Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Your kid is brilliant. Talented. And she doesn't know it. She feels different. Awkward. Broken.
Because she has ADHD.
But here's the thing...the same qualities that earn students the label ADHD are also the special qualities that allow them to make a huge difference in the world, because of the "special" way their brains work. These are the qualities that give them creative energy and intelligence. They think differently than most.
These unique qualities are not always appreciated. Kids can feel different, like they don't quite "fit in". They can feel like they are always doing something wrong and getting into trouble.
They don't have the tools they need to tap into their potential. They don't know how to stay focused and organized. They lose confidence in their abilities. They feel stupid.
But the fact is, they are creative thinkers with an enormous amount of talent. Because of the way their brain works, they have innate creative energy and intelligence!
And we, the parents, teachers, and adults in their lives, can help them tap into that potential.
Here are three DON'TS and three DO'S for Parents/Teachers:
Don't let the label define them.
Don't blame other people for the child's difficulties.
Don't punish your child for behaviors s/he can't control.
PAY MORE ATTENTION TO POSITIVE BEHAVIOR.
SET UP ROUTINES AND STICK TO THEM (ESPECIALLY WITH HOMEWORK).
SEEK HELP FROM OTHERS.
Some psychologists and mental health experts believe that the disease is grossly misdiagnosed (to the tune of nearly one million children a year may be mislabeled with ADD).
Some common issues that a diagnosis of ADHD are confused or co-existing with are:
Irlen (Scotopic Sensitivity) Syndrome: This is a perceptual processing disorder; not an optical problem. It is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information. Around 50% of children and adults with reading, learning, or attention problems have Irlen Syndrome. About 33% of those individuals with problems of attention, concentration, starting tasks, completing tasks, sitting still, and working under fluorescent lights can be helped by the Irlen Method. (READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE)
Sleep issues: Lack of sleep often means lack of focus. Does your child have poor sleep habits,wake up frequently, suffer with apnea?
Depression: Kids with depression often have little energy and lose interest in socializing. (Kids with ADHD want to socialize but are often inappropriate.)
Anxiety: Kids who seem preoccupied or inattentive may be distracted by worries.
Learning issues: Sometimes it can be hard to tell why a child is struggling academically. (See Irlen Syndrome).
Trauma or chronic stress: Abuse, neglect, and traumatic experiences can lead to behavior that looks a lot like ADHD. .
Immaturity: Birth order - the youngest in the family or grade are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, studies show.
The best way to help our kids is to have an accurate diagnosis. The best remedy for mis-diagnosis is more information. The kind of evaluation(s) that look(s) at many different areas of functioning, not just attention, to help determine whether things like anxiety, depression and/or a learning or processing issue might be present instead of, or in addition to, a diagnosis of ADHD.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple Inc.
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