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Once a well-known drummer was asked in an interview how he discovered his talent, then he told the audience that he was a child with ADHD. During his childhood, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome. Not knowing how to help him or understanding what was happening, all the adults continually chided him for his constant movements with their hands. Then it happened that a teacher was able to channel that energy and invited him to drum lessons. This is how he was able to orient his syndrome towards music.
This wonderful story of this famous drummer leads to the following reflection: although the brain of children and adults who suffer from this syndrome is different, it has exactly the same learning capacity, however, certain environmental factors are needed to better cope with this disorder.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurobiological condition, characterized by three major symptoms:
- Inattention: reduced ability to concentrate or focus on a target.
- Hyperactivity: it is common to see the child moving.
- Impulsiveness: inability to control your impulses.
According to international statistics, 1 in 10 children or young people in the world today is being diagnosed with a disorder that prevents them from learning normally if it is not with medication. The figures are alarming given the side effects of drugs associated with this syndrome and that many times are more serious than the initial condition of the child.
So the question is: what strategies could help alleviate this condition that, since it is neurobiological, will accompany the child throughout his life?
These are some of the keys that parents of children with ADHD should keep in mind.
1. Clear boundaries make a child feel happier and more confident
It refers to delivering specific guidelines regarding daily habits and routines. This also works in regard to the use of free time, since these children need direction in terms of the notion of temporality. Many times by not having a convergent thought, that is, focused on a goal, they use it inefficiently, distracting themselves from the task they must perform.
Adults or caregivers should encourage the learning of self-regulation or self-control. For this, it is essential to help these children to think about their behavior, through directing questions, such as: Why do you think your brother is crying? Do you seem a little agitated? etc. The idea is that the child is able to understand that his impulsiveness sometimes affects his environment.
3. Management of emotions
In general, children with this syndrome have difficulty managing their emotions in a positive way, especially those related to frustration and anger. They can then be taught to read the body's signals of frustration, so that they can deploy calming devices such as breathing, imagery exercises, or getting out of the situation that makes them uneasy or angry.
No task will be possible if there is no willpower to mobilize the child. If he does not really want to generate a change and turn all his strength into directing his own energy, no strategy will really be executed. To achieve this, it is advisable to make the child part of this goal, that he feels a real need to move towards that goal, that he can achieve it and that when he reaches it his development will attract him peace and tranquility. For example, you can create a story or fictional characters that can serve as inspirational models.
5. Short-term goals and reinforcement
Propose short-term objectives and reinforce them when they meet them. In case they do not reach the goals, it is necessary to be able to welcome them and understand why they did not do it, and then build a new action plan to reach the objective.
6. Anticipate the routine
In this way, children can prepare themselves mentally, physically and emotionally to prepare for the next activity. For example, we can tell them: 'In 5 more minutes you have to brush your teeth', then we can repeat 'you have 4 minutes left', 'you have two minutes left' ... so on until we reach the execution of the task.
The important thing is to learn never to lose patience with these children, on the contrary, they need adults to guide and nurture their skills. Undoubtedly, these children have much more developed creative capacities than others as a product of their divergent thinking, which allows them to focus on several points at the same time. However, they need an adult who can harness these skills and who knows how to connect with their own universe.
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