Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I try not to talk shop too often on here, but occasionally something comes up around our house that coincides with my School Pyschology World. (I'll get to that in a minute!) I was trained to diagnose and treat a multiplicity of childhood disorders; however, ADHD was my specialty. While in Mississippi, there were very few professionals in any field in the state who knew more about it than I did, and for a while I had a small private practice where I tested and treated children for ADHD.

One of the most frequently asked questions is, "Do you think it really exists?" I believe that there are people who have a set of characteristics that are unusual for the general population and make it difficult for those people to work in situations that seem to come naturally to the general population (like traditional school). We call that set of characteristics ADHD. Do I believe there is something inherently wrong with those children? No, but I do see differences that can make life more challenging if people insist on the child conforming to the norm. My guess is that we would not need diagnoses if people were willing to accept that some people are just different and there is no right or wrong way to do things.

Today my School Psychology training is coinciding with my new position as Stay-at-Home Mom. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and had MAJOR difficulties because of those differences. When we became pregnant with Jessica, I knew there was a possibility that she might share some of those characteristics. Obviously, I knew she would not be exactly like me and that she could even have very few of my characteristics, but I realized from the beginning it was a possibility. I had noticed behaviors in her along the way that set off my "ADHD radar," but today I am CERTAIN she shares at least some of my ADHD characteristics!

Most ADHD kids you meet are very happy, cheerful, sweet, and kind individuals. (I suspect this is because they are so distractible they can't help but be super good natured!) However, most ADHD kids also get frustrated very easily when you try to teach or get them to do something they don't understand, and they can go from zero to a hundred very quickly! In some ways they are just like your average kid.....only much more so! I noticed this behavior in Jessica today big time!!

So what are you going to do about it? As a Stay-at-Home Mom and School Psychologist, my response to ADHD-like behavior in my child is to: Do Nothing...well almost nothing! I never want to have my child tested or medicated if I can help it. There is nothing "wrong" with my child. Perhaps some things won't work for my child, but that is not because there is something "wrong" with my child. (Just so you know I am not against testing or medication in general. I just don't want to use it on my child.) What I will do is realize that my child is not someone else's child and has her own set of characteristics that make her unique, and I will do my best to let her guide me in choosing parenting techniques that will work for HER.

No comments:

Post a Comment