Please Stop Punishing Kids for Their Invisible Disabilities

As I always say, I’m a mom of three children first, and then I’m a Child Psychologist. I work with many children, adolescents, young adults (and their families) who have ADHD, anxiety and learning disabilities. I also am a class parent in my children’s school where there are children with these and other disabilities. I have worked as a School Psychologist within a public school setting and know what I recommended for children on my caseload. Over the years, I have heard from parents, with whom I work, that they feel like sometimes their child’s disability is misunderstood and underestimated.

The Disability

A learning disability, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, ADHD (and many others) can’t be seen. The unique profile of a child is detected by the child’s team (parents, teachers, pediatricians, psychologists, etc.), but it isn’t a given, it changes, and it doesn’t come with a manual.

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ADHD Symptoms in Women

Females often live with undiagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), partly because it’s a condition that was traditionally thought to affect mostly males, but also because females tend to have a less obvious type than males. In school, ADHD symptoms in girls may get overlooked because females are more likely to have inattentive ADHD, which doesn’t have the visible behavior problems that hyperactive/impulsive ADHD usually does.

The 3 Types of ADHD

ADHD comes in three types: inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and a combination of the two. Males tend to have the hyperactive/impulsive kind, which may cause them to be fidgety, always on the go, interrupt others, feel restless, talk a lot, make snap decisions, have mood swings, and be impatient. Females have a tendency to exhibit the inattentive type, which makes it hard to focus, pay attention to details, stay organized, listen, and remember things.

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10 Things I Wish the World Knew About ADHD

During ADHD Awareness Month, we asked ADDitude readers to share with us the (sometimes uncomfortable) truths about attention deficit disorder that they most wish the neurotypical world would understand and respect. Nearly 450 readers responded; here are some of the most poignant from adults with ADHD.

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14 Benefits of ADHD

When determining if someone meets criteria for ADHD we focus on what a person is struggling with and what isn’t working for them. For people with ADHD, the symptoms are significant and interfere with their ability to function. The symptoms of ADHD don’t generally enhance self-esteem or make someone feel on top of the world. Oftentimes, people with ADHD suffer from self-esteem issues; repeatedly feeling like a failure or feeling shame for struggling with seemingly simple tasks. Self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy can follow. So how is it possible that there are benefits of ADHD? I know you may be skeptical, but there ARE positive traits of ADHD! Let me tell you about 14 ADHD benefits.

Keep in mind, the diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t happen when people have trouble concentrating or make careless mistakes….sometimes. No, we all do that! ADHD greatly impacts many facets of life: school, friendships, relationships, jobs. It is not just an occasional “off” day. ADHD is a developmental brain disorder as real as dyslexia and autism.

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I’m a woman with ADHD. Here’s what I wish you knew.

When I first set out to write Order from Chaos, I wanted to help people like me get more out of their lives. Not coincidentally, a lot of people like me read this blog. While this certainly doesn’t describe all of us, many of us:

  • Are women
  • Have ADHD (often diagnosed in adulthood)
  • Are the person in charge of keeping our household up and running

These three points both support and contradict each other. As women, we’re expected to be the glue that holds everything together for our families. ADHD makes this especially difficult to do. And we’re less likely to receive a childhood diagnosis because, surprise, many girls’ ADHD doesn’t fit the (boy) stereotype for the disorder. That means we may reach adulthood without the tools we need to fulfill the expectations dumped on our doorstep. And we may spend years wondering what’s wrong with us.

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ADULT ADHD: AM I JUST LAZY? UM, NO.

Unfortunately the idea that people with ADHD are lazy is pretty common.  But, actually, we are usually remarkably productive… just not always in the areas that we need to be.

I wish I could say that last week’s post, I’m a Slacker!, was posted intentionally to make a point.  Nope.  Actually, I was trying to motivate myself with a deadline.   (Here is the post’s entire content: “If this post went live, it means I either died or I’m a slacker.  This. Is. Embarassing.”

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ADHD and Lying: What You Need to Know

At a Glance

  • It’s not uncommon for kids with ADHD to lie frequently about everyday tasks like chores.
  • They usually don’t do this to be defiant.
  • There are productive things you can do to help your child with lying.

Most kids lie or avoid telling the truth on occasion. But if your child has ADHD, you might find yourself often asking him, “Why are you lying again?” If that’s the case, you’re not alone.

Not all kids with ADHD tell frequent lies. In fact, some are impulsively honest, which can create its own problems. But for those who do lie, it can quickly become a habit.

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October is ADHD Awareness Month

Stigma, misinformation, and fears about ADHD continually flood us with negative messages. Pre-conceived ideas, ignoring scientific evidence, and misinformation combined with a bias against medication make getting diagnosed and properly treated problematic throughout most of the world. The truth is out there, but spreading the news is a never-ending battle. Having a month devoted to sharing information, encouraging treatment, and even celebrating a common experience can provide relief for many.

Participating in ADHD Awareness Month  – We list a number of both online and in-person events for 2018. Get a great education and experience a powerful feeling of community.

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6 Dynamic Tools for Living with Adult ADHD

We talk about almost every topic under the sun in our group from mood swings to our significant others to our children. What I love about us is that we help each other work through day-to-day issues without judgment.

Aside from the “no judgment” zone I also value is what I have learned from these other women. Whenever I have a problem figuring something out I present it to the group – and I always get ideas and feedback that is objective, realistic and kind.

There is no way I would come up with some of these ideas on my own. It would simply never happen. My brain is way too jumbled.

I have lived with ADHD a loooong time. I don’t have all the answers, not by a long shot. But I do have some favorite tools.

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Improve Your ADHD Symptoms By Using Mindfulness

In one 2008 study 78% of participants who practiced mindful awareness reported a reduction in their ADHD symptoms. In fact, at the end of the study the majority of participants were happy happy they had completed the training. Source

You may have been hearing a lot lately about mindfulness.

When I first heard the word all I could think of was hippies, yoga and chanting. I took it upon myself to look up the actual definition of the word so I could translate it for all of us.

Mindfulness.org defines mindfulness as “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

 

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