Parenting an ADHD child – Part 1 by Paul Schandevel Director of Children’s Home in Paragould, Arkansas
Two moms sitting on a bench at the mall: “What am I going o do with Johnny? I’ve spanked, I’ve yanked, and I’ve taken everything away. He makes noises, talks excessively, and is failing the second grade for the third time. I’m on speed-dial with his teacher. His nickname is “Bouncy Jouncy” – he can’t sit still at home, school or church. I can’t wake him up. He’s in a hurry, forgetful, restless, disorganized, and driven by a motor. The kid has no brakes! He starts everything and finishes nothing.” The other mom can relate. Her son has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
In “Taking Charge of ADHD”, Russell A. Barkley, PhD, reveals scientific evidence identifying the essence of ADHD. Park one defines ADHD. Parts two and three summarize how to diagnose, treat, and parent a child with ADHD.
“Help me – I am losing my child!” or “Why doesn’t discipline that worked on my other kids not work for Johnny?” ADHD is a nightmare for parents. Outsiders scold these parent; “How can you let Sally get away with such horrible behavior?” Another “expert” chides, “You don’t spank enough. If my kid acted like that, I’d wear him out with the board of education.”
Barkley notes, “For several decades, most clinical professionals operated according to the fallacious notions that ADHD was caused by brain injuries or poor parenting; that children would eventually outgrow it by adolescence; that stimulant medications would be effective only with children (not with adults and older adolescents) and only on school days . . . all despite the absence of any set of findings in the scientific literature to support such claims.” (Barkley p. viii)
Scientific studies since the early 1990s conclude ADHD is not simply a disorder about not paying attention. It’s one of self-regulation or “how the self comes to manage itself within the larger realm of social behavior.” (Barkley, p. vii) The ladies conversing at the mall about their deregulated sons concur with Barkley: “to label ADHD as a disorder of attention trivializes the disorder, since it grossly understates the substantial and dramatic problems these children face in trying to meet the challenges of their daily lives and the increasing demand of their church, family, school, and society to regulated themselves as they mature. Attention deficit is also not able to account for the many ways that the disorder diminishes an individual’s capacity to meet his or her responsibilities toward self and others.” (Barkley, p. viii)
Pray for parents of ADHD children. You can’t understand the exhaustion that comes with raising a child with ADHD until you’ve walked in their shoes.” Untreated children with ADHD are five years behind their peers emotionally and socially. In fact, untreated ADHD adults rarely pass the maturity level of a thirty-year-old man. (Barkley)
ADHD children of the 1960s were “hyper.” Today, these children are treated for ADHD, a serious medical condition that can be diagnosed and treated. Impetuous Peter denied Jesus “thrice.” Could it be he had ADHD? God only knows!