Wendy MartinProf. Eileen RothPsychology 11Child PsychologyAttention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that is usually first evident in childhood and can affect the individual into adulthood. At one time it was thought to be only a behavior problem, latert was redefined in the 50s as “minimal brain dysfunction,” before it finally metamorphosed into today’s ADD and ADHD. ADD is a neurobehavioral disorder and is characterized in the DSM IV as inattention, hyperactivity, and impassivity that is prese before the age of seven and which causes impairment with social, academic or occupational functioning.
The problems that children with ADD/HD go through affect many aspects of a child’s life. The usual developmental tasks can become extremely diffilt for these children, and especially frustrating for the parents. The main areas that are affected in the lives of attention different children are those of self-esteem, social relationships, their academic skills, and most importantly their family rationships namely those between the parent and ADD/HD child. If a child is able to be diagnosed early in life, the parent is at an advantage over one who has no idea that their child has this disorder. Parent training can be one of the most importt and effective interventions for a child with ADD.
In the aforementioned difficult areas where ADD can cause the most problems to be prepared as a parent for the situations that their children and they themselves as parents face can be lessened and caeven be turned into productive learning tools. CompuServe, on the World Wide Web has a forum that is specifically dedicated to Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is one of the best resources for individuals with ADD/HD, children, parents and therapists. Onerticle, was written by Pamela Darr Wright, a licensed social worker specializing in child development in children with learning and attention disorders. In her article she explained each stage of child development and how kids with ADD experience thesetages with much greater difficulty and cause a lot of strain on the parent/caregiver-child relationship. She began with the infant stage of development where some of the most critical developmental tasks occur.
These are the tasks of calming themselve how to use the senses to learn about the world, and develop trust with the parent/caregiver. Infants that may later be diagnosed with ADD/HD are often labeled as “colicky,” “hyper-excitable,” “irritable,” or “unsoothable. ” They are very active, easi distracted, and over-reactive to stimuli. The parents of these infants often respond to a ‘difficult’ baby with confusion and alarm.
The interaction between nurturing parent(s) and child is critical. When parents cannot ‘cope’ with their baby, they ually assume it is their own fault as failing parents which begins a relationship laden with guilt that can continue on through the entire relationship with their child. The second psychosocial developmental stage which occurs in the Toddler years, is that of separation. The period wherein the child develops the ability to hold a mental image of the parent in his mind. As the child accomplishes the task of separating, strong sense of autonomy and confidence develops. It is during this stage also where the toddler develops ideas and concepts and is learning to accept limits and to tolerate frustration and to recover from disappointments.
Wright explains that theseevelopmental tasks can present significant problems for toddlers with ADD/HD. Typically, these youngsters have difficulty tolerating frustration and may be emotionally over-reactive. Parents describe them as “all-or-nothing” children who have difficul calming themselves. They tend to fall apart easily, dissolving into tears of frustration when needs and wants are not met immediately.
One of they most important things that a parent can do for their ADD/HD child is to be consistent. When children he predictable consequences to their behavior it helps them to learn more quickly. For example, a child with ADD who wants a toy while shopping with his mother may immediately begin to throw a tantrum when she refuses to comply to her toddler’s wishes. n order to discourage further behavior there are many behavioral methods which one can use to form a discipline strategy. Most parenting classes talk about how to discipline your child.