WOW….this is now being realized and you can read this article or search for others as they are being written in a number of publications recently. That is not the point of this post. Please read on..now that I have your attention….let’s focus 🙂
Given this recent finding, I think that it is going to be so important for people to know more from those of us involved in raising children with the problem, those of us who actually work with these individuals in our professional lives, those of us who may actually diagnose the condition and have to discuss the signs and symptoms to the adult or the parents of a child. I am not convinced that people truly understand this disorder. Knowledge is power and if we empower others with more information about what makes the ADHD brain tick,,,what makes it unique and what struggles and strengths it brings to the lives of those who live with it day to day then it will make it so much easier for them. I believe that this goes for most medical problems or differences with which a person lives. The more you understand the easier a time you will have in life. You will be able to learn to compensate and perhaps even overcome the obstacles.
With this in mind….
Please….. Tell – the parent, the adult, the child who is old enough to understand…what the struggles will be that they may face. Please – help them to understand the signs and symptoms of ADHD that may affect them in their day to day lives. What resources are available to assist them. What some of the conditions are that may potentially coexist with this such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, mood disorders, anxiety. The impact of medication – including its side effects is extremely important to relate.
I have heard comments like: I do not understand why my skin gets itchy if i put cream on it, why does this fabric bother me? he only eats soft spicy food….nothing else! it is so hard to find foods that my son/daughter can eat because he is so fussy. my child cannot fall asleep, “i have insomnia”, another says. “turn off all the lights …it is too bright in here”, “i can’t eat this (maybe it is the texture of the food), “he won’t let me brush his teeth and washing his hair is a struggle because he pulls away”. Educate people about the sensory integration and regulation difficulties like these. Let them know that this is just a part of their make-up.
Years ago I went with my son to the circus…..never again! He was overcome by the loud noise. Neither the sensory overload during a vacation such as Disneyworld nor the quiet and peaceful setting where all slowed down on a dude ranch would work as vacation sites. The predictability of a setting like Club Med – where the transitions from one activity to another could be planned in advance and known – no unexpected changes was a better fit…albeit not perfect. A trip like a cruise may or may not work….yes it is predctable and there is a structure in place before you go; but, would the pace of getting from stop to stop during the vacation be too slow? I do not have ADHD but would find this an issue. Something to think about ….
For parents of children both camp settings and schools need to be considered. A play ground of five hundred students waiting to start the day standing in line, then heading like a stampede, running up the staircases in a loud and echoing stairwell to the classroom…. by the time upstairs in the class, the ADHD student would be ready for time out to de-stress from the experience of even preparing for the classroom setting. There are specialized camps for children and programs for teens with ADHD. Teachers at school and counselors in a camp setting need to understand the problems that may occur.
College students with ADHD will have to advocate for themselves and also be aware that there may be better programs for them then others that may not be geared to the learning differences with which they come to school. Research the programs that are available. Talk with organizations that cater to the person with ADHD and join a support group so that you can gain resources.
We need to be advocates – for ourselves, our patients, our children. Please help…..