How a Child's ADHD Affects the Entire Family

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common mental health disorder that often emerges during childhood. It causes disruptive symptoms typically classified as: 

ADHD symptoms range in severity in different children and are often difficult to manage. This can create stress for other family members, leading to strained relationships, conflict, and higher divorce and depression rates. 

At Westchester Park Pediatrics in Purchase, New York, our team of compassionate pediatricians offers expert diagnosis for ADHD and other mental health issues that affect children. Here, we share information about how ADHD affects the entire family and offer advice on how to take care of the needs of every family member.

Helping children with ADHD

ADHD isn’t fully understood, but we know that a combination of genetics, environment, and abnormalities in the central nervous system can increase the risk of developing it. A lack of discipline or too much sugar might get headlines about causing ADHD and other childhood behavioral disorders, but they do not contribute to the condition. 

In addition to coping with ADHD symptoms, children can also struggle with:

One of the best things you can do to help your child cope with their symptoms is getting an accurate diagnosis if you suspect ADHD. You can make sure they take their medication as directed and monitor them for adverse side effects.

We can help you collaborate with school teachers and counselors to ensure your child gets the support they need at school. Counselors can provide family therapy to help the entire family unit.

Supporting siblings of a child with ADHD

When you have a child with special needs, it’s not uncommon to overlook their siblings unintentionally. ADHD can impact them, too — they might feel neglected or ignored because their sibling seems to get all the attention. 

The stress of ADHD in the family can also lead to siblings to acting out, expressing anger, embarrassment, and anxiety. They might engage in attention-seeking behavior as a result of feeling neglected.

You can help your other children feel seen and supported by:

Your other children might develop symptoms of depression or anxiety. If you notice changes in their behavior, we recommend getting professional advice to identify and address their unique needs.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself

In addition to educating yourself about your child’s condition, you need to ensure that you have support and help as well. We can recommend classes or training events that offer valuable resources. You could also consider:

You’re not alone in managing your child’s ADHD and taking care of the rest of your family. If conflicts arise, we can provide resources and support to help manage your child’s needs and preserve your physical and emotional health throughout the process.

To learn more about ADHD and how it can affect the entire family, call Westchester Park Pediatrics or schedule a consultation online.

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