Living with the Problem

For many children, parents, caregivers, and teachers the problems associated with those children diagnosed with either Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are very real. For some children it may simply be mean an inability to concentrate in a traditional classroom. For others, it involves a constellation of behaviors creatinge a full range of problems.

Most often teachers experience male students as exhibiting the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. These boys are loud, aggressive and impulsive. Behavior management with explosive and erratic students is a full-time job; they need more attention than one can possibly give. As class sizes and work loads have grown, teachers have less support in the classroom than they once did. The use of medication, such as Ritalin or anti-depressants, becomes an inviting solution.

Parents or caregivers
The experience of parents and caregivers who have a child dealing with these kinds of problems can range from a “challenge” to extreme distress. Some parents and caregivers have good resources and support from family, friends, and professionals. Others may experience disadvantages related to social class, race, or education. For children in this situation, whose families do not have access to resources, an ADD/ADHD diagnosis not only fails to solve the problem, but it makes it more difficult for families and professionals to see or attend to the societal and emotional issues.

The diagnosis of ADD/ADHD has a profound effect on children as it impacts their sense of identity, self-confidence, and self-esteem. For some, particularly those who already have a strong sense of themselves or are confident that they are worthy, loved, competent, and good, a diagnosis may be simply a name for the cognitive difficulties they experience. Unfortunately, many others might see themselves as a “problem,” not likable, untrustworthy, too rough, lazy, stupid or “mental.”

Diagnosis for these children can seem like a confirmation that they are bad or damaged.

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