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Finding Hope for Kids with ADD
When a child is born, the world seems new. There are fresh starts and limitless horizons. The child can be anything and do everything. Beyond gratitude for their child having ten cute little fingers and toes, new parents are invested with the myth of the "perfect baby." What happens when the new parents are faced with a toddler who obviously has Attention Deficit Disorder, a child who is qualitatively different from his peers? They may grieve the idea of the perfect child that was lost when the reality of ADD set in.
With some parents, their dreams are smashed when they find out that their young child has Attention Deficit Disorder. For others, the dreams die a gradual death after a period of denial. They might see their kids as flawed, as broken with their Attention Deficit Disorder. Especially, if the parents had suffered with Attention Deficit Disorder, they could see ADD as a disability, rather than an opportunity for unique growth.
In past years, before more was known about the neurological and biological basis of Attention Deficit Disorder, kids were routinely berated for being unmotivated, lazy, and inattentive. If the children were hyperactive, many people just saw them as "bad kids" who were acting out on purpose. Parents who were raised during these times and were traumatized and stigmatized by these attitudes often panic when they see that future for their toddler. Parents get caught up in the "disability" and forget about the positive aspects of having Attention Deficit Disorder.
What are the positive aspects of Attention Deficit Disorder? Hyperactive children can grow into adults who have abundant energy and stamina. They can pour this precious resource into their jobs and hobbies. The gift of energy can allow them to spend a lot of quality time participating in activities with their families.
Kids who have struggled with inattention and disorganization have had to make a special effort in their younger years to get various parts of their lives coordinated and stay organized. As they advance into their post-high school lives, the strategies that they learned as youngsters can stand them in good stead. College students need to have considerable organizational skills to succeed. Business people who can manage details have more opportunities for advancement.
When you find out that your child has Attention Deficit Disorder, know that for many people there will be a grieving stage. Then, find the hope. Look at the troublesome traits of ADD and figure out ways to use them in a positive manner. After that, you can work with your child to teach him structures to help him live his best possible life. My mother always said, "That which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." With loving guidance from parents who have had a first-hand view of Attention Deficit Disorder, there is hope for those children who are growing into adulthood with ADD.
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Content copyright © 2015 by Connie Mistler Davidson. All rights reserved.
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