Parents who have kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are increasingly using social media to connect with their children, and they’re getting a lot of feedback.
As the demand for social media grows, parents with kids with the disorder are beginning to see the same benefits they did before.
As social media has exploded in popularity, parents of kids with ADD have begun to see their social lives grow.
They’re using Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to find other parents, friends and classmates, said Mark Bittman, a clinical psychologist and director of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
More parents are sharing their stories and their hopes for the future, he said.
I’ve always wanted my kids to be hyper-connected to the world around them.
But for some kids, the social network has become the thing they’re missing.
“If you look at my kids, they get to see other parents who love them and are looking for them,” Bittim said.
“They’re connecting with friends and with teachers and with other families.”
The use of social media and its accompanying increased social interactions, which are not necessarily linked to specific symptoms of ADHD, has been a focus for some ADHD researchers.
ADHD is characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity and restricted interests.
But social media can amplify that in a way that is not usually seen in ADHD, said Paul C. Gottfredson, a professor at the University of Texas, Dallas, and director for research on ADHD.
“This is very similar to what you’d find in kids who have attention deficit disorder,” Gottfredsons research has shown.
“It’s the hyper-connectivity that’s a key thing.
It’s not that there are no social connections.
There are lots of social connections that occur in ADHD.”
While most parents of ADD kids are using social networking sites to connect, there are also some that are not.
“It’s important to recognize that many of these social networks are very, very good at building trust and helping children build self-esteem,” Bitterman said.
“But when you start seeing them become hyper-focused on the things they’re not able to do with their own children, it’s really a negative thing.”‘
The Internet is the playground’For parents with ADHD, social media is the new playground.
It gives them a way to connect to other parents and students.
The same parents are able to share their child’s favorite books, hobbies and interests, and get other parents to take notice of the positive things they are seeing on the social media platforms.
“It was kind of like a game changer for my son,” said the mother of a 14-year-old girl, who asked to be identified only by her first name.
She and her husband started the online journal to help their daughter find her own voice and express herself.
She’s not the only one, Bittermans research has found.
A survey of parents of children with ADHD found that some parents with children with attention disorder are using Facebook and other social media in a similar way.
“In the past we would use a device like a computer or a tablet or phone,” said one of the parents.
“Now, we have a social media platform.
They’ve created a way for us to connect.”
Bitterman says it’s important that parents understand the benefits of socializing with their kids, especially when they’re struggling to manage their ADHD symptoms.
In a world where so many children have ADD and hyperactivity disorders, Bittmans research showed, parents need to be vigilant about socializing in an effort to protect their children.
“Parents need to remember to keep in mind that ADHD is a disease,” he said, “and the Internet is a playground.
Parents need to keep their children safe.”