• Brendan Sheerin, M.Ed.

Why AD(H)D Children Deserve Better From Schools and Doctors

Starting at age 5, AD(H)D children that have a core issue of attention are being asked to sit still in a desk and attend for almost 8 hours a day.

Actually, it is much, much worse than that.

Multiply those 8 hours a day by 5 days a week for a total of 40 hours.

Multiply those 40 hours by 35 (average) weeks per school year for a total of 1400 school hours.

Then, it gets worse still!

Multiply those 1400 school hours by 13, the number of formal K-12 years for a child, and you will reach a total of 18,200 hours.

Correct! That’s 18,200 hours your AD(H)D child that cannot sit still for two minutes is expected to attend class work without distraction.

We will save a discussion of the number of homework hours and attention that are expected for another time!

It is often very hard as a result, for the teacher that may have several AD(H)D kids in her classroom, and who often lacks professional development in AD(H)D, to view your child as anything other than disruptive and uncooperative.

Then the label sticks, and moves with your child, and his/her file, from grade to grade.

So what do schools and doctors do to help?

The good news is that in a few enlightened districts, your child will receive the necessary testing and accommodations to help him/her, and will receive the designation of AD(H)D.

The bad news is that such positive outcomes are few and far between.

Instead, schools take advantage of a family’s lack of understanding of the school system and its rules to restrict services as much as is possible.

Moreover, it is a scary reality that a large portion of ADHD diagnoses that doctors make are derived from the observations teachers make in school.

AD(H)D is the only medical diagnosis that does not involve scans or blood tests.

Too often, children are diagnosed based on perceived behavior alone, and then parents are encouraged to have their child take medication right away.

These children are not actually tested or scanned; they and their parents are simply told that they have ADHD, and are often not-so-subtly told what will likely happen to their child should he/she not take medication.

It’s clear that we need a new, holistic approach to the child with AD(H)D.

Presently, there does not appear to be much room in our school classrooms for children who do not fit the ‘normal’ mold of the majority.

The fact that we basically label them often does not really help anything.

As much as we’ve been conditioned to believe marketers that medications can help solve the problem, there are many cases where it makes things worse.

Many of these medications seem to dull the emotions and energy of the children taking them, ultimately making for a less positive and rich life experience.

Medications should not be the first nor the only tool in the doctor’s bag.

A holistic approach will look at other factors such as nutrition, exercise, the child’s temperament, the adult approach to the child, and so on.

The one-size-fits-all medical approach rarely works for long.

At Confident Parenting Coaches, we partner with parents in walking them safely through the medical and educational minefield around testing, accommodations, and medications.

Mines have one purpose only- to prevent you from making progress, and too many parents end up with no idea what direction to tread safely to ensure the welfare of their child.

We know where the mines are, and we help you to avoid them and to get the whole family safely to the other side.

Contact us today-the arc of your family’s life may change with this one call.

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