Reply To: Advocacy Is a Must..But Do You Ever Just Get Tired of It?

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John Rosemond is entirely wrong about ADHD, but his strategies work well even for kids with ADHD.

ADHD is diagnosed based on a failure of executive function. We can’t diagnose it based on the organic condition of the brain, only the symptoms. There ARE kids who become magically “nonADHD” with the right environment and training–in presentation. And yes, these kids didn’t actually have ADHD in the first place. Rosemond has mostly worked with terrifically terrible parents. A lot of kids with terrible parenting will look ADHD at face value. But I learned a long time ago in my work with children that some magically transform with a decent environment (which most teachers are incapable of giving–let’s be honest) and some don’t because they can’t, and you can even watch some struggle and fail.

My kids don’t have behavioral issues anywhere. I can’t make them do anything, but I can sure make them wish they had. No casual adult thinks they are ADHD, even off meds, because they have learned a great deal of self-control.

BUT they need heavy coaching to develop things like time management skills and attention management strategies. If they were in an institutional school, the teacher would have to redirect them back on task at least twice an hour, and I would have to have the teacher manage homework until age 10 or so. It’s just beyond their capacities before then. Without drugs, homework would take absurd amounts of time. And left to their own devices, they complete NOTHING in group situations without meds as grade school kids. Every other kid comes home with some elaborate project–mine walks out with a box of pieces, saying they didn’t have any time!

Figure out what’s within your child’s capabilities and ONLY as for accommodations for things truly well beyond his grasp. The goal isn’t to ensure nominal success but to give a child both a chance to succeed and a chance to fail, if he isn’t working hard enough. If the adults see the child working, they’ll usually come on board pretty fast.

My college kid has accommodations for severe disgraphia but none for his ADHD. The school doesn’t even know about it.