Child Health & DevelopmentChildren with Disabilities

Recognize The True Potential of Your ADD Child



Recognize The True Potential of Your ADD Child

Your child may be dreamy or forgetful, lose things easily, have low self-esteem or be physically clumsy. Classmates and teachers may accuse him of being stupid, when in fact he is a child with ADD or ADHD. 

How can parents and teachers help?

While medical treatment may sometimes be an option, it is important that you understand your ADD child and enable him to succeed. ADDers often suffer from low self-esteem and exhibit behavioral problems. These children don’t usually respond to punishment the way average children do – the more you punish them the more they act out, so try to rely on various alternative discipline strategies.

Always remember to praise your child and minimize correcting him, in order to combat some of the negative pressure he may be feeling at school. Let your child know he is totally accepted and appreciated at home, and that your ultimate goal is to work with him to help him discover his true potential and work accordingly.

The school environment and teachers in particular are a crucial part of your child’s daily life in terms of providing a proper learning environment. It may be useful for you to develop a system of communication with his teachers to provide details of assignments, upcoming exams and make up for any gaps in class work. Your child’s teachers may need to know that he should be seated in the first row in class near the teacher’s desk, and away from air conditioners, doors and windows, in order to avoid any distraction and maximize his concentration. Finally, a helpful classmate may be able to lend a hand to your child in prompting him to copy down the homework and take home the required assignments.

Believe in your child

Parents need to know that children with ADD can have special talents, even though they may not be good at exams or competent at a number of subjects in school. ADDers are known to have a dose of energy and creativity that others may not possess, and given the right opportunity and environment these children can find ways to succeed. Encourage your ADDer to see the value in himself and help him discover what he is good at even if this entails experiencing many different things at first to find out what he enjoys and develop his strengths.

Once your child becomes aware of his strength, the ADD gene will help him fuel his creativity. Keep in mind that some of the most successful people in the world such as Richard Branson (the rebel self-made billionaire of Virgin), Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Winston Churchill all had the ADD gene!

Special thanks to Dr. Amira Hanna, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist,  for reviewing this article.

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