Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) amongst others are all symptomatically diagnosed disorders. The DSM-5 is the reference manual used by all professionals when diagnosing these disorders. In the training of these professionals the focus is on assessing, diagnosing and/or medicating the child. The parent-child relationship is virtually ignored. Research has shown that when parents are given the structures and ‘tools’ whereby they can manage these children, significant improvements have been noted. The Smartchoiceparenting programme (SCPP) concurs with these studies and parents who have implemented the structures and tools provided by the programme, significant changes in the child’s behaviour and school performance has been reported.
All children are born with a passion and from the moment that they start crawling they have a natural tendency and willingness to explore their world. So, what goes wrong? The majority of ADHD children that I have worked with enjoy their electronic devices –from TV to iPads. They are over-exposed to these devices from an early age and as a result their natural passion is eroded and they say that they are bored when not watching TV. These are early warning signs of ADHD.
ADHD children tend to only focus on what they enjoy doing. That is why they are able to concentrate on difficult electronic games yet are unable to focus on their schoolwork. This is because they’re not interested in learning. To make matters worse they don’t have to pay attention in class as they know that there will always be help on hand when they get home. Learning and reading is a choice! So, why are more and more children choosing not to learn or read?
From many years’ experience in working with parents with children who have some or other behaviour and concentration disorder, I have observed that all of these children are very dependent on an adult – usually the mother – being available and helping them whenever they have difficulty. I have also noticed and this has been confirmed by my study that all of these children have low self-esteem. The outcome is that they give up on a task, lack perseverance, avoid challenges and are afraid to try or risk. More and more children are being prescribed and medicated with anti-psychotic medication and anti-depressants. How can parents be expected to calmly accept these medications without being given inkling as to how the child should be parented?
How can the adult-child relationship be ignored? Yet it is. Not only is this relationship ignored with ADHD children but with all children diagnosed with a variety of disorders. The SmartChoiceParenting approach has proven very effective when dealing with children with conditions such as ADHD.