Okay – if you’re practically perfect in practically every way, raise your hand. Wait – I don’t see any hands – LOL! That’s because nobody is practically perfect in any way (unless your name is Mary Poppins). However, that may be by design. So, it’s not a bad thing. What’s important is that you are open and strive to become a better person. If you’re a mom (or if you’re a dad or if you’re just raising kids), well – kids are always there to give us challenges, problems, etc. … all of which are opportunities for growth. Here we go!
Those of us who have or work with children with learning disabilities, especially Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD or the previous designation – ADD), understand that they can be a handful in almost any circumstance. However, when traveling, this can become nearly unbearable. Even just parenting them can be daunting, since it is hard to discern their abilities from their disabilities, and how much is well – just being a kid! Parents may feel a range of feelings, like inadequacy, anger, fear, grief, guilt, and more. Therefore, it is a great thing to learn to take care of yourself better. And the kids themselves also go through a range of similar feelings. Understand that, as well.
Let’s get back to traveling. Normal kids have a hard time sitting for any length of time, staying quiet and still. Add in some disabilities like ADHD, it is even more difficult to keep kids’ behaviors manageable. In one story published in ADDitude, a child was flying with her mother. A very astute and understanding flight attendant answered all of the child’s questions, and then she allowed her to help serve snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, and collected the trash afterwards. This child was even permitted to make the “prepare-for-landing announcement!” Apparently, the other passengers were enjoying this, and they did not seem disturbed at all. Disaster averted!
Learning disabilities affect many children, teens and even adults. The renowned Mayo Clinic tells us that “a learning disorder is an information-processing problem that prevents a person from learning a skill and using it effectively. Learning disorders generally affect people of average or above average intelligence. As a result, the disorder appears as a gap between expected skills, based on age and intelligence, and academic performance.” Perhaps in many cases it is not that kids and teens cannot learn a skill and utilize it well, but it might take longer, and they might have to learn a different way than the average student, due to differences in brain wiring. Often a doctor who works with kids and teens with learning disabilities also works with those with brain-wiring disorders such as ADHD.
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.