Parenting a child with ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be immensely stressful and challenging. According to Matthew Lynch, “Helping children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to focus in the classroom can be a major challenge.” As the child grows, a lot of challenges will begin to surface. You may notice that they tend to approach things differently, as compared to other children.
Children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD have special needs. They have difficulty in handling their emotions, which is why they can act weird in front of other kids. ADHD is a mental health disorder, which can be treated at an early age. This kind of illness makes the children involved to become insensitive to the needs and feelings of the people surrounding them. At the same time, they may also find it challenging to control their impulses. Most importantly, they will have a hard time paying attention in class. According to Melissa David MSW, LICSW, “Children with ADHD have poor attention spans, impulse control, etc. Having an adult who can redirect them without disrupting the whole classroom makes a huge difference.”
ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children. Kids who have ADHD live a more challenging life. Just because a kid has ADHD doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have a future. Sometimes, it means that they have to overcome a bigger challenge than everyone else’s. Apparently, social skills are one of those!
For most people, an indifferent behavior or reaction is something that creates a distinguishing feature for an individual who has ADHD and those who does not. According to Steven L. Pastyrnak, “We need to be more aware of how the ADHD impacts their ability to listen, follow through on tasks, and control their impulses.” Some signs and symptoms can tell if someone’s brain is not functioning well compared to others. Yes, it may take to run a couple of tests before an expert can make a diagnosis. But all in all, the result of the brain function will still end up different from the usual. Given that case of a person with ADHD, essential things should always have to get considered.
Educating One’s Self Toward The Mental Illness
It is not always that someone with ADHD knows what is happening to him. “As an adult with ADHD, your first and most important job is to learn everything you can about ADHD, especially in adults, and about your own Adult ADHD in particular,” explained ADHD Coach Linda Walker. Sometimes, due to the presence of consistent emotional and mental dysfunction, a person believes what he is having tends to be okay. With that, he finds no interest in checking his behavior or reaction on things that he cannot seem to understand. However, if the condition is something that is affecting all aspect of someone’s life, one needs to educate himself. Lots of information is out there. Some are books, videos, podcasts, documentaries, and articles from trustworthy sites like BetterHelp that you can turn to for excellent information regarding ADHD.
Connect With People Who Also Have ADHD
Medical professionals are indeed vital parts of a mental health journey of someone with ADHD. However, these people can sometimes lose track of someone’s emotional and psychological state. That is because there are cases that most of them rely on medication. What someone with an ADHD needs to do is connect with people who share the same experience as his. He needs to find someone that he will become comfortable with sharing his thoughts and feelings. The person must not think of the engagement as something embarrassing. Instead, he should see it as a necessity for convenient recovery. Through this, it can help normalize what someone and others with ADHD are going through.
Find The Best Support One Can Get
Knowing someone is not alone with the psychological battle helps in healing. That is the reason why finding the right people to surround himself with is the best thing he can do. There is no more excellent feeling than having an individual that will care and love someone without questions and asking something in return. It is indeed not always like that, though. Some people might get fed up and eventually leave because they cannot handle the pressure of dealing with someone with ADHD anymore. But some can be more than willing to stay and offer their all only to make the person with mental condition safe and loved. “People with ADHD have so much to contribute to relationships—enthusiasm, creativity, energy, humor, and more. Don’t keep those amazing traits from others by not giving them the chance to know you better,” stated Amy Morin, LCSW.
These are only samples of the few things a person with or without an ADHD can do. There are so many other things that potentially make a difference in the way people look and accept ADHD. They only need to try looking on things from a different perspective.
As much a parent wants to treat a child with ADHD like any regular son or daughter, the fact that he or she has special needs remains. “ADHD is a challenge, not necessarily an excuse for kids,” says Steven L. Pastyrnak, PhD, of the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Michigan. One of their absolute requirements is to have an outlet for their overflowing energy. After all, preventing a hyperactive kid to move around is similar to telling a baby to make their dinner. Read: impossible.
Even when it’s the child’s safety you’re after, there are still physical activities you can introduce to kids with ADHD.
Sports such as football or soccer allow a child to communicate well with other kids and adults and practice body-and-mind coordination. Since it also involves fast plays, his or her concentration can improve in no time.
Drawing, painting, or sculpting is beneficial for kids with ADHD as they get to express whatever they can’t say through art. It may give them an insight as well on what career they can pursue in the future. “As an art therapist, I will notice the same attention difficulties in how a child approaches an art task,” says Stacey Nelson, LCPC, LCPAT, ATR-BC.
The activity offers the kid an opportunity to walk or run for hours, which can be challenging when you’re living in the city. It can become a bonding experience for the entire family as well.
Being in the debate team trains your child’s mind to stay alert and counter whatever claim the other group drops. They’ll also deal with facts, which can sharpen their memory.
Multitasking is a part of life that a kid with ADHD must understand. Playing instruments or singing can help in that department without causing a disturbance throughout their system.
If the child loves the water and you want him or her to learn discipline, you may opt for swimming. This sport can keep up with their unlimited supply of energy and teach them great focus, respectively.
- Martial Arts
Karate, taekwondo, and other martial arts are perfect for your little one, especially if they are just picking up rules. The bonus is that any of these practices show the kid how to respect both peers and elders. “Martial-arts training teaches self control, it’s very structured, and it allows them to get exercise,” says ADHD specialist David W. Kidder, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in Slidell, La. “Those are all good things for kids with ADHD.”
In case you aim to train your child the best ways to cope with their short attention span alone or with others, tennis is a great option. Aside from enabling him or her to exhaust their energy, it teaches attentiveness too.
The sport can assist kids in overcoming impatience as understanding the best way to bat, catch, and throw the ball may take a while. There are various positions to take note of as well, and they have to move around the diamond field continually.
Tips On Selecting The Most Suitable Activity For Your Child
- Choose One That Builds Up Confidence
Having the disorder can make your little boy or girl self-conscious most of the time. Hence, the hobby or sport that he or she will participate in should also help them find their strengths and excel at it. That can give a fantastic boost to their confidence level.
- Go For Non-Disconcerting Classes
As a parent, you wish your kid learns something from the activity you enroll him or her to, right? In that case, it’s vital to know beforehand if the location or the program has facets that may distract the child. If there is, it may be better to opt for a different class.
- Seek A Schedule
A routine is essential for youngsters with ADHD too. They need to grasp how their day will progress; otherwise, they can’t function well and lag behind their peers.
I get a lot of comments about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. Some say it is a condition someone only builds up to grab attention. Some believe that it is just all in mind and that there is nothing to worry about it. Some think that it is not a complicated situation, and all individuals that have it can do something to cure it whenever they want. But I say it is never like that.
The Shame And Stigma Of ADHD
In the world where everyone doubts you, it becomes impossible not to question yourself as well. According to CARL SHERMAN, PH.D., “People with ADHD tend to have trouble seeing themselves realistically, and the desire to avoid discrimination makes it even harder.” With all the stigma of how people look at the mental condition, everything about it becomes frustrating. It is as if the whole point of ADHD results in an unnoticed amount of shame. It is debilitating. It causes patients an intense amount of negative guilt. With that, people’s perception toward an action of someone with ADHD gets often considered wrong. That no matter how persistent these people try to create a meaningful life, their behavior will ruin everything for them. So with all the debilitating shame coming from people’s unwanted judgment, it becomes someone’s valid reason not to seek help.
How I Look AT It
I also experience the same kind of judgment from those people who cannot seem to open their minds toward understanding what ADHD is. I know it is not people’s obligation to educate themselves on the medical condition. It is never their fault that some people like me have it. Honestly, that particular instance is what makes me feel vulnerable and weak. It is as if like I will never be anything but a failure. With all the negativity of people’s uneducated view of my condition, every inch of getting better becomes way too impossible. It feels like everything in life contributes significantly to my anxiety, stress, depression, and even addiction.
My ADHD is something I would never wish others to have. Honestly, although some may think that I am lucky to handle the condition well, they do not know how much effort I put in only to make things functional. I made a lot of sacrifices. There are times that I pushed my limits because I do not want people to treat me indifferently. The battles I have with my anger and agitation is the worst of it all. That is because even if I do not want to, I am hurting the people around who love me unconditionally. Unfortunately, that sucks. Psychiatrist Edward (Ned) Hallowell M.D. shares, “I invite you to speculate as to what has worked for you, what rules and tools helped you out most, and then see if what worked for me was what worked for you.”
There is nothing someone can instantly do to manage their ADHD. Treatments and medication appear needed in some cases. I cannot also say that the ADHD I have right now is the same as everybody who has it because I know it is not. Every condition is different, as well as their symptoms. But when it comes to getting better, recovery is not just one choice we make. It is a series of life-changing decisions that we create, allowing us to be in control. As what EDWARD HALLOWELL, M.D. quoted, “We need to join the growing movement to celebrate mental diversity, celebrate the full range of what the human mind can do. We need get out from under the dark hood of shame and stigma that have held us back for millennia.”
ADHD is a complicated chronic medical condition. Like any chronic illnesses, it comes with a lot of symptoms that affect a person’s life. In some unfortunate cases, there is a list of impairments that not all people with ADHD can manage. A lot of us know how hard it is for those people with ADHD. We might not understand how the mental condition affects a lot of people, but one thing is for sure – we care. According to Russell Barkley, PhD, “ADHD symptoms arise in a set of mental abilities called the executive functions.”
Most individuals with ADHD have difficulty regulating their attention. It becomes impossible for them to transition from one task to another. And even if these people want to, they cannot. And when the duty is less stimulating, these individuals with ADHD will not be able to focus. But is that enough reason to excuse themselves and blame their condition for the destruction they have in their lives? No, of course not. You see, even though people’s ADHD is not at all their fault, one thing is sure.
It is their responsibility to address it and find ways to work with their emotional and mental function. Yes, the statement may sound a bit straightforward, but that is the truth. Aside from embracing the signs and symptoms of ADHD, people should accept that the medical condition is not something to ignore. With that, those individuals with ADHD should try their best to make things better for themselves. They must look for helpful tools that can manage their anger and frustration. They also need to try loving themselves more and aim for their overall development.
Understanding Both Sides
Since there are lots of people who can’t seem to understand what ADHD is, some of them label the person’s behavior as unmotivated, stupid, flaky, and disorganized. These are something that can torment individuals with ADHD. It becomes an internalization that they can never shake off even right after a diagnosis. Yes, it is painful to hear such words because others are ignorant about the mental condition. But can we blame them? Honestly, it is also not their fault for not knowing the medical condition. Everyone is having doubts about what it might be. But hear it out. The judgment individuals with ADHD may have is not something they should give attention. What matters is the recovery of a better and well-functioning life. Yes, the process of attaining it is way too hard. But people with the condition will never make it if they will not try.
If ever you find yourself judging you, do not worry too much because that is normal. As what EDWARD HALLOWELL, M.D. quoted, “We need to join the growing movement to celebrate mental diversity, celebrate the full range of what the human mind can do. We need get out from under the dark hood of shame and stigma that have held us back for millennia.” The emotions you have are the same as what everybody else feels also. So what if you have ADHD? It does not mean you can never live a good life anymore. Just because you are having problems controlling your impulsive reactions, that does not give people credit to humiliate, despise, and mistreat you. Therefore, you should not also have to feel that way to yourself as well. Some people will still love you just the way you are. “To say that ADHD is sometimes misdiagnosed—even over-diagnosed—is likely true, say many experts. But to say that it doesn’t exist, as some critics claim, is “like saying the world is flat,” says Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist who treats ADHD at The Hallowell Centers in Cambridge, MA, and New York City and who has ADHD himself.
Individuals with ADHD tend to be emotionally and socially impulsive. That is the reason why a lot of people cannot seem to understand their moods most of the times. These mentally unstable individuals get frustrated and angry quickly. With their angry thoughts, things can lead to violent actions at certain levels too. In some unfortunate cases, these people do stuff that ends up costing them their relationship with their friends, family, and sometimes, significant others. All things in their lives get affected, and that includes their social interaction at school and work as well. “About 25% of preadolescent children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have impulsive reactive aggression, a common but so far unnamed comorbidity that deserves attention and therapy,” according to Robert L. Findling, MD.
But in most circumstances, those people with ADHD who allow anger run their lives feel awful afterward. From then, they will start to regret everything they did. “A lot of times people think of aggression as willful intent, but sometimes these kids can’t stop their impulses,” says Dr. Ellen Braaten, an expert in the field of pediatric neuropsychological and psychological assessment. “That impulse isn’t about an intent to harm somebody, but about the inability to stop themselves before they act,” she says. Unfortunately, even though most of them know and understand the consequences of their actions, they continuously do it again. Well, it is not that these people are not capable of making better decisions. But the problem is, these people’s angry emotion is uncontrollable.
The Brains And The Mental Disorder
Well, we can agree that every individual gets upset for some valid and considerable reasons. But what makes them different from those people with ADHD is the capability to control their reactions. There is a part of most ordinary people’s brain called anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) that helps hold back actions and emotions. That is especially when expressing a thought is never a good idea. It allows people to suppress their impulsiveness. However, those brains of the persons with ADHD is twice much faster than those people who do not have the mental condition. In a more unfortunate event, both in children and adult with ADHD, the ACC appears to do nothing. Experts describe this situation as “trouble with response inhibition.”
Since there is too much impulsiveness, persons with ADHD must build up their breaks and allow their ACC to function. Honestly, there is plenty of ways to do that. Here are the following guides.
- Mindfulness – One way for people with ADHD to connect to their ACC is becoming aware of their thoughts. That is alongside with their feelings and body’s reactions toward something that makes them uncomfortable. To succeed in getting the right mindfulness, these people must focus on other things such as breathing. “When you practice things like gratitude or mindfulness, your brain creates shortcuts for these skills, making it easier and easier each time you do it (like riding a bike!),” says Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.
- Meditation – For people with ADHD, meditation is not about clearing the mind from a variety of thoughts and emotions while sitting around in an isolated place. For these people, it is an opportunity to practice not reacting to necessary thoughts and feelings that currently exist. When these people manage not to act impulsively, then there is a chance that the ACC gets activated.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – The therapy is useful for people with ADHD because it focuses on the cognitive process. It helps in understanding and controlling thoughts and emotions in a present moment. The main idea is to create a space between a particular scenario and the supposed reaction. CBT is best for impulse-control and emotional self-regulation.
- Talk Therapy – This form of counseling can take place virtually or traditionally. You can call or text BetterHelp specialists or video chat with them through social media.
People will have a problem understanding aggression in ADHD. That is why they should also consider educating themselves for the benefit of those who have the mental condition.
It has been emphasized many times over by therapists and general practitioners alike that the two hemispheres of the brain cannot function well at the same time. The left side can be more developed to make the person’s analytical and mathematical skills defined, while the right side’s advancement generates the creativity of an individual. Their performances are not supposed to be parallel.
This scientific belief can easily be disproved by Leroi Callwell Johnson, a local attorney who has been serving in the Buffalo, New York for more than 27 years now. His accomplishments, however, do not end and begin in being a man of law. Apart from this profession, he has been the manager of his older brother Rick James, a rock legend, as well as various entertainers in the 70s such as Val Young and The Mary Janes. His most recent travails have landed him in a respectable position in the art scene.
How Did Leroi Johnson Become A Painter?
Leroi’s deep passion for the arts has begun around the time that he was hospitalized for three years since the tender age of 10 due to a car accident. During that period of his life, he was not allowed to get up from the bed and take short walks in the hospital. Hence, the only things he has seen continuously are the ceiling and walls of the room.
One day, the kind man next to his post there has gifted him with a sketch pad and some crayons to help him while away the hours. Because of his limited viewing space, the artist has learned to utilize his imagination and draw from his perspective. Besides, the position he has taken on the bed has had a significant impact on him. Up to this moment, the paintings made by Leroi are done vertically.
The art has continued to be a part of his life even after getting discharged from the medical institution. His job as Rick James’ manager has given him the prospect of visiting all the large art museums and exhibitions in every state of the United States at that age. Such an experience has inspired him to create masterpieces with acrylics on canvas.
Another factor that has propelled Leroi towards the craft is his intense enthusiasm for African art. He has been an avid collector for 30 years already. His love for African culture is evident in a lot of his paintings.
Has He Ever Been Discouraged From Painting?
The short response is yes, but the story behind it is quite impressive. Perhaps before the years when Leroi was still supervising the career, finances, and company of his late brother, he has presented some of his older artworks to Rick James who then jokingly commented that he did not like the lawyer’s paintings. Leroi, on the other hand, took this seriously to the heart and stopped working on canvases for a whole decade. The hiatus has only ended when a curator of one of the museums he has gone to has taken notice of his other paintings. That and Rick’s clarification that he has indeed liked Leroi’s art pieces have given him the courage to pick up the brush and start making masterworks once more.
What Is/Are His Notable Painting Style(s)?
Because he has not attended courses or received formal training at any point, his genius is not restricted by the terminologies often used in the art world. In the beginning, the paintings seem to have a tinge of geometric abstraction – a form of art that the great master Picasso is famous for. Several years later, this has transformed into the depiction of his ideals and personal anecdotes.
Leroi now says that his paintings are “electric primitive” due to the way he draws and colors his subjects. It is primitive in the sense that the lines and figures are a bit similar to how the medieval folks have illustrated their traditions and practices on stone caves. The exciting part comes from the fact that, unlike the ancient people, he adds colors to his works.
The images he forms have an animated feel, and the shades are often vivid. You will not find a painting of his that has a single concentration. Every one of them consists of a conglomeration of figures and objects. Though they may seem simple at first, the truth is that the thoughts hidden underneath each picture are too profound and beautiful.
What Are His Usual Subjects?
As an African American himself, Leroi Johnson’s paintings are Afrocentric. It entails that a good number of his masterpieces have been mainly focused on the African people and culture. Other than that, the time he has spent in Brazil and his involvement in Catholicism have motivated him to paint a few canvases regarding those matters.
Who Are His Inspirations?
Leroi has mentioned in every interview that his work is not influenced by any famous artist in history. Despite that, he still has much respect for people like Pablo Picasso, Abdias do Nascimiento, Marc Chagall, and Salvador Dali.
What Are Some Of Leroi’s Achievements In The Field Of Art?
Being able to present his artworks in different countries like Canada, France, and Italy is already a significant achievement that has never come to his imagination. Still, because of the brilliance that is innate in this man, there is no doubt that Leroi is going to be peppered with praises and awards in the coming years. It has recently started, for he has obtained recognition as one of the ArtTour International Magazine’s Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art in 2015.
Leroi has been given leadership positions in various art organizations as well. He is a former member of the board at the Erie County Cultural Advisory Committee and serves at the moment as a trustee for the Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Buffalo Society of Artists.
Leroi Johnson is the best exemplification of an “exemption to the rule.” He has no qualms about going back and forth to the legal and art worlds. He can excellently fulfill his duties as a local Buffalo lawyer and a budding international artist without stumbling. May we see more people like Leroi in the future.