Hi. You don't say how old your child is and what he is doing that would lead your doctor to think he has adhd. It is usual protocol to wait until the earliest age of 6 before diagnosing for adhd because all kids before that age show so much variability in behavior. Many kids prior to 6 will be impulsive, hard to settle down, on the move, have no filter, talk in loud voices and move from thing to thing quickly without finishing something.
I believe you could google adhd and find a listing of symptoms. It involves the nervous system and people will sometimes call these kids hyper. They often have trouble making/keeping friends. Instead of taking their time on a coloring project, they'll scribble it and be done in 30 seconds.
Now, I'll tell you that my son was diagnosed with a look alike to adhd called sensory integration disorder. They are very similar in that they both involve the nervous system. My son's "engine" always seemed to be on high. Medication does not work for sensory integration disorder. Occupational therapy is how it is diagnosed and treated. Occupational therapy is a combination of things including direct work on the nervous system through work in a sensory gym, to behavior modification activities, to fine motor work------- all specific and geared to the child. It feels completely like play to a kid and they all really love OT.
If you explain more of what your son is doing, I may have some specific suggestions of things you can try at home to help him. In the mean time, there is a direct link to physical activity and the nervous system. I'd get your boy to the park as often as possible------- every day if you can. Get him running, jumping, climbing, rolling down hills and then running back up, swinging (calming), skipping, kicking soccer balls, hitting baseballs, digging in dirt or sand, etc. All is what they call "heavy work" and exactly what an overactive nervous system craves. The more you do, the calmer he will be when he needs to be like in school. Deep pressure is something that helps too. Swimming is the perfect exercise as it is heavy work with the resistance of the water and also has deep pressure at the same time. So sign him up for swim lessons or go to an indoor pool and take him swimming (if it is no longer hot where you are). You can take all the pillows off your couch and from around the house and play a game of mouse. He's the mouse and he crawls into the pile of pillows------- he pops up through a hole and you yell "eeeekkkk!!" and then gently press on where he was at as he pops back down. It is heavy work moving under the pillows and deep pressure at the same time. You can play wall "push over". He stands at a wall and tries to push it over. Fill a laundry basket with heavy things and have him push or drag it across your floor. Play cats or dogs and have him crawl on all fours (did he skip crawling? common in adhd and sensory kids ------ very good for youngsters to crawl as it is that 'heavy work" that they speak of) as you play. Do crazy animal walks including the bear, crab, and snake and then add in whatever else comes to mind. Make it fun.
Oral soothing is also very powerful. Give him a thick piece of gum on the way to somewhere in which he needs to be calm and organized (in the brain and processing center)(remove it/spit it out before he leaves you). Chewy things are also calming such as fruit roll ups or fruit chews. Crunchy things will wake up a child and improve focus such as a crisp apple cut into slices. Blowing bubbles is calming or you can play a game of tic tac toe. Take a straw and tic tacs----- by sucking in on the straw the tic tac can be moved with the straw. Do this to move the pieces for the game. Or blow cotton balls across the table.
Anyway, if you have anything specific that he is doing or more information, I'd be happy to try to help further. I'd look into sensory first if your son is below 6.
And punishing a child that may have a challenge beyond their control is tricky. He may be doing the very best he can. A sensory child with auditory processing problems may act like he doesn't hear you when you ask him to do something. Well, he may hear you but you are the same volume as everything else in the room so he can't focus on what you are saying. For a child like that, you'd go to him and put your hand on his shoulder until he looked up and calmly say what he needs to do. You need to be very structured, routine and consistent for adhd kids.
Sandman, who has many years of experience working with kids in the school setting with adhd recommends a book by Susan Ashley which I believe is the "ADD/ADHD handbook" but he will correct me if I am wrong on that I am sure! (please do Sandman!)
Good luck------- it can be so hard to parent a child that struggles but so worth it when you get on the right track to help them. Peace.
Specialmom is very close to the title of the book I recommend. It's, "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.
I do highly recommend the book because it not only covers symptoms, but almost all aspects of things that will help parents if there child has ADHD/ADD.
I also want to stress what specialmom said about punishment. It is different for a child with SI or ADHD. In many ways you are not so much punishing as modifying their behavior. If you look at it that way and realize that to change one's behavior (which has been shaped over time), it takes time and consistency to do so - you will have much greater success. Of course, you do need the techniques to do so, and the book I recommended will help tremendously.
If you want a quick (as in online) answer, the site that I currently like is -
Just be aware that it is pretty detailed. The book is a bit more user friendly.
Best wishes and please post if you have any more questions.