Kids with ADHD.
I was one! I didn't know; neither did anyone else. Hardly anyone had heard of ADD or ADHD way back in the 1940's/50's (Yes, that makes me very ancient and therefore very wise). And later on, it was something that happened to badly behaved boys, and then a few introspective boys and girls. It took a long time for people to sit up and say, "Hey! There is a problem here!"
It wasn't until the 1990's that a great deal of attention was given to another problem. Many children ddidn't grow out of ADHD (but quite a few do). There were adults with the problem. Like me.
I passionately want children with ADD and ADHD to be supported and cared for in a way that benefits them.
It wasn't my fault! And it isn't theirs!
When I was diagnosed with ADHD I danced about happily shouting. "It wasn't my fault!" The mess of my life was largely the result of having a brain that was different.
Now, having discovered it, now was the time to be responsible. But dealing with children with ADHD (Oh, I had better say it again: The 'disorder' - not a good word, is mostly just called ADHD these days. ADD is used for non-overactives and focused inwards, ADHD for the hyperactive. Bu the distinctions are not very useful. There are at least six different types of ADHD.) Yes, dealing with children with ADHD we need to be aware that they perform at times in ways that don't fit the norm
They are frequently over-criticized.
And as very often they don't feel that they belong (that's genetic) they acquire really low self-esteem. Hence anger and depression and all that.
Children should be praised seven times for every one criticism.
O.K., you don't have to count, but you get the idea. ADHD children need strong affirmation of their gifts, skills and good performance. Of course children need training, correcting and learning safe behaviour, but they really need to know that they are loved, belong, and are safe at home.
Be clear about the praise.
Not useful as it creates false importance: You are the best little boy in the world. You are so special! You are such a pretty girl, all the girls must envy you. You're such special child, there are no others like you.
Better style by far: Well done, you put a lot of effort into that. I am very pleased with you because you remembered to put your toys away. You are a fantastic girl, I love you. Thanks for putting the notes from your teacher the folder. You did a good job of that. You look great.
They need to wriggle. "Excessive movement common among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is actually vital to how they remember information and work out complex cognitive tasks, a new study shows."
You can read it all here, with links to other interesting articles. Click Science Daily.
You can do it in their sleep.
There is a system about talking to children while they sleep. It is for any children, but especially troubled children, and not just ADD or ADHD. This introductory book is designed to give you a feel for the wide variety of problems in children that have been significantly helped with Sleep Talk.
It is"The Real Secret to Making Your Child Feel Loved, Safe and Happy. Introduction to the Goulding Sleep Talk Process.." by Joane Goulding.
You can buy it on Amazon or Kindle for $3 or $4 and is well worth it. It gives you a good feel for how the program cane effectively used for many problems.
You can go direct to the website and purchase the program. It's well worth it.
There are also contact details of consultants to help you.
SOME MORE ON SLEEP
There has been a lot of discussion about the effect of WIFI on sleep. Much for and against, and no conclusive science. From some of the discussion I suspect that any effect might depend on the individual. To be on the safe side I would advocate that no WIFI be left on in childrens' (and adults'!) bedrooms overnight.
That means that if phones need to be on for music, say, they should be in Airplane mode - no calls in or out so no WIFI that might disturb the brain and sleep, no computers or pads modems on. This may drive some kids crazy, but they shouldn't be on the phone at night when they should be sleeping.
There are exceptions. Some adults need phones on. We live in a bushfire area so all the phones are on 24/7 in Summer. In this case the cell/mobile phone should be two metres (7 feet) from your head while sleeping.
If you want to think about it some more, do research on the internet and decide which way you go/
A big step is observation
As ADHD appears in many different forms, inn addition to any assistance or advice you receive from anyone, you should watch. What does your child respond t best?
A whiteboard in the kitchen setting out the day/week/ plan.
A folder with divisions for each child on the kitchen bench into which EVERY communication from school or activities must go (with a two hole punch beside it). A parent can check this every night.
A square on the bedroom floor onto which the school bag must go.
A check out list for school in the bedroom or by the front door which must be used every school day. And some children need pegs attached to each item they must touch every day. Some children need to read the list out loud for it to be real.
Vigorous exercise before breakfast - and think of the improved parent health, too!
Ask your child when he comes home from school. "What went well today?"
And there are a lot more.
We see, hear, and feel. And each of these has sub-modalities. We tend to learn primarily through one of them. Of course we switch around a bit, but one mode will predominate. While there have been some improvements in teaching, some children simply fail to connect with what is going on in class. This is particularly true for kinesthetic children who need to touch, feel, do, move in order to learn. Other need to say out loud or sing. Some must talk to themselves.
How does your child learn?
Many ADHD children have poor handwriting and difficulty spelling, which adds to their classroom difficulties. On top of this are the primary difficulties of ADHD; their thoughts race and they are easily distractible.
Working out how your child best learns and stays focused on what he should be doing, and encouraging this, can be a big step forward.
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© David Townsend 2014