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!
While the holiday season is supposed to be festive, create happy feelings, etc., that doesn’t mean it will automatically enhance our mental health. In fact, as many of us are painfully aware, it is not uncommon for people to feel angry, irritable, stressed out, and depressed at year’s end. Stressors include lack of time, money, too much commercialism, and pressures of giving gifts and being at family gatherings. So, if that happens, let’s find out how to turn it back around again!
Can you believe it? It’s the holiday season again. Is time flying by or is it just me?! It is at this time that we expect to feel happiness and joy, but what are some other things that often happen? We can feel stress, anxiety, depression, and more…. It is for many who have suffered serious losses a time of grieving.
Most of us can remember when we were teenagers, right?! It can be an extremely difficult time of life. Hormones may be raging, and moods can match that! Each person has their own unique story to tell. Anxiety and depression often run rampant during the teen years.
Did you know that over 260 million people across the globe have anxiety disorders? And it is a fact that nearly every person, no matter where they live, come from, across the globe, experiences depression at some point in their lives. When levels and types of anxiety rise to a certain level, it becomes a diagnosable mental health disorder. You are at this time at a much higher risk of experiencing physiological problems, too. In general, improving your nutrition while decreasing junk foods and drinks, as well as overly processed foods, getting more and better-quality sleep, exercising, and making attempts to better manage your stress all help.
In teens anxiety and depression may look a little different than how adults experience it. Teens often do not tell us how they are feeling. Some things you can look for, especially if your teen cannot or will not identify what is bothering him/her, are changes in eating, sleeping, levels of energy, and physical complaints such as having a headache and/or a stomachache.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, even very young children and certainly teens are getting hooked on lots of things that are … well … less than healthy. Addiction can be overt or covert. In other words, you might be able to see a kid using a substance or spend an abundance of time on an activity like playing video games, and the child does this to distraction.
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.