How many times do you (the parent, teacher, friend, co- worker) say, ‘you are just not trying hard enough, you did it before. If you just pay attention you can do it, slow down and look at what you are doing….’
In response to this, do you know that your ADHD child/friend/spouse/self…. Would love to yell….. “NO! YOU just don’t get it!! I am trying! I’m trying even harder than yesterday it just isn’t coming together for me right now. Do you have any idea how frustrating this is for ME?’
When a person with ADHD is in a classroom with lots of things going on, it is not they are not paying attention or focusing on the lesson; it is that they cannot filter out all of the ‘extra’ things going on around them. Their attention is divided between too many things and their brains lack the executive functioning skills to be able to direct their attention to just what the teacher is saying. They hear the clock ticking, the kid behind them sharpening a pencil, another kid coughing, yet another kid blowing his nose. They are also thinking about the special cookie they have in their lunch and the math test they have at the end of the day. So as they try to figure out what the teacher just asked of them, it is extremely difficult for them to sift through all of the stimuli that are flying at them from every direction and actually follow the teacher’s direction in timely (if at all) fashion.
The thing that is often most difficult for non ADHD parents, teachers, etc. to understand is that this is not about the person with ADHD needing to try harder at school, it’s about ‘accommodating the environment and the lesson’ and speaking to the type of wiring of the intended listener.
And yes….. I AM trying hard enough (actually, often harder than most of my peers)…… This is a problem with the way my brain is wired not what I intentionally choose to do with it! What I need most is understanding that I am trying the best that I can with the way I am wired and need support in place so that I can live as a hunter in this world of farmers.
It’s not that your child is not concentrating, it is that he/she is concentrating on many things coming in various ways.
It’s about teaching the hunter to live in the farmer’s world.
Do you ever hear a teacher suggesting that a blind person needs to look harder in order to see? I know, this sounds ridiculous! So why is it that almost every elementary age client I have, has at least one (but usually several) report cards that suggest they need to pay more attention in class??
No kid really enjoys sitting in class and having no idea what the teacher just said because they ‘zoned out for a second.’ We need to remember that NOBODY wants to fail or feel dumb. Why are these kids constantly being ridiculed for the way their brains are wired?
If we remember to work to each child’s strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses… they can and will be more successful and equally as important… they will believe that they can succeed with ADHD.
Looking for more help for your child with ADHD …. Check back for my next blog post or get in touch with my for more personalized help.
Until next time… Succeed with ADHD