Insight into ADHD can help deal with itPublished 4:55pm Saturday, February 9, 2013
QUESTION: We’re struggling to understand our grandchild, whom we love dearly; he has ADHD and seems to behave so differently from his other two siblings. Can you give us some insights?
ANSWER: I always appreciate sharing the insights of Kirk Martin, author of Celebrate Calm and a gifted author and psychologist who works with children and teens challenged with ADHD. Here are some observations that I hope will help you better understand your grandson:
Your grandson’s brain runs like a washing machine powered by a Ferrari engine. It runs all the time and it runs fast, churning and tumbling ideas like shirts and pants and socks mixed together. He can be talking to you and having another conversation running inside his head. He can be in class listening to the teacher, but be fully engaged in a daydream about Legos or hearing a new song on his guitar.
You know how he sometimes repeats questions? It’s not that he didn’t hear your answer.
It’s just that in the second between the time he asked and you responded, he went somewhere interesting in his mind.
Sometimes he has so many thoughts swimming inside his head that he just blurt things out because he’s afraid he will forget them.
Your grandson rather likes all this energy inside his head because he can keep himself entertained in there by himself.
But other times he feels scattered and like there’s not much order up in his brain. Everything’s swirling. That’s why he likes things to be just so and why he needs to know what the family is going to be doing all the time. It’s why he ends up wearing or eating the same things. New things freak him out a bit because he doesn’t know what to expect, so please don’t be upset with him when he’s anxious.
He probably wants to do well in school. But sometimes the ideas in his head are too strong or interesting, and when he follows them even for a few seconds, he falls behind.
And once he’s lost in class, sometimes he thinks he may just as well keep thinking about those ideas. It’s like they call him to work on them and see them through.
He is so fortunate to have grandparents who love him and want to understand what it’s like to grow up with his challenges. Keep asking questions and learning about his challenges and most of all, enjoy him.
If you would like to talk with a parenting specialist about the challenges in raising children, call the toll-free Parent WarmLine at 1-888-584-2204/Línea de Apoyo at 877-434-9528. Celebrate Calm resources are available in the Parenting Resource Center library at 105 First St. S.E., Austin. Check out www.familiesandcommunities.org