|
 

ADHD: Meeting the Challenge

by Mary Fowler

There is no question that AD/HD creates plenty of opportunity to overcome adversity. Why are some children and families better able to meet the challenges AD/HD presents? The answer can be glimpsed in the research that's been done on resilience.

Resilience does not mean avoiding adversity or sailing off into the sunset. To be resilient is to adapt despite challenges and threatening circumstances.

AD/HD places children and youth at risk for a number of life problems. Research shows that certain protective factors help at-risk children and youth to minimize the possibility of negative affects. Among these helpful protective factors are:

  • ordinary parents,
  • connection to competent and caring adults,
  • self-efficacy (the power or ability to produce a desired outcome),
  • intellectual ability,
  • pleasing personality,
  • talents valued by society, and
  • being able to control one's self-one's attention, emotion, arousal, and behavior. (Masten, 1999)
  • When researchers Weiss and Hechtman (1993) did follow-up studies on adults with AD/HD who managed to successfully meet their challenges, the adults overwhelmingly identified one main reason for their success: Someone believed in them.

    Most often that someone was a parent. Still, other caring adults such as coaches, teachers, and spouses, also filled them with hope and a belief in self.

    To help your son or daughter develop a sense of well-being, think about the above list of protective factors. Which ones can you help your child develop?

    Remember, AD/HD is not a matter of can't or won't. It's a matter of can and will-with the right recognition and help.

    Where Can I Find Support?

    For parents, teachers, and children challenged by this disorder, AD/HD can be a truly unique experience. While some days the struggles seem insurmountable, it's important to realize that when AD/HD is properly managed children with AD/HD can turn some of their liabilities into assets, and they can minimize the others.

    Meanwhile, there is help and hope available. Parent support groups exist in every state. Some, like CHADD and ADDA, are AD/HD-specific. Others like the Learning Disabilities Association and Parent's Anonymous may also be useful, depending on your individual circumstances. Visit the Web sites of these groups (see "Resources"), where you'll find information on activities and contact numbers of similar groups in your area.

    10 Ways to Teach Your Children Well

    10. Help your child identify his or her areas of strength.
    9. Help him or her to identify areas of weakness and ways to work around them.
    8. Teach self-advocacy skills.
    7. Be your child's strongest advocate.
    6. Create opportunities for success-no matter how large or small, like special chores.
    5. Play or do activities with him or her.
    4. Encourage your child's special interests.
    3. Enroll him or her in extra-curricular activities.
    2. Help your child find a niche.
    1. Be your child's biggest fan.

    Reprinted from National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) Briefing Paper, Revised Edition, April 2002. Contact NICHCY at P.O. Box 1492, Washington, DC 20013-1492; phone: 800/695-0285 or 202/884-8200 (Voice/TT); email: nichcy@aed.org.

    Highlights

    Teaching Racism & Discrimination in America
    The issues of racism, prejudice, and discrimination have plagued the United States since it was founded, and racially motivated killings still occur with frequency today. Help your students understand the historical contexts of racism—with references on slavery, immigration, and the civil rights movement—to frame your conversation on modern instances of prejudice.

    Poptropica Teaching Guides
    Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

    Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
    Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com (and now in print!), will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.

    July Calendar of Events
    July is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Canada Day (7/1), Independence Day (7/4/1776), World Population Day (7/11), Bastille Day in France (7/14), National Ice Cream Day (7/19), First Moon Landing (7/20/1969), World War I Began (7/28/1914), Author J.K. Rowling's Birthday (7/31/1965). Plus, celebrate Read an Almanac Month and Recreation and Parks Month all July long!

    Videos
    Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: Independence Day, slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, and the environment. Enjoy!


    Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

    Sign up for a free trial and get access
    to our huge library of teaching materials!

    Start Trial