People with any kind of learning difference are bound to feel “separate and unequal,” because of their difficulties navigating in a world that expects them to fit in. Dr. Dodson describes in this slideshow what this is like and how kids with learning differences can develop a deep shame. Click here to read more: Feeling Separate and Unequal with ADHD.
It made me aware of how I need to be sensitive to how my reactions can effect the kids I work with as a tutor. I need to keep reminding myself that many of the behaviors are due to the learning differences.
“For ADHDers, shame arises from the repeated failure to meet expectations from parents, teachers, friends, bosses, and the world. It is estimated that those with ADHD receive 20,000 more negative messages by age 12 than those without the condition. They view themselves as fundamentally different and flawed. They are not like other people.–Dr. William Dodson”
It is so important for kids to receive the message that they are accepted and do not have to be perfect. The message that they are worthwhile people and are loved for who they are.
Dr. Dodson points out it is important for kids to feel they have a cheerleader:
“Having someone—a friend, neighbor, coach, or grandparent—who accepts and loves a child or adult with ADHD, despite his faults and shortcomings, is vital in overcoming shame. This is the opposite of perfectionism, in which approval is contingent on what the person has done lately. The accepting person acts as a vessel that holds the memory of you as a good and valuable person, even when things go wrong.”