Friday, March 26, 2010
by Frank Barnhill, M.D.
Since many of us don’t really understand the emotions of an ADHD child, we often try to make them explain why they do something or say a particular word or phrase. I know most parents say when their teens respond to questions with the word “duh!”, it really gets under their skin. They think their child's just avoiding answering the question or is automatically guilty of something. It’s important to remember in communicating with an ADHDer, his or her executive thought & reasoning processes are sometimes not capable of effective verbal or social communication. Often, the ADHDer believes you should know what he's thinking & shouldn’t have to ask. If your ADHDer seems lost for words, uses inappropriate words such as 'I hate you' when under pressure, or expresses physical anger, it’s often a sign of communication processing block in the brain. For some reason at that moment his or her brain just isn’t correctly processing what goes in & can’t formulate a response without getting frustrated & angry. You should defuse the situation & allow them to calm down or cool off for a while before asking for answers again. Sometimes the response 'I don’t know' is not a manipulation. Later, you may find rephrasing your question in simpler, non-threatening terms allows your ADHDer to answer without all the fuss & emotional stress. After all, most of us do tend to have confused thoughts when under a lot of pressure to perform immediately.`