If your child notices their school counselor checking out a little early on a few Fridays here and there, be reassured they are bettering their education on topics concerning your children. We went to this month's edition of the Friday Forum at Avera Behavioral Health to learn about the misconceptions surrounding ADHD.
For the last two years Avera Behavioral Health has hosted Friday Forums. Once a month school counselors, school nurses, social workers and principles are invited here to listen to presentations on a variety of behavioral health topics that are affecting your children. If schools are on the Digital Dakota Network (DDN) they can also be part of the presentation through teleconference.
Michael Jerke is an Expression Therapist who works with children at Avera Behavioral. He's also the organizer of Friday Forums. He says, "It helps us work closer together with the professionals in the school system who see these kids everyday. We want to come up with warning signs to help improve a child's care."
Dr. Schneider says, "Parenting or teaching a child with ADHD can bring out the best and worst in you. You need to recognize these are children with ADHD not ADHDics. Every child has other strengths and weaknesses you need to know about and be aware of to properly teach and parent that child."
Dr. Schneider says some parents insist their child can't be ADHD because they can play video games or text message for hours. The doctor says it's important to know it's more a disorder of attention than attention deficit.
Dr. Schneider says, "Children are either over-focused on things that capture their attention or are remarkably under-focused on activities that don't stimulate the fascination circuit of the brain."
Getting a better understanding on all kinds of topics like a.d.d.... autism... creating a blended family... only increases the chances of understanding why your child acts the way they do in school and at home.. and may lead to a diagnosis to improve their lives.
"The hope is to provide a greater understanding of what ADHD really is and what it's not. Hopefully with a greater knowledge base we are more effectively diagnosing it and treating it." said Dr. Schneider.
He also says another misconception about ADHD is that it's over-diagnosed. He says it's exactly opposite. Dr. Schneider says 40 to 50% of the children with it aren't diagnosed and that could lead to depression, anxiety and learning problems if not treated.