADHD sufferer to do, such as through physical and emotional rewards.

She said: "They will do things if there is enough stimulation and reward in it for them."

It triggers a chemical reaction in the brain and is more likely to work than other strategies, Ms Bilbow argued.

She pointed out that a maturity lag of around 30 per cent is typically seen amongst children with this condition.

This means although they may be performing well at school, their social interactions and development may be behind what would be expected at their age.

As there can be a "huge gap" between emotional and intellectual abilities, parents of a child with ADHD may wish to expect their offspring to behave in a less adult manner than their peers.

Some mums and dads do not realise a youngster has a developmental problem and use "normal parenting" because they think the child is merely badly behaved, she declared.

This "doesn't work", the expert noted.

A recent study undertaken in the University of British Columbia found the youngest people in a classroom are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and given relevant medication than their older peers in the same school year, which could indicate they are being labelled and treated inappropriately.

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