Tell me if this sounds familiar:
You: Jimmy (substitute your child’s name), why aren’t you ready? I told you we needed to leave in 15 minutes.
Your child: You told me I could finish my game. You never said we were leaving in 15 minutes. I haven’t even showered yet!
You: Why didn’t you do your homework?
Your child: That assignment was stupid! Anyway, the teacher hates me, that’s why they want me to do that stupid homework. None of my teachers like me.
If this sounds familiar, take a deep breath and read on (or better yet, watch the YouTube video where I will go into much more depth).
I have stated many times before that I believe the terms Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are misnomers. These individuals do NOT have problems with paying attention when they are interested in whatever is in front of them. They simply have a hard time paying attention to what the rest of the world would like them to pay attention to. If you have a child with AD(H)D, then you know this to be true. The house could fall down around them while they are playing their favorite video game, and they would be none the wiser. But, if you tell them to go upstairs, get their shoes on and turn off the lights, you are lucky if they return with two matching shoes, much less with the lights off.
So often it can seem as if they are intentionally not listening to us, tuning us out, being disobedient, not trying their best, or just being lazy.
It is my strong belief that most kids with AD(H)D are not intentionally exhibiting bad behavior. I believe their seemingly negative behaviors can be explained by two things:
- Disorientation and Incomplete or Missing Life Concepts.
Have you ever been at a stoplight or stop sign while driving your car and then something unexpected happens? Another car takes off or begins to roll forward right next to you and you suddenly get the feeling that your car is rolling. What do you do? That’s right, you step on the brakes of a car that is not moving! But in that moment you see and feel your car moving. So, you react as if your car (which is indeed sitting still) is moving. This is disorientation.
Disorientation is when we see, hear, feel and therefore think that something is happening that is not actually occurring. It is a misperception.
Individuals with ADD and ADHD disorient frequently. Therefore, they are frequently misperceiving what they are being told or what they are experiencing in any given moment. This means that many of the battles you are having with them are being experienced from separate realties – yours and theirs.
I will discuss this more in the YouTube Live Event.
Incomplete or Missing Life Concepts
As we grow from infants to young adults, it is known that we go through specific developmental stages. What is important to understand is that these stages MUST proceed in sequence. Therefore, one stage must be close to completion before we begin the next stage of development. This sequence in development happens naturally…most of the time. We, as human beings, have experiences (touch the hot pot and it burns, put our fingers near the dog’s mouth and get bit, eat a piece of candy and enjoy it…) that then become part of our identity. For example, we learn that if we touch something on the stove, it hurts and therefore we should not touch those things. This is where we begin to learn life concepts such as cause and effect. We learn how we can cause the effects we are experiencing in our lives. But, what if we are disoriented much of the time? If we have an experience while disoriented, then we don’t learn the true cause of the effect we are experiencing. We misperceive the real cause and effect. Let’s go back to the hot pot scenario. If I am disoriented much of the time, then I likely won’t learn not to touch hot pots. I learn (through my misperception of cause and effect) that I burned myself because someone else left the pot there. Therefore, it is not my fault that I got burned. The fault lies with the person that put the pot on the stove. With this misunderstanding, I will continue to burn myself on hot pots!
If someone does not understand cause and effect, then they will always feel like the victim and nothing will ever be perceived, by them, as their responsibility.
There are many more life concepts that may be incomplete or missing in individuals with ADD or ADHD. Some of these are consequence, time, sequence, order, motivation and responsibility, just to name a few.
The nice thing about the Davis® Program for ADD is that it helps with Disorientation and Life Concepts.
This was just a brief overview. For much more information on this topic, watch the YouTube Live presentation on October 27th at 1 pm PST.
If you can’t make it, no worries, watch the video anytime.
Until next time. Keep it simple. Love ya!