According to the CDC, “children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.”The ADHD collective say people with ADHD describe their brain as a computer that has too many tabs open, has someone else controlling the remote to your TV and continuously scrolling through every channel, and hardly rests.
Neurotypical people must be patient, kind, and unforcing to ADHD individuals. By forcing these neurodivergent individuals to do things, it usually just ends up pushing them into a maladaptive coping cycle. An individual with ADHD adds that “when a task isn’t sufficiently stimulating and you lack the focus to address it, it ends up becoming an unmanageable source of anxiety.” The ADHD Report describes how obstacles in front of ADHD kids lead them to trying ineffective and worsening coping strategies(eg: tearing up homework), and how that leads to negative, degrading, doubting thoughts hurled at themselves. These emotions lead to even more panic and frustration, usually causing meltdowns. The more these hurtful cycles repeat, the more ADHD individuals start to accept society’s false, destructful stereotypes that they are “lazy, lacking willpower. Stupid. Sloppy. Careless. ADHD is an excuse. Just try harder!” An ADHD individual says that “ADHD is like trying to juggle on a unicycle. No one gives you credit for the difficulty level of the juggling act. All they see are the number of dropped balls, not the effort it takes to keep them in the air.”
ADHD individuals are fighting an internal battle neurotypical people will never understand fully. We must rebuke society’s false image of ADHD kids. We must not pressure them to do anything. We must have the deepest compassion for them. We must acknowledge and celebrate their determination, fight, and beauty.
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