Having a social life is just as important for children as it is for adults, but some children have social difficulties. While parents and educators may understand how to resolve the physical or mental difficulties that children have, they may never have heard about the ways to improve socialization. A child can have one or more issues that affect socialization, and in many cases, it takes a team of experts to identify the different problems.
One: Having an Autism Spectrum Disorder
There are many types of autism spectrum disorders, including:
• Childhood disintegrative disorder
• Pervasive development disorder
• Rett syndrome
• Asperger’s syndrome
Children with autism display poor communication, leading to isolation from their peers. In addition, children with this disorder may repeat behaviors such as clapping their hands. Early diagnosis and remediation is vital to help the children with an autism spectrum disorder learn better ways to behave and communicate in classrooms and in social situations.
The classroom presents a host of challenges for a child with ADHD. Sitting still and listening quietly can be difficult, especially in an environment full of distractions ranging from other students to colorful décor to unfamiliar noises. It is important to communicate frankly and frequently with your child’s teacher so you can make a plan that works for everyone involved.
- Children with ADHD need structure. Knowing what to expect each day can help them to curb some of their impulsivity and restlessness. Write down schedules and keep them where your child can reference them frequently and cross off each item as it is accomplished.
- Provide clear expectations and a system for evaluating their performance. Do not overwhelm them with a long list of rules. Choose one or two behaviors to focus on and create specific, measurable goals that can be assessed daily. Offer positive reinforcement in the form of stickers, privileges, small prizes or other rewards when goals are met.
- Break homework and projects into small, manageable chunks. ADHD children can become easily distracted as well as easily discouraged. Help them to maintain their focus and motivation by breaking larger assignments into smaller tasks with frequent breaks. Use breaks to encourage movement, which can help them to expel excess energy and stay focused.
- Write down important information. Use the same notebook or planner for every assignment. Include specific information needed to complete the assignment, when it is due and how it should be turned in. Checklists can remind students of important but often overlooked details such as putting their name on the page and checking their work.
- Stay Organized. Before school starts, buy supplies to organize their homework, their backpack and their work area at home. Help your child to develop their own organizational skills by reviewing their homework journal, sorting through their backpack and tidying their workspace together every single day.
Research shows that many adopted children tend to develop a mental health diagnosis. In fact, a 2008 study compared about 500 adopted and non-adopted children and found that the odds of having an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) diagnosis were approximately twice as high in adoptees compared with non-adoptees.
This can be even more problematic when adoption agencies hide information and mislead parents who are leaning towards adopting. Then, when adopted children begin to exhibit mental health symptoms, parents may not know how to respond. Furthermore, they may not have made the decision to adopt if they knew that their child might develop a mental illness. Continue reading
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is an impulse-control disorder that is a commonly diagnosed among children. In fact, it is so common that some clinicians believe it is grossly overly diagnosed for the benefit of pharmaceutical companies. At the same time, parents frequently like having a diagnosis, even though it might be wrong, because it helps them understand the misbehavior of their child. Yet, for these reasons and more, ADHD is the most frequently diagnosed childhood mental illness. Continue reading