Karen Lowry has a story to tell and I’m grateful she is giving clara54’s readers insights into teen ADHD.
Stop ADHD Teens From Dropping Out: What Parents Must Know About Early Intervention
( Medford, NJ) A new study has found that teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to drop out of high school or delay completing high school than other kids. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, analyzed U.S. data and found that nearly one-third of students with the most common type of ADHD either drop out or delay high school graduation.
That rate is twice that of students with no psychiatric disorder. Karen Lowry, parent advocate, and author of THE SEVENTH INNING SIT: A JOURNEY OF ADHD, creates simple solutions for families to be more pro-active in terms of early intervention.
Lowry says: ” The need to fix the problem is there, but we have to realize that it has to occur much before the child enters high school. Pitfalls leading to the failure of these kids originate both at home and school. Lack of support, modifications, and accommodations early on in areas of impairment promote later failure in high school.”
According to Lowry, there are four key areas parents must consider before they can help their child succeed academically:
- Executive Functioning: Deficits in this area impact numerous needed abilities that contribute to success. Impairments in organizational skills, planning, and emotional control are a few. Without the tools to compensate for these difficulties, these kids struggle daily as they try to fulfill assignments, long and short term.
- False Expectations: Expectations on the part of school personnel that do not reflect understanding of the symptoms creating impairment will further create low self-esteem and failure.
- Parental Involvement: Parents know their children the best. With enough information and support, they can and must advocate for their kids in the school system. In addition, with this knowledge comes the ability to maintain a healthy relationship with their child. They need to know that a parent is there in their corner and believes in them. Without the parents’ understanding of ADHD that leads to the importance of being positive and avoiding negative responses, this child can feel like a failure as part of the family. This will not contribute to a very needed healthy self-esteem as he tries to be successful in academics and other relationships.
- Self -Advocacy: Early on, a child with ADHD needs to begin to understand himself. In elementary school, they know that they struggle and sometimes feel left behind. This only leads to helplessness and feelings of worthlessness. The ability to self- advocate contributes to the needed psychological strength to be able to make independent decisions, leading to a much needed healthy self-esteem. Certainly all children must respect their teachers. But teachers need to be able to accept the fact that kids with ADHD understand themselves and sometimes know better the occasional changes in classroom structure that will lead to better focus and accomplishment. One of these alterations would include the need to stand intermittently throughout the class period.
- Teacher Involvement: Just like having a parent who believes in them, a teacher in the school system who they trust is important. All school systems need to better understand ADHD and support children with impairments as a result of it. It is an invisible affliction that many do not believe exists. Parents need to continue to educate themselves and advocate for their children who are struggling in elementary school. Waiting to enter into high school will many times be too late.