Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Remediating the Effects of ADHD

While it may appear that every second child is being diagnosed with ADHD (a topic for another day perhaps), obtaining that diagnosis can offer a sense of relief.  Of understanding why some tasks have been so difficult.  Of guilt for  applying pressure and placing demands.  Of hope for a better way forward.

Regardless of the treatment option followed, there is an expectation that things will get better.  Sometimes these expectations need to be reined in a bit, but they are there nonetheless.  Often there is some trial and error in getting the treatment just right, and annoyingly once that is achieved something else will crop up and an adjustment will again be required.  At some point though, the (modified) expectations will be met.

But what if they aren’t?  What about those cases where every conceivable recommendation has been followed and the school marks are still not coming up?  Colleagues and bosses are still complaining that tasks are not completed satisfactorily.  It is not an expectation that has been overlooked, rather a history of experiences and habits.

In the case of school age children, the treatment(s) will improve behaviours and concentration moving forward, but there are potentially numerous skills that were missed which are now being built upon.  Even if full attention is given to all classes now, there will be gaps which are likely to result in confusion, not to mention a large amount of frustration at still not being able to succeed.

While the above can be applied to adults in the workplace, there is often the added bad habits that crop up and sabotage matters.  As an example, being organised is a skill we have to learn, one which those with ADHD find immensely difficult.  Just because the ADHD is now being treated does not mean the skill of being organised miraculously happens.

There is an amount of remediation required once treatment has begun.  To replace poor habits with good ones.  To consolidate partially learnt or missed skills which are now being built upon.  To change thought processes.  This is as important as obtaining the diagnosis and finding a suitable course of treatment, because if skipped, the two previous steps may seem pointless.

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