Imagine not really being able to concentrate on any one specific task at once, your attention being drawn away without any resistance and without any chance of returning to the subject matter at hand. Add to this the very real suffering felt by not being able to keep up with your peer group as they seemingly latch onto concepts taught in the classroom with relative ease while you toil away, struggling to complete homework and failing to do well at tests. Now imagine that you’re regarded as being not as smart as your peers, and quite simply put, “not good at school”. This is the life endured by those children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Unlike a broken fridge, and like most mental disorders, ADHD is not an easy thing to deal with, either by the child involved or by his or her parents. Children suffering from ADHD are often difficult to discipline and find themselves at their wit’s end owing to the fact that parents are often ill-equipped to understand the disorder or revert back to the adage that the only way to deal with a hyperactive child is a good hiding. Unfortunately, things are never quite so easy, and authoritarianism is likely to lead to resentment and low self-esteem.
There is no silver bullet cure for ADHD, and whereas psychiatric intervention in the form of a well-designed and regular regime of neurotransmitter therapy could help (in spades, in fact), individuals either involved with or suffering from ADHD have to learn mechanisms and behaviours that ultimately work to the benefit of all involved.
The most pressing cognitive act that has to take place is that some form of real understanding of the disorder must take place: this is to say that suffers, in particular, should try to understand their behaviour and by doing so understand that they are not to blame for the negative effects of the disorder. This is, of course, easier said than done, and especially so in the case of children. Parents too should come to a thorough understanding of the behaviours and implications of the disorder so that they can act and react in the appropriate manner when either hyperactivity or distracted attention is experienced.
In the treatment of ADHD another crucial element is also often left out of the mix: the teacher. Teaching ADHD children can be a challenging task, but if equipped with the correct knowledge, teachers can make a tremendous difference in the lives of children who may often fall by the wayside. This is perhaps one of the most tragic effects of ADHD, and very often perfectly able and bright children underperform in the schooling environment and develop negative feelings towards either themselves, the school (and teachers) or both. This can be a terrible burden to bear, and it can be equally difficult for loving parents to watch their child suffer.
The first suggestion of this site, if the only one, is that people who suspect that they or their children suffer from ADHD should look for qualified and professional help. With the right information, a considerable difference can be made.