Let’s lose the ADHD label and find the child
When I trained as a primary school teacher 15 years ago, these were some of the words used to describe children with ADHD: ‘Difficult.’ ‘Challenging.’ ‘Disruptive.’ There were others, whispered by harassed-looking teachers in the staffroom or concerned parents at the school gates, but none seemed to be positive. When I got my first ‘real’ class to teach, and saw that some of the children came with the dreaded ‘ADHD’ label attached, I approached the new term with butterflies the size of dragons in my stomach. But here’s what it took me a few more years to learn… Michael wasn’t ‘difficult’ He struggled with impulsiveness, often shouting out in class, talking over other children and getting into arguments during games when he found it hard to wait his turn. Chloe wasn’t ‘challenging’ Saleem wasn’t ‘disruptive’ Change perceptions Three very different children, with very different personalities and passions, but all with two things in common – their ‘ADHD’ labels and lack of self-esteem.
• III.How to talk to young children