What's Right About ADHD Tips

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The Gift of Ideas

ADD and ADHD children seem to be born with ideas - all kinds. Rarely do they meet an idea that they do not like. Support your child's interest in ideas. Ideas are the birthplace for all kings of essential things: buildings, houses, products, technologies, and services. Enroll your child in camps that cater to his or her preferences, if available.

Be proud of your "thinker," and comment in a positive way to him or her often. Compliment his or her amazing ideas. Support his or her dreams and plans.

Martin, K. & A. (2005). Celebrate! ADHD. Washington, D.C. Cantwell-Hamilton Press

The Gift of the Dreamer

Historically, "dreamers" were called "visionaries." In our own time, it seems that dreaming is not given its rightful place in the pantheon of creativity.

Dreamers, or the visionary types, are typically chided for "wasting time." Nothing could be further from the truth. Whose dreams will create charities that serve countless numbers? Who will invent the next essential product that will make daily life a lot easier? Who will tinker with transportation and give us an environmentally friendly mode of transportation? It could be anyone, including children with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Encourage your child to pursue his or her interests even if they do not seem practical to you.


The Gift of Humor

Where would we be without our beloved cut-ups and class clowns? Oh, sure when we are on the receiving end of a particularly clever and honest assessment presented to us in a humorous way, we do not always appreciate the quicksilver mind that produced the quip instantly and effortlessly. Being able to find what's funny in mundane or boring circumstances is a special talent of ADDers. They are masters at turning their personal stories into side-splitting funny monologues.

Despite the fact that many of these children are on the receiving end of hurtful remarks or critical comments or dealing with expectations that they either cannot fulfill or haven't mastered a particular skill yet, it is a marvelous trait to be able to use humor as a way to make life a little less intense. Connect with your child through play and humor.


The Gift of a Bright Mind

Attention Deficit Disorder has its disadvantages, but it also brings great gifts to the table, and one of those gifts is a very bright mind. ADD, with or without learning disabilities, cannot stop great minds from creating.

Bright minds can create magnificent artwork, music, fashion, or poetry. Just ask Tommy Hilfiger, Tony Bennett, or musician Jewel. Follow the lead of William "Bill" Packard, Richard Rogers, architect, or Bill Wilson, a fire investigator credited with solving the unsolvable in car crashes. Bright minds write beautiful stories: Fanny Flagg, Stephen J. Cannell, and Pulitzer Prize winner, Gareth Cook. And bright minds entertain us: Suzanne Sommers, Henry Winkler, Vince Vaughn, Jay Leno, and British Chef, Jamie Oliver.

The treasure is there. Sometimes it takes time to mine for it, but it is worth it to do so. Notice daily the gifts your child shows to you and the world.

So what's right about these children? (A lot!)

Ten Reasons to Celebrate Exceptional Children:

Parents, teachers, and others who interact with ADD or ADHD children often wonder about their future. Will their scattered tendencies create difficulty when they get jobs? Will they pay their bills on time? How will they be able to keep track of all of the information that drives busy lives? And what about their tendency to speak out spontaneously without pausing to think about the appropriateness of the comment? Listed here are 10 traits that celebrate what is right about these highly creative, intelligent, and intuitive children.

1. As the owners of differently wired brains, these children are imaginative, creative, loving, visual, artistic and often gifted in music or creating exciting, imaginative stories. They bring excitement into the world.

2. The traits that many consider to be negative are actually positive when you consider that these children are born entrepreneurs and explorers.

3. These children are born world changers. Their passion for their vision drives them to be idealistic and they tend to pursue their interests in a single-minded way.

4. These children are natural risk-takers and ideally suited to those ventures that call for self-directed dedication.

5. These children thrive in situations where they are free to create structure that will support intuitive approaches.

6. These children are born leaders. They thrive when they are encouraged to use their gifts of charisma freely.

7. These children tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves and they seek relationship, a sense of connection with those whom they love, a sense of belonging, and a purpose.

8. These children personify persistence and their future success will be based on their ability to pursue their goals in a diligent and persistent manner.

9. When allowed to develop their innate gifts, these children heal from the inside out. Their natural creativity and gift of visualization restores their sense of purpose and joy. Their confidence soars.

10. They enrich the community with their vibrancy, compassion for those who are misunderstood and under-appreciated and their sharp intellect.


The Gift of the Sensitive Child

This child brings the idea of how to work with exquisitely fine-tuned feelings to the table and he or she elevates it to an art form. The heart-on-the-sleeves type have much to teach us in a time when the culture has grown coarser and more vulgar.

These sensitive children can detect the most subtle shifts in the environment. Food and drink preferences may emerge at an early age and persist throughout life. Sounds, noises, and crying can disturb them profoundly. Clothing labels must be removed because of skin sensitivities. These children's sense of smell is heightened and they often report "odors" not especially noticeable to you. Grief, sadness, hurt feelings and the like do not escape their notice.

If you are dealing with a sensitive child, be responsive to the changes they need in the environment. What may seem like a normal noise level to you is a brass band to them. Talk with your child about how they are experiencing the world. It may open your eyes to a whole new way of seeing the world.


The Gift of the Challenging Child

Believe it or not, the day may come when your "challenging child's" behavior pays off. Never the type to accept rules or limits easily, always questioning motives and wanting to know "why" things have to be a certain way, what they are actually seeking is a new, better, or different way to do something.

When this gift is used to its highest potential, breakthroughs can happen in technology, science, the arts, medicine or law. The strategy is for adults not to personalize the behavior but rather figure out what the child's goal is (other than to have his own way.) Pioneers may have had some degree of this trait. It takes a strong will to persevere against the odds. This is a perfectly good tool when your child blends it with restraint and clarity.


The Gift of the Talker & Doer

"Talk, talk, talk. My child never seems to stop talking, except maybe when she is asleep, and I'm not sure she stops then!"

The talker and/or the doer is passionate about life. They seem to have an endless list of questions and boundless energy to pursue them with a white hot intensity.

Believe it or not, we actually enjoy and pay for people to talk to us. We call them Talk Show Hosts and Entertainers. They are well paid, and they tend to endear themselves to us. So talking does have its upside. Likewise, we pay to watch "doers" do their thing. These busy types make life fun, interesting, and dynamic. Doers don't wait for life to happen. They make things happen. They live so fully, authentically, and passionately that they will probably have few regrets when it comes time to tally up the activity scorecard.

Teach your child how to harness these wonderful gifts. It may take a while to get these dynamos to slow down, so be prepared to teach this skill over and over again. Repetition is a large part of your relationship with your child, so make it work for both of you!


The Gift of Tenacity

Many parents lament the fact that their child is "stubborn as a mule." Stubborn is another way of saying that your child is determined and will stay the course. This skill is especially useful in college, trade school, and when well used and purposeful, life in general. A physician that will not give up on a baffling medical case, or a defense attorney doggedly looking for exculpatory evidence, or a parent determined to make life better for his or her child - these are purposeful goals.

Teach your child how to work with this trait. Teach him or her how to use this gift wisely. Power struggles are not a wise use of this gift, persisting until a project is completed well, is. Persisting and enduring in the years it takes to acquire education and skills are the ultimate showcase for the gift of tenacity.


The Gift of Unconditional Love

Some parents seem to have children that appear to be too good to be true. They get top grades, they tend to excel at whatever activity they are drawn to. They rarely get into trouble. In other words, they seem to be practically perfect in every way. Of course this is not true, but it can feel that way sometimes.

The parents of the "practically perfect" children may never get to experience the daily trials of unconditional love because they are not tested. When children with challenging behaviors test you to the limit, it conveys among other things, the idea that they believe that they can trust your love, and that your love is reliable.

Children grow up. When they are small they step on our toes. In the case of Attention Deficit children they may accidentally step on your toes when they are grown. This child shows you daily exactly how strong and resolute you are in steadily parenting them as they go. This child has remarkable gifts of spirit. Express your appreciation for all they do well, and get right, and tell them every day how much you love them.

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Patricia Walters-Fischer