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Calm Down, Dear: ADHD or Not?

by Lori Sciame | November 19th, 2014 | Behavior, Elementary

child in classroom (400x400)An elementary school teacher recently related that many of his students seem to be hyped up.  They jump up from their seats at the wrong times, they blurt out the answer before the question is completed, and they have trouble waiting their turn.  What’s going on?  Is there something seriously wrong with these children, or do they just need guidance from their parents?

Sources state that Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is on the rise in the United States.  For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “the percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011.”

Children diagnosed with ADHD do exhibit signs of impulsivity, and they may also have trouble paying attention in school.

Maybe it’s nature, but maybe it’s nurture as well.  Other sources assert that many parents lack the skills needed to raise a child.  In the article, “Lack of Parenting Skills,” author Kathy Gleason asserts, “lack of parenting skills can have long-term effects on children and on society. Poor parenting can happen for different reasons and will manifest in a variety of ways.”

Of course one of the ways poor parenting of an elementary aged child presents itself is the child’s lack of respect for authority.  She simply doesn’t know any better!  After all, mom and dad have never taught her the benefits of self-control.

Being a parent of three children myself, I can relate to this subject.  Two of my children were relatively easy to teach respect for authority, while the youngest proved more difficult.  I remember being exasperated with my five year-old, as she resisted sitting still for any type of event, including school activities.  I also remember wondering if she had inherited her uncle’s need for “calm down pills.” (That’s what my mom called his ADHD medicine!)

I was being a good parent, though. I had had success with her older brother and sister in regards to behavioral issues, hadn’t I?

Having a spirited child can be quite difficult. One wonders if he needs more discipline or if  he needs to see a doctor.  After living through this dilemma with my own child, my best advice is this:  take advantage of your community’s resources.  Your child’s teacher, the guidance counselor, the principal, and your family physician can all work together to help you to develop the best plan of action.  That’s what I did, and my daughter is now college bound – with several scholarships guaranteed!

Getting back to the teacher’s quandary.  I suspect that there are many reasons why his students are hyped up.  Maybe they need more exercise, maybe they need better parenting, or maybe they need a simple diagnosis for ADHD.  In any case, he needs to address the issue with the parents!

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