by John Niolon



A recent news article from a local TV station web page caused some major nerve irritation for me this week. The article is copied below

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Help your child overcome ADHD

BIRMINGHAM, September 25. It is natural for children to fidget when they are bored, but sometimes their actions can mask a more serious problem, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. Parents can work with their children and specialists to help afflicted youths.

Doctors say that a child can begin showing signs of ADHD when they are 2-years-old. Symptoms can be difficult to diagnose, but they can also be so severe that they interfere with school and family life.

"There is no definitive diagnosis test, although some psychological testing can help to point us in the right direction. We go by clinical history, symptoms and medication response," said psychologist Dr. Rama Rao.

Dr. Rao says that if children are extremely impulsive, hyperactive, and they have a constant problem focusing, they might be ADHD candidates.

Parents can take their children to a child psychologist. When going for the first time, it is important to bring along school records or a letter from a child's teacher describing the classroom behavior.

A thorough evaluation of ADHD should include a medical screening, in addition to parent-teacher feedback. DonҴ accept a diagnosis on the first visit to a psychologist. Rao adds that genetics plays a big role in ADHD. There is also a big debate over whether one's environment is a major factor as well.

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Psychological testing ?ࠠ Medication response ?ࠠ I'd like to offer another definition for the term ADHD

"Additional Discipline Helps Disorder ".

Children are like any other small new creature, birds, puppies, black bears. We all enjoy watching the nature shows that depict little bear cubs or baby ducks and their inquisitive antics. Always on the move, sticking their noses into unwelcome or dangerous places. And one thing we also see is the mother bear or duck carefully guiding their children away from danger, gently nudging them in another direction or redirecting their attention to something less interesting to them but much safer. Just like their animal counterparts, our children are inquisitive, full of unbridled enthusiasm and energy. Everything in the world is new to them, including rules of behavior and acceptable actions. The mother bear will "motivate" her cub to change his behavior. Sometimes she will use a playful paw...Sometimes a more direct approach with a quick nip on the rear which usually gets the cubs attention. She is setting up rules for behavior and enforcing them.

It seem that some parents have forgotten that this is their role also. Children come into this world with no knowledge of their role in life, no sense of acceptable behavior. It is the parent's job to educate their children and mold them into caring, intelligent and responsible adults. This takes effort, energy and a commitment by parents. It can't be done by day care workers, there are too many kids and too few workers. Their prime objective is to keep them inside the fences and un-bloodied. It can be done in part by teachers, but only in a limited way. Their job is the three "R's" and not behavioral education. The children should have that before they ever enter the school system. It should be done by parents and it should start early.

Children should learn that there are certain times to be quiet and times to run wild. The wild part should be outdoors in a protected environment... back yard or playground, not in the home or classroom. They should be taught to listen to parents and do as they are told. How many times have you seen a child being told three, four or seven times to do or not do something, all the while completely ignoring the parent and doing as they wish while the parent sits idly by and says "I just can't control him". Here is where the mother bear would interject a not so playful paw across the cubs backside to "get his attention" and redirect his energies.

More and more children are being labeled as a "troubled youth" .The number of reports of crime and beatings and school shootings by children is overwhelming. Our young people are committing unthinkable acts with absolutely no remorse, no feelings of responsibility for their actions in the least. And, when the fear of being held accountable becomes all too real they start laying the blame on the parents who always seem to say "He was a troubled youth ..he's never listened to me" . Their trouble is that the parents never took the trouble to discipline them. I certainly don't advocate the spare the rod, spoil the child way of thinking. I was never abused or mistreated by my parents. I was one of those "overactive"children also. But, I was taught what was and was not acceptable and I knew if those boundaries were crossed that a penalty would have to be paid. Sometimes restrictive ...sometimes punitive, but ever present and ALWAYS enforced. Another thing to consider is what this ADHD label does to the child's own self image. He hears his mother say "Oh, he's an ADHD child" and he thinks immediately that something is wrong with him and all his failures can be blamed on his "disorder" I think it is a poor crutch to give a child who most times doesn't need one.

I totally believe two things about children. First they should be loved unconditionally and openly. Secondly they should be disciplined fairly and consistently. Children who know the rules and their consequences will learn to live by them and to view them as a welcome and protective order to their lives.


The "experts" who say children should be able to express themselves and to place restrictions on them would stunt their emotional growth do these kids a terrible disservice. Whether or not the "experts" like it, we live in a structured world. Order is necessary and we are all bound by rules and regulations. How long would this country last if everyone did whatever they pleased with no worry of consequences...just doing what made you 'feel good'.


Think about how your daily life would be if your boss gave you no job description, no definition of your duties, no budgetary numbers to restrict you. Neat, right ???   But, then he held you responsible for everything that everyone in the company did. No so neat ! How could you possible function ? How could you ever accomplish any goals ? Kids need a "job description" and definition of their duties and rules. It makes the job so much easier to accomplish and much more rewarding when done.


After reading this I can just see the doctors and psychologist and lazy or uncaring parents huffing up calling me crazy and ill informed. It could be true. I'm not professionally trained in medicine or disorders of the psyche, But I am a parent and have the scars AND two grown mature responsible children to prove it. Sure, without question that there is a small number of children that have a genetic or chemical problem that needs to be corrected medically, either with psychological assistance or medication. But, I'd also sure without question, that a large number of children diagnosed with ADHD are only in need of the parental love and discipline that will guide them in the right direction. They need someone to rein in that unbridled energy and enthusiasm into something constructive and useful.


One of my favorite past times is watching small children..their little bodies constantly in motion. They run where we walk, they talk a mile a minute, bursting with questions and soaking up our every word as gospel. I wish I still had that energy. Those that still maintain that level of energy are the great thinkers and leaders of our world. They've learned to bridle their energy and channel their enthusiasm toward great things. I can't help but wonder how many were diagnosed with ADHD as a child ?? I wonder how many would credit their successes to parents that loved them enough to set boundaries, enforce rules and encourage them without criticism.

I believe that all children deserve ADHD !  It is what they need "A Daily Healthy Dose" of love, attention and discipline.

Copyright 2001 John Niolon, All International Rights Reserved. This document may not be copied or published without prior written consent of the author.