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Attention Deficit Disorder

How ADD Affects Families by Sarah K. Jenkins

Typically, there is a lot of blame and frustration associated

with Attention Deficit Disorder. Depending on how long the problem

has gone before being diagnosed, there may be serious mental

and emotional scars as family members and the child dealt with

issues associated with ADD. This disorder is not only difficult

for parents, but also the child with ADD and other siblings

in the family.

The obvious victim of ADD is the child it affects. Being accustomed

to negativity, these children usually suffer from very low self-esteem.

Although they want to behave well, they have impulsive actions

that typically result in constant punishment. Parents and teachers

of an ADD child often are not aware or do not accept that the

child suffers from a disorder and they are not always acting

on a conscience level. The child, after being reprimanded and

not being able to control their actions, is left feeling as

though they will never be adequate or meet everyone else’s expectations.

The parents of an ADD child suffer from incredible frustration

and doubt of their parenting skills. Often ridiculed by teachers,

family members, and other acquaintances, they are often viewed

as being the cause of their child’s behavior, as though lack

of discipline is the root cause of their child’s actions. Attention

Deficit Disorder sometimes places a strain on the parents’ marital

relationship as well, as parents blame each other for being

overly lenient or harsh in their rearing habits. This can lead

to many arguments and disagreements that prove to be difficult

on spouses.

An often forgotten casualty of Attention Deficit Disorder is

the siblings of a child with ADD. Often not apparent, siblings

in this situation often experience similar frustration and anxiety

as the parents and child with ADD. Jealously sometimes plays

a factor in their feelings as their sibling requires so much

more attention, even if it is negative in nature. Also, these

children often get the brunt of their sibling’s impulsive actions,

including aggressive behavior typical of ADD. These children

may also find themselves being categorized in school and other

social environments because of their sibling’s behavior, which

can also have a negative connotation.

In addition to immediate family, grandparents, aunts, uncles,

and cousins may also be affected when a child has ADD. Depending

on the closeness of the family, behavior outbursts and discipline

issues may be a factor dealt with on various levels. In extreme

cases, ADD may actually cause some familial relationships to

be severed.

Sarah is an acclaimed writer on medical matters, and has written

extensively on the subject of Attention Deficit Disorder. For

more of her articles, go to



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