Data and Statistics
Cost of ADHD
The Science of ADHD
The Importance of Science
Understanding Research Studies
Levels of Evidence for ADHD Interventions
Treatment of ADHD
Complementary and Other Interventions
Neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback)
Fish Oil Supplements and ADHD
Nutrition and ADHD
Questions and Answers
Carrying Your Medication
ADHD, Sleep and Sleep Disorders
Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Tics and Tourette Syndrome
Professionals Who Diagnose and Treat ADHD
Hospital and University ADHD Centers
Insurance and Public Benefits
The Insurance System
Paying for Medications
Private Health Insurance
Public Health Insurance
Frequently Asked Questions about ADHD
Myths and Misunderstandings
Glossary of Terms
ADHD in the News
Fact Sheets on ADHD
For Parents & Caregivers
Parent Training and Education
Social Skills Interventions
Coexisting Conditions in Children
Pediatric Bipolar Disorder
Substance Abuse and ADHD
Common Coexisting Conditions in Children
Preschoolers and ADHD
Behavioral Therapy for Young Children
ADHD and Childcare
Diagnosing ADHD in Adolescence
Treatment of Teens with ADHD
ADHD Information for Teens
Parenting Teens with ADHD
Questions and Answers
Teens with ADHD and Driving
Teens and Driving
Medication Abuse and Diversion
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Requesting an Evaluation in Public Schools
Tips for Working with the School
Tips for Talking to Teachers about ADHD
Finding the Right College
Disclosing ADHD During the Admissions Process
Succeeding in College with ADHD
Scholarships & Financial Aid
Questions and Answers
Tips for Completing Homework
How to Communicate with your Child’s Teacher
Homework Help for ADHD
Surviving the Holidays with ADHD
Diagnosis of ADHD
Diagnosing ADHD in Adults
ADHD and the Military
How to Succeed in the Workplace
Laws and Legal Protections
Americans with Disabilities - ADA & ADAAA
Legal Rights in Higher Education and the Workplace
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Finding an Attorney or Legal Advocate
Living with ADHD: A Lifespan Disorder
Women and Girls
ADHD Medication and Pregnancy
ADHD and Driving
Organization and Time Management
Relationships & Social Skills
Marriage and Partnerships
Social Skills in Adults with ADHD
Mastering Social Skills
Time Management: Step-By-Step with a Day Planner
Apps for ADHD
For Healthcare Professionals
Clinical Practice Guidelines
The ADHD Diagnostic Process
Diagnosis in Adults
Diagnosis in Children
Clinical Practice Tools
Evaluation and Assessment Tools
Rating Scales and Checklists
Treatment of Adults
The Role of Medication
Teacher Training on ADHD
Tips for Teachers Video Series
Recursos en español
Tips and Resources
Medical Benefit Program
Start a Group
Current CHADD Volunteers
Volunteer Leader Center
Login to your CHADD email
Edit your website
Other Local Support Resources
Find a Study
Post a Research Study
Young Scientist Awards
CHADD's Amazon Store
CHADD Advocacy Manual
Training & Events
2018 Conference on ADHD
2017 Annual International Conference on ADHD
2017 Conference Web Site
Pre Conference Handouts -Thursday 11/9/17
General Conference Handouts -Friday 11/10/17
General Conference Handouts - Saturday 11/11/17
General Conference Handouts - Sunday 11/12/17
Conference Program Book
Order the 2017 CHADD Conference In-A-Box
ADHD Awareness Month
ADHD Awareness Month Calendar
Ask the Expert
Ask the Expert Educator Edition
Parent to Parent Program
P2P On Demand Sessions
Family Training on ADHD In Your Community
Teacher to Teacher
Teacher to Teacher - School System
Calendar of Events
Training for Professionals
Health Care Providers
Training for Parents
Transitioning to Adulthood
Find a Chapter
Local Affiliate Resources
Tools and Resources
Start a Group
Recruitment & Retention Tools
Renew My Membership
The ADHD Tool Kit
Membership Types and Benefits
Get Listed in CHADD's Resource Directory
JOIN CHADD - International Membership
JOIN CHADD - US Membership
Attention Magazine Subscriptions
Attention Magazine - Digital Editions
Membership Perks - Dining Shopping & More
CHADD Discount Advantage Programs
Mission and History
National Resource Center
Boards and Staff
Board of Directors
Professional Advisory Board
Public Policy Committee
CHADD Funding Sources
Advertise with CHADD
2018 Annual Meeting - Exhibitor Information
Jobs at CHADD
Report a Problem
Gifts that Lead
Gifts that Sustain
Gifts that Double
Other Ways to Donate
Corporate Partner Members
Donate Your Vehicle
ADHD Weekly Newsletter
Your Child was Just Diagnosed with ADHD—Now What?
Join the discussion.
Has your child just been diagnosed with ADHD? K.C. Freeman remembers the “shock, pride, relief, and sadness” she and her husband experienced when their son received a diagnosis in elementary school. It was the steps following the diagnosis that were difficult–what to do next, how to make a treatment plan and how to arrange for academic accommodations at school.
Ms. Freeman shares her family’s experience in
Our First Year with ADHD
“It was hard to hear,” she says of the diagnosis. “I saw a long, rough road ahead and became a little teary. My husband saw answers and a direction, and was glad.”
When your child is first diagnosed with ADHD
After the initial emotions of a new diagnosis of ADHD begin to subside, there is a great deal of information to learn and decisions to make regarding treatment. This is in addition to working with the school to provide accommodations.
“In the first weeks and months after we were given the diagnosis, I began reading all about ADHD, how it affects school and life,” Ms. Freeman says.
What are the beginning steps for your family once your child is diagnosed? You will need to make decisions regarding:
Parent and family training
, especially if your child is in preschool
Therapy or counseling to deal with related emotions
Addressing any co-occurring conditions that may also require treatment
Requesting an academic evaluation
from the school and later meeting to determine an
Disclosing your child’s medical diagnosis to appropriate family members and other adults
Deciding on a treatment plan
ADHD requires a comprehensive treatment plan that includes:
Education on ADHD for parent and child, including learning it is a brain-based condition
, if appropriate for your child
You will want to talk with your child’s diagnosing professional or ADHD specialist about your child’s needs. The professional may be able to refer you to a behavioral therapist or a parent training program. For the youngest children with ADHD, who have not yet begun kindergarten, the
primary recommended treatment is behavioral parent training
. Some parents may also
include a coach
as part of their support system. Also, read
Part 2: Tips for Help in Managing ADHD with Non-Medication Interventions
in this week’s issue for more support system suggestons.
ADHD clinic or center
will include additional resources to help families begin behavioral management programs. You can learn more about behavioral management strategies and skills under
Psychosocial Treatment for Children and Adolescents
. Briefly, these include:
Starting with goals your child can achieve in small steps
Being consistent in approach—across different times of the day, different settings, and different people
Providing appropriate consequences immediately following behavior
Implementing behavioral interventions over the long haul—not just for a few months
Remember that teaching and learning new skills takes time, and your child’s improvement will be gradual
Deciding to include medication, either as part of first steps or as a later addition to behavioral management, needs to be an informed decision. Discuss the benefits your child could expect to receive from medication management with your child’s ADHD specialist, along with any possible side-effects.
Medication helps to decrease symptoms but it does not control behavior. Frequently, it enables a child to better learn and use behavioral management skills. Many people say that medication helps them maintain their focus on what they choose to focus on, without distracting thoughts pulling them off task. But it may take time to get the medication just right. The doctor may need to prescribe more than one type of medication or dosage level before the right medication at the right dose for your child is identified. It is also important to note that as a child matures, body and hormonal changes can impact how effective his medication is for him, and medication adjustments may need to be made again.
“We’re still tweaking his meds after a year,” Ms. Freeman says. “ We’ve learned to listen to our son about how he feels on the medications, as he’s now aware of the differences and can tell us if it helps or not.”
There are two laws that provide services for students affected by ADHD:
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitations Act of 1973
. You need to send a letter to your child’s homeroom teacher and school principal requesting an academic evaluation to establish the accommodations plan that will best meet the needs of your child.
Individual Education Plan (IEP) based on IDEA:
The IEP is a written document that includes specific goals for the child based on the child’s current level of performance. The IEP should state the educational placement and it should specify:
which services will be granted
when they will be provided
how long services will last
how frequently services will occur
how your child’s progress will be measured
what positive behavioral interventions and supports, or other strategies to address the behavior, will be used
You will participate with the education team developing your child’s IEP by making suggestions about what could help your child at school with class work, homework, and behavior problems. You can ask for changes to the IEP if you believe they are needed. Changes may only be made if a meeting is held and you are at the meeting, or if both you and the school agree to the changes and agree to skip the meeting.
Section 504 Plan:
The 504 Plan must include appropriate accommodations for your child that are evidence-based interventions, and/or related services that are also scientifically or research-based. The plan must provide your child with an equal opportunity to succeed based on your child’s individual needs when compared to her same age, non-disabled peers. This is defined as a “free and appropriate public education,” or FAPE.
Examples of common accommodations that might be included are:
Reducing the number of homework problems without reducing the level or content of what is being taught.
Giving the student a quiet place to work, free from distractions.
Providing clear and simple directions for homework and in-class assignments.
Giving tests in a quiet place, breaking tests into small pieces, modifying test format, and/or providing extra time.
Using audio recording devices or giving the student a copy of notes.
Using positive behavioral intervention techniques, including positive reinforcement.
Creating a communication notebook so that parents and teachers may keep each other informed of the child’s progress or difficulties.
Two important events occurred recently that put more “teeth” in accommodation rights. In July 2016, the US Office of Civil Rights issued a
Dear Colleague Letter on Obligations to Students with ADHD
to all public school districts, clarifying and reinforcing schools’ requirements to accommodate students affected by ADHD. Earlier this year the Supreme Court unanimously decided,
in a case brought by parents of a child with ADHD and autism
, that schools must provide a free and appropriate public education that ensures “more than de minimis progress” through accommodation plans that are truly appropriate to each child’s needs.
Ms. Freeman says she saw improvements in her son’s progress once an academic plan was established. Rather than fighting against going to school in the morning, her son is eager to learn now.
“School has become a much more positive experience and our son is growing in confidence,” she says.
Taking the first steps for your child
If your child is newly diagnosed, you might feel overwhelmed. It can help to seek out guidance from a professional who can help you spell out the steps you need to take and how you would like to accomplishment them.
“I went back to the psychologist’s office with two pages of questions in hand to gain some understanding and much-needed direction,” Ms. Freeman says in
Our First Year with ADHD
. “That appointment helped immensely. I came home no longer dwelling on why we were in this situation—just how we were going to deal with it.”
Steps to take when your child is first diagnosed:
Learn more about ADHD and how it affects your child.
Meet with your child’s doctor to decide if it’s time for a medication trial.
Create a behavioral management plan. Contact a local hospital or university center that offers behavioral or socials skills training for your child. Sign-up for a parent training course. CHADD offers its
Parent to Parent: Family Training on ADHD
as an introduction to navigating ADHD as a family.
Request an academic evaluation and begin the process of academic accommodations to help your child succeed at school. Hire tutors for additional academic support.
Create a support network. This may include friends and family, therapists, coaches, and other professionals.
Join a local support group. Consider joining a
CHADD support group
or one through an ADHD clinic or center to meet with other parents of children affected by ADHD to share ideas and resources.
You can read more about the Freeman family’s experience after a diagnosis of ADHD for their son in
Our First Year with ADHD
What were your first steps when your child was diagnosed?
What do you suggest other parents do after their children receive a diagnosis?
This article appeared in
April 13, 2017.
The information provided on this website was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number NU38DD005376 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC or the Department of Health and Human Services.