If your child suffers from ADD/ADHD, you are probably well aware that there are many misconceptions surrounding this disorder. “It’s only a phase”, “All the child needs is a bit of discipline”, “They must not be making any efforts at school”… Many people know the term ADHD without really knowing what it entails.
As a parent, you know that ADD/ADHD is a reality that can be difficult to cope with. But you’re not alone in supporting your child through the hardships they encounter. A variety of health care professionals can help and are an excellent complement to more traditional treatments.
One example is a psychoeduator. Émilie Bernier is a psychoeducator at Clinique GOTM and tells us more.
To help us understand how psychoeducation can help, Ms. Bernier tells us that psychoeducators have the skills and training necessary to observe the individual in their various environments. Through these observations, they are able to assess how the disorder functionally impacts the child.
A psychoeducator provides support for their patient, since their interventions are carried out in line with the child’s day-to-day activities. As the psychoeducator learns more about the patient, they’ll be able to assess their strengths and then design an appropriate intervention plan. This is called a “shared educational experience”: the implementation of strategies designed in collaboration with the individuals who play a big role in the child’s life, taking into account the constraints and strengths of the patient and their environment.
ADD/ADHD is often associated with a child that fidgets. It’s important to understand that this disorder does not always include the H component: Hyperactivity. Parents must be able to understand the signs that they should consult a health care professional for their child.
Ms. Bernier explains that a child affected by ADD/ADHD will have trouble in their development and functional progression. Their disorder will negatively impact them in their environments (school, home, extracurricular activities) and in various spheres of their life (relationship, cognitive, independence).
For example, a child with this disorder may not necessarily fidget, but instead act and respond in an impulsive way, lose their school supplies, have trouble following rules or completing their homework. In terms of relationships, a child with ADD/ADHD might also have trouble making friends or keeping them.
That’s why ADD/ADHD involves much more than simply fidgeting! Thankfully, the psychoeducator can provide the tools necessary to help the child live up to their potential and overcome these difficulties.
When a psychoeducator first meets a young patient with ADD/ADHD, they always start by evaluating their struggles and adaptive capacities at the child’s school or home. Once this step done, the psychoeducator will create an intervention plan that outlines the patient’s goals and the ways to achieve them.
The intervention of a psychoeducator is not a substitute for medication, but it can be a complement to it! By relying on a range of different techniques, the psychoeducator can focus on helping the child manage their emotions and adapting to their environment, as well as providing tips to parents.
According to Ms. Beriner, an efficient intervention from a psychoeducator must include 10 to 12 appointments over 3 months. By calling upon the services of Clinique GOTM, your child will receive the help they need directly at their school or your home, whether to improve their academic performance, manage their impulsivity, or improve their interpersonal relationships.
As a parent, your child’s well-being is a top priority. To help them live a fulfilling personal and professional life, call upon qualified professionals!
As all psychoeducators with the Clinique GOTM team, Émilie Bernier is a member in good standing of the Ordre des psychoéducateurs et psychoéducatrices du Québec. She has a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in psychoeducation. She is passionate about her work that allows her to help people overcome obstacles and succeed.