When it comes to your child school, have you asked about peer support for students with ADHD? Have you ever thought about what brings children together? What common denominators strike the chord that promotes that bond? Well, I think there are a few areas:
How about similar chronic issues that impact their day? No, we don’t think like that. We think of the positive areas of childhood that link our kids and their days. But many who have issues that demand that they deal with them are often seeking friendship and acceptance.
Kids with ADHD are so often struggling with executive functioning issues like organization, working memory, processing, transitions, and procrastination. All can be managed with 504’s or IEP’s. They also have difficulty making friends for a variety of reasons including their impulsivity, hyperactivity, and slow processing speed-impacting conversation. Because they are just plain different and kids many times do not accept those differences, they are left unaccepted.
In comes Jeff Rasmussen, the owner and developer of a website called ADHD Kids Rock, an online community of ADHD information and blogs geared to provide peer support for students with ADHD and all kids in general. He says that kids with ADHD need to know that they are not alone. They sometimes do feel alone and not included because they appear different. They begin to feel that they are broken and dumb. I hear that all the time. They need to know they are not alone…but also need to better understand themselves and build a healthy self-esteem. After all, if they believe that they are stupid and inadequate, they will encourage others to believe the same. I guess that is called a self-fulfilling prophecy. But the fact is, they are gifted and wired a little differently. School is never an environment that shows their true talents and passion. But so important is the ability to feel accepted among their peers as they travel the difficult journey of school.
I love what Jeff said: “You can’t punish the ADHD out of us.” Because behavior issues are linked to control, many believe that if the child tried harder he could control his negative behaviors. But what has been left out is the fact that ADHD is a medical disorder that must be managed.
Please consider visiting Jeff’s Kickstarter page and donating to this very valuable project. He is truly a hero and making the difference to our ADHD community!