A Dose Of Trouble

As soon as Taylor stepped through the door, she could sense chaos.  She has babysat four year old Matt before and was not exactly eager to do it again.  After she took her shoes off, Matt ran up and tackled her into a hug.  Taylor took two steps back and sighed, it was gonna be a long day.  Ten minutes later, Matt was sitting next to her on the couch watching Despicable Me.  It was not long until he was off the couch and driving his matchbox cars all over the walls. “Matt, how about you come watch the movie with me,” Taylor asked.  “No,” Matt screamed, chucking his cars to the ground.  He ran to the other side of the room and knocked down the boxes of toys that were lined up along the wall.  Taylor bolted off the couch and grabbed Matt.  He started yelling at the top of his lungs and hitting her in the stomach.  Defeated, Taylor put the obnoxious child on the ground and walked away.   Most kids who behave like Matt have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or more commonly known as ADHD.  Students that have the disorder are greatly challenged in life, at school and at home.  Children with ADHD need more help to be successful in both areas, but rarely receive it.

Many parents with misbehaving children will automatically classify them with ADHD.  Most of them do not have anything to worry about, it is normal for kids to get into trouble at a young age, but others actually have children with the disorder.  To find out if their child has ADHD, their child must get a physical examination and answer questions about their past health and behavior (“What Is”).   To be able to get the examination for the disorder, the child has to be unfocused in two or more areas in his life, in most cases it is at school and at home.  This means the child gets distracted at both places and nothing can hold their attention.  “Between 3% and 5% of U.S. students (1.35 million to 2.225 million children) have been diagnosed as have [sic] ADHD” (Baldwin).  To this day, the amount of children with ADHD continues to skyrocket.  The disorder is normally found in boys, but it is still unclear why that is.  Researchers have also found a correlation between mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy and kids with ADHD.  They also say that the disorder may be inherited from generation to generation, so it is possible if a parent has ADHD, their child will be born with it. (“What Causes”).  The above potential causes for ADHD should be considered before assuming a misbehaving child has the disorder.

Children with ADHD have problems sitting still, constantly have to be in motion, act without thinking, and miss little details on worksheets.  At school, these problems shine brighter than they do at home.  Students are expected to sit in their seats and pay attention as their teacher explains a new topic to them.  They get distracted by the things going on around them and do not focus on the lesson.  In the end, they do not understand what they are supposed to be working on.  Many teachers do not know how to teach a child with the disorder and they may forget about their struggling student as they teach.  Teachers may not offer to help the student one on one because it could be too time consuming and be distracting to the whole class (Webb and Myrick).  Sometimes, teachers will send their students with ADHD to the school counselor who will work alone with the child until he or she understands the concepts being taught in class.  The counselor will get them involved with what he is learning and figure out which way of teaching works best for him.  With this kind of attention from the counselor, students start to become more focused in class.

Many of the same problems kids encounter at school will occur at home.  Home life is hectic for both the child and parents.  The house is normally chaotic with toys thrown around the floor and papers all over.  Parents are emotionally and physically drained after chasing their child around the house, trying to keep them out of trouble (Wallis et al.).  The child basically runs the house, throwing fits when he does not get his way.  The parents do not want to fight, so they might let their child do whatever he wants.  Many times, to help the child as well as the parents, it is good to set up a daily routine.  Having a routine will help the child stay organized and put the parents back in control.  A way to teach a child good behavior is using goals and rewards (“What Is”).  Slowly, he will understand the difference between good and bad behavior.  Both ways bring the child closer to calming his ADHD symptoms.                  

There is no exact cure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  It is a disorder that can not go away, the symptoms can only be calmed.  Medication is the most common way to treat ADHD.  Many children are on medication such as Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Cylert (“Your Child”).  They can take these in the form of pills or liquids. “Medication changes the brain chemistry, it does not correct inadequate learning,” (Wender). Another way to help calm kids with the disorder is group counseling.  In group counseling, a group of ADHD kids come together and the counselor helps them make friends and understand what they are diagnosed with.  Counseling takes longer to receive results, but doing it gives children new friends and an understanding to what they have and how to fix it. (Webb and Myrick).  Sometimes the results are life changing.  

Children with ADHD need constant encouragement from their parents and teachers.  With a strong support system, their future will hold a successful path.  Even though many toddlers act like destructive menaces, deep down they are just like everyone else trying to get somewhere in the world.  Like Matt, they all have dreams to be something bigger and better.  Taylor sat back on the couch and watched Matt run around in front of the TV pretending to be an airplane.  She knew that he was different, that he had something that made him act like this.  It was not long until Matt sat next to her again on the couch to watch the movie, only to get back up and start the charade all over again.

*I gave credit to my sources, but did not put all of the info on.





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