Rebellion and ADD

Posted: February 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am rebellious.

It’s true. I wake up to my alarm and I may lay in bed for twenty minutes wide awake, sports-car-engine mind raring to go before I get out of bed. But I’m not going to get up, not until the very last second. I don’t care if my brain is wide awake or not. <- not good.

Why? Because that friggin alarm demands that I wake up. I don’t like it when someone demands me to do anything.  <- still not good.

But who am I rebelling against? And why do I act this way?

Perhaps the truth comes from a deeper place. An idea that having ADD prevented me from being able to complete tasks in a timely manner. Not being able to complete tasks is frustrating enough, but having someone breathing down the back of your neck persistently reminding you that you’re a “bad student” or that you’re “lazy” makes doing anything difficult. Why do something if the outcome is negative, even for the attempt?

It breaks my heart to see kids with ADD dealing with these same problems. They get told what to do, but not how to do it.

It’s like this: imagine someone demanding that you finish a worksheet. On this worksheet is 100 questions in a subject matter you have seen before, but you’ve never been able to understand. Nobody says “Here, I’ll help you.” Rather, everyone keeps pointing out that it must be done. You decide to ask for help from a teacher or another student, but they look at you in frustrated wonder and say, “we’ve gone over this five times already!” They may sigh and help, but their annoyance with you is obvious. So eventually, you quit asking. Instead, you just don’t do it. The only people who will realize that you’re not getting your work done are your parents and the teacher. Even then the teacher may not figure it out until too late. In the meantime, you’ve convinced everyone of success when you really aren’t, so you just go with the flow. Before long, positive reinforcement has come in the form of avoidance and defiance, but not a soul knows.

Fast forward about 10 years.

That little kid with avoidance and defiance issues doesn’t just “grow up and get over it”. Instead, they are dealing with it on a now more personal level. ADD and ADHD cannot be “grown out of”. It doesn’t just affect children, it affects adults in workplaces and homes and becomes a much more serious problem as the disaster trickles down into income and home life.

As an adult I’m having to learn to “grow up” some. I have to seek help to find it. I have realized that those that don’t understand can’t understand. Until they experience the brain-dead feeling of incapability they will never know what it’s like to have ADD.

Perhaps where I’m going with this is how to deal with students and children that have it.

I don’t have an answer for that.

But I can say this. It isn’t because they are bad students or that they’re lazy. Rather, they need one-on-one help from someone with patience. Eventually they will catch on, and if made fun, they may even develop the habits needed to become fully capable adults. Punishment isn’t always the answer, perhaps developing skills in a positive, light-hearted way can help teach them the necessary skills to move on in life.


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