Re: Misbehavior and ADD
Richard Nault (rnault@PTIALASKA.NET)
Thu, 23 Nov 1995 10:04:34 -0900
As a Scoutmaster, and mental health professional, I'm seeing an alarming
number or ADHD kids whose families want a quick fix without making the
necessary changes in their lifestyle to assist their children to maintain
control of their behavior.
Rather than structuring the home and teaching, these parents let their kids
run wild, expecting the rest of the world to be tolerant. When their kids
step over the line, socially and legally, these parents respond to
teachers, probation officers and Scoutmasters by saying,,"What's wrong with
you, don't you know (s)he's ADHD."
These parents don't follow through with any consequences and one gets the
impression that they simply do not want to be bothered by the hassle of
being consistently involved. I believe that many kids with mild to moderate
ADHD can learn to be successful without medication if their parents were
active in structuring their children's lives and providing positive
feedback and appropriate 'negative' consequences.
Ritalin, without taking advantage of the increased attention span to teach
self control techniques, is not effective in the long run.
It is understandable that parents of ADHD children would see Scouting as a
program which can provide positive role models, values and respite. From a
Scoutmaster's perspective, important issues include whether the parents
are willing to be supportive of discipline in the troop and whether there
are enough adults willing to go on activities and remain during the
meetings to assist in providing the structure which is necessary for these
I've had ADHD children in the troop who are polite, responsible and an
asset to Scouting. I, sadly, had one ADHD Scout who repeatedly injured
other Scouts; once quite seriously be beaming another Scout in the head
with a rock. This required the Scout's getting seven stitches.
Interestingly, the parents of the above Scout responded with, "A boy will
be a boy and besides, he's ADHD" attitude until they were sent the bill
from the hospital. Upon receipt of this rather hefty bill, they provided
consequences to their son!
In closing, every person is unique. Some are 'brought up' well and some are
not. My experience has been that most parents of ADHD children want the
best for their kids and are willing to help out. Unfortunately, a small
number of parents enable their kids to remain un-manageable. Bad
experiences with these parents leave a negative impression in the minds of
those who work with children.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City