For many families, Thanksgiving presents challenges. There are turkeys that don’t thawed out in time and difficult relatives who overstay their welcome. If you have a child or adult with ADD, however, the holiday will bring additional challenges.
Thanksgiving and the other holidays we’ll be celebrating as the New Year draws closer tend to disrupt everyone’s routines. For most people, that’s not a big problem. If you or someone you love is undergoing ADD/ADHD treatment in NYC, however, it’s likely that the holiday season may interfere with the normal schedule of treatments. It’s not the end of the world, but it is a good idea to maintain a normal routine as much as possible.
Please Pass the Gravy
When the time comes to sit down and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, there are additional challenges for children and adults with ADD. “Kids with attention issues may talk nonstop before, during and after dinner, annoying guests. If your child is impulsive, he may interrupt family members’ stories to tell his own. If a grandparent challenges him, he might say something rude,” the experts at Understood.org say.
Understood.org, which represents a collaboration of some 15 organizations serving the ADD/ADHD community, offers tips for families dealing with ADHD and Thanksgiving that we thought you might find helpful. “Before Thanksgiving, role-play appropriate ways your child might start, join and end conversations with guests. Consider coming up with a code phrase or signal you can use to clue him in if he starts taking over the conversation.”
Understood.org also points out that sitting still during Thanksgiving dinner isn’t going to be easy for anyone with ADHD. “Lengthy holiday meals are especially tricky for children with attention issues, who may find it hard to sit through ‘grace,’ let alone a multi-course meal. Add unfamiliar foods and grown-up discussions, and you’ve got the makings for a meltdown,” they say.
Don’t be too hard on them – or yourself! Planning ahead can help children and adults with ADD get more enjoyment out of the holidays.
All of us at the Sachs Center, which specializes in the testing and treatment of ADD/ADHD in adults, teens and children, would like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. If we can be of assistance as you and your family prepare to celebrate the holiday, please call us at 646-847-9722.