Learning and Kids With ADHD
If We Could Run the World for Our Children, Wouldn’t That Be Great!
Does this sound familiar?
My child isn’t keeping up with the class.
My child can’t focus in school.
My child’s grades don’t reflect his learning.
Do you hear these words form your child’s teacher?
Your child won’t pay attention.
Your child always daydreams in class.
Your child failed another test.
It is heartbreaking for a parent to hear these words!
Your question is: “So what do I do? How do I make learning more stimulating, rewarding and fulfilling for my child?”
We can help!
Make sure your child is being taught to his strengths. If your child is creative and intuitive, traditional teaching WON’T WORK.
Most people are neurologically equipped to determine what’s important and get motivated to do it, even when it doesn’t interest them. Then there are those who have attention deficit (and the ADHD brain that goes along with it). Students will find success by using a multi-sensory approach to learning how to read reading. Well equipped teachers have the tools to motivate students to learn by focusing on their strengths!
Make sure your child is not stigmatized by a label.
Almost every one of my patients and their families want to drop the term Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, because it describes the opposite of what they experience every moment of their lives. It is hard to call something a disorder when it has positive attributes. ADHD is not a damaged or defective nervous system. It is a nervous system that works well using its own set of rules. (William Dodson, M.D.)
Children with the condition don’t have a shortage of attention. They pay too much attention to everything. The hallmark of the ADHD nervous system is not attention deficit, but inconsistent attention.
Children with ADHD knows that they can “get in the zone” at least four or five times a day. When they are in the zone, they have no impairments, and the executive function deficits they may have had before entering the zone disappear. Children with ADHD know that they are bright and clever, but they are never sure whether their abilities will show up when they need them. The fact that symptoms and impairments come and go throughout the day is the defining trait of ADHD.
People with ADHD primarily get in the zone by being interested in, or intrigued by, what they are doing. I call it an interest-based nervous system. (William Dodson, M.D.)
It’s essential that teachers use strategies that will interest and intrigue your child while building on their strengths to ensure they are “in the zone” while learning.
The ADHD child’s owner’s manual has to be based on current successes. How does he get in the zone now? Under what circumstances does he succeed and thrive in in the learning environment? Rather than focus on where he falls short, we need to identify how he gets into the zone and function at remarkable levels.
This approach does not try to change people with an ADHD nervous system into neurotypical people.
ADHD stems from a nervous system that works perfectly well by its own set of rules. Unfortunately, it does not work by any of the rules or techniques taught and encouraged in a neurotypical world. That’s why children with ADHD often struggle in the standard school system.
Children with an ADHD nervous system know that, if they get engaged with a task, they can do it. Children with an ADHD nervous system are bright and clever. The main problem is that they were given a neurotypical owner’s manual at birth. Traditional learning works for everyone else, not for them.
The implications of this new understanding are vast. The first thing to do is for coaches, doctors, and professionals to stop trying to turn people with ADHD into neurotypical people. The goal should be to intervene as early as possible, before the child has been frustrated and demoralized by struggling in a neurotypical world, where the deck is stacked against him.
Of course, all the students we work with are not just ADHD, dyslexic or have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Our students learn differently. They all have a unique gift and it is our job to find that gift and teach to it. That builds confidence and puts them on a track to becoming a life-long successful reader and student.
Make sure your child is tested according to HOW he learns, not how he scores on a test.
Despite ADHD’s association with learning disabilities, most people with an ADHD nervous system have significantly higher-than-average IQs. They also use that higher IQ in different ways than neurotypical people.
It’s important look at a child’s working memory, phonetic abilities, and comprehension skills. We look at each of these skills testing both a child’s auditory and visual skills. Do you hear, “You child doesn’t qualify for help!” Do you leave the meeting in despair? Do you say to yourself, “But my child is struggling.“
We understand your frustration. We understand there are so many facets to the way your child learns. Our qualified teachers are trained to create a manual for your child that includes how to get your child in the “zone” so he can learn and what factors help him succeed in the learning environment. We ensure your child gets into the zone and functions at remarkable levels.