Family Magazine

Avoiding ADHD During Bedtime

By Newsanchormom

Avoiding ADHD during bedtimeIf your child's teacher says he/she isn't paying attention in class, adjusting the bedtime routine may be your best solution. Research shows some kids with ADHD simply have bad bedtime routines. I think that's amazing news! I do have a child who has a hard time paying attention and I do not want to give him medicine unless it's absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, he does not come in to our room to sleep, but he does have some sleep issues. So I am going to look into it further. What do you guys think about this sleep and ADHD symptoms connection?
FROM NBC:Doctors say managing kids' bedtime routines is key in controlling symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder -- and may cure something doctors are calling "Faux ADHD."
Irritability, easily distracted in class, loss of focus- these are hallmark signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
While medication helps many kids with ADHD -- some doctors are prescribing a change in bedtime routine.
And it's working for kids with so-called "faux adhd."
Dr. Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman - New England Center for Pediatric Psychology: "That is a condition that looks exactly like ADHD except for one very important difference. It does not respond to medication."
Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman and her colleagues at the new England center for pediatric psychology have been treating ADHD cases for decades.
They found getting kids into bed -- and then making them stay in their bed all night long -- was a major problem for parents. Dr. Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman - New England Center for Pediatric Psychology: "This was a real mini-disaster in the house every evening."
Doctors assessed the families, and gave parents tailored techniques on how to enforce regular bedtimes and keep kids from crawling into bed with them in the middle of the night. It alleviated those mini-disasters and daytime ADHD symptoms for many kids. Experts say this gives children a level of self-confidence they can't get any other way.
Dr. Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman - New England Center for Pediatric Psychology: "When children are able to control staying in their room all night and self-soothe, then they are able to control themselves during the day."
Other doctors say it makes sense -- and can help moms and dads, too. Kate Eshleman, Psy.D. - Cleveland Clinic: "If parents are better able to manage kids' sleep behaviors, they're better able to manage other behaviors also." Making daytime and nighttime a little easier for the whole family. Experts say if improved bedtime rituals don't help symptoms, it may be true ADHD, and a neurological assessment is warranted.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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