- Created on Thursday, 08 November 2012 17:31
- Written by Pat Pughe-Parry
- Hits: 564
A common complaint from parents and teachers is that ADHD children do not hand in projects on time if at all.
Do your ADDer children (those who have ADHD) feel as I used to when faced with doing projects?
Filled with the excitement of going out to buy crisp white large pieces of cardboard, multi-colour pens, stencils and bubbling with enthusiasm to getting this mighty work to appear just as it does in my head I am on top of the world.
It is a topic I am interested in. I have looked up the information in the library and I just know I can get an A+ for this project.
I carefully layout the cardboard on the dining room table, get the stencil and start to write the heading. Problem number 1. My hand eye co-ordination is not too hot. I can't seem to space the letters properly no matter how hard I try. After a fair bit of rubbing out I get the heading sort of OK but I am disappointed that it is not perfect. I colour the letters in bright colours doing my best not to go out of the lines with not much success.
I am also in a hurry because I want to get to the exciting part of arranging my pictures and text artistically.
Onto the next task. Cutting out pictures or text from magazines. I am left handed and the only scissors I have are for right handed people. Did I mention I have poor hand eye co-ordination and my fine motor skills are not up to scratch? Gripping the scissors tightly I concentrate furiously as I snip away. I just can't cut straight and I know it is not going to look good when I stick it onto the cardboard. I battle to control the glue stick and it all becomes a sticky dirty mess.
Now I have to write some text underneath the pictures. My handwriting lets me down. My rubbing out has left dirty marks on the cardboard and it is beginning to look like a real dogs breakfast. There is no way I am going to attempt those clever sketches that are so clear in my mind.
Of course having dropped a bit of marmite from my sarmie onto the cardboard has added a few more marks and the dog or cat enjoys a taste and leaves a bit of slobber and fur behind as a reminder.
I get frustrated and angry at myself and my incompetence. I lose interest in the project because I know I will never manage to produce something that looks professional and it will certainly never match the vision in my head. Why bother? Anyway, maybe if I leave it for a day or two I will become inspired again. Really????
All too soon the deadline has come and gone and I am in trouble yet again.
My self confidence is sub-zero and it impacts my ability to participate in any class activity. I become shy and withdrawn. These simple basic tasks are beyond me. I must be stupid.
Comments on my reports went along these lines:"Pat is clumsy, can't write properly, can't draw, can't cut straight, her workbooks are messy, she is lazy .......... "
Fortunately I loved to read and was an ace at arithmetic but these successes were cancelled out by poor written work."
I know many ADDers these days have the benefit of OT which helps co-ordination issues enormously. There are also many who are not so lucky. Even those who have had OT still have this negative mindspeak of not being able to do things ""normal"" people do with ease.
No I am not stupid, in fact like most ADDers I am very bright and I have just discovered in my mid 50s that I am capable of great creativity. As an ADDer the speed at which my hyperactive brain works compounds my lack of co-ordination and physical hyperactivity.
Quite a few Moms and some Dads can't bear to see their children humiliated and failing so they do the projects for them. Yes it is hard especially if parents are also ADDers. They see their children's failures as their own for having produced a child who is not succeeding in the "normal" world.
I don't have the answers but all I can say is thank heavens for left handed scissors, guillotines and most importantly a keyboard, computer and spellchecker!
How can you help ADHD children get over these hurdles? I look forward to your suggestions.