10-15% children in the United States are having persistent, diagnosed struggles with focus, attention, and concentration, with varying impacts on overall well-being. As a behavioral condition which manifests in a number of different symptoms over time, ADHD can affect performance in the classroom and at home.
A challenge of ADHD is that it’s an instance of an internal condition externalized in the form of stress on parents, teachers, and other students. For parents, it can be indescribably frustrating to see your children struggle, and causing difficulties for teachers and other students as well. Clinical studies were conducted which intended to test the emotional strain on parents of kids with ADHD, incidental to their children’s struggles with symptoms. The study found that the ups and downs of the children have a consistent relationship with a parent’s mood. Parenting a child with ADHD requires a kind of constant vigilance, a high level of energy, a well-tested patience. The stress involved on all parties can take a massive toll on mental and physical health.
Another challenge of ADHD is that it's an instance of an internal condition that is very much affected by stimuli and feedback from the outside world. Very often, a child with ADHD is extremely bright, but the rigid, systematic routines of the classroom are not necessarily designed with these unique youngsters in mind. A sheer lack of community resources can alienate a child, resulting in unchecked behaviors that are burdensome in concentric circles, ever-widening as the child grows, and over time, the stresses of non-conformity manifest in often unpredictable ways. Often, all-too-often, the outdated institutional paradigms we have inherited are simply feeding the problems of society.
October is ADHD Awareness Month, and it’s a light that deserves to be shined. The worth of individuals is beyond measure. We have seen the fruits of this cycle from an up close and personal perspective. There are extremely positive strategies for dealing with ADHD, and there are negative strategies. We have seen the outcomes of those strategies, and it’s our belief that good society must be built on a foundation of compassion and inclusiveness. As we all know, it takes a village to raise a child. We must learn to see ourselves and others as part of a global village and build out new institutions which expand love and compassion.
Some quick facts about ADHD:
- Males are almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than females.
- During their lifetimes, 12.9 percent of men will be diagnosed with the attention disorder. Just 4.9 percent of women will be diagnosed.
- The average age of ADHD diagnosis is 7 years old.
- Symptoms of ADHD typically first appear between the ages of 3 and 6.
- ADHD isn’t just a childhood disorder. Today, about 4 percent of American adults over the age of 18 deal with ADHD on a daily basis.