October is international ADHD awareness month! Many children and adults across the world and here in the United States suffer greatly from this neurological disorder and find it difficult to get ahead in school, work, and social life. What is ADHD you may ask? ADHD is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s attention and self-control. People with this condition experience symptom of inattention, hyperactivity (fidgety), and impulsivity. An estimated 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD. The condition, if left untreated, can cause many hardships for these individuals, especially for children in the classroom where they can suffer from low grades and friendship fallouts. These symptoms can lead to adulthood and cause major problems at work, relationships with friends, relatives, and their significant other. As someone who was diagnosed with this condition at an early age, I have a soft spot in my heart for these individuals. I can understand the challenges and struggles faced with this condition however, we are not alone in our endeavor, and there are many amazing doctors and psychological experts out there who will help you in diagnosing, treating, and conquering ADHD. As a community of caring people, here are several ways we can help and make a difference for those who are disadvantaged.
The best way to help those with ADHD is to understand their condition and why they struggle with it. Do what you can this month to educate yourself about ADHD by reading books about the condition, watching lectures from medical experts, and perhaps joining a support group or community. I’ll include some links to the resources below.
Do you know someone with ADHD? Ask the person what they need or lending a hand to help them along. This could be helping a child with studying or helping a friend create better relationships. Also, sometimes just listening to their story and how they manage their ADHD in their daily life can be the best medicine. Ask questions and be a good listener!
Recognize Their Strengths
It’s extremely common for people with ADHD to have low self-esteem. They need to hear positives and be provided with genuine constructive feedback that will help them improve. Let them know their flaws don’t define them and that with every failure comes a valuable lesson to improve. Also, be understanding of their mistakes. It’s difficult, especially for children with ADHD, to lose focus all too easily. Remind them of the importance of what they’re doing (school, work, etc.) and help them focus on the things that will contribute to a brighter and more fulfilling future.
Avoid Being Judgmental
Individuals with ADHD can be highly sensitive to being judged because there have been far too many experiences where they have been judged. Avoid using words such as “weird, odd, strange, and crazy.” These negative connotations can make individuals with ADHD feel inferior. Instead, be happy to help them without being demoralizing. I remember my teacher helping me with a spelling assignment in elementary school because I was behind the other kids in my class. She could have got upset with me for not staying focused during lessons, but instead, she took the high road and listened to the problems I was facing by helping me through each word. From there on, I looked forward to English lessons in her class. Be like my 4th-grade teacher, not a judge and jury.
These are only several ways that you can contribute towards ADHD awareness month. Of course, everyone has their style and own way of helping. If you want to know, or are interested in learning more about ADHD, please visit the links below.
Information and Resources About ADHD
www.moretoadhd.com - General information about ADHD.
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/index.html - Medical and scientific information about ADHD.
https://www.adhdmoodbehaviorcenter.com/ - For guidance and assistance with ADHD.
https://add.org/ - A community centered around those with ADHD and how you can help.
Disclaimer: The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.