ADHD behaviour or normal disobedience

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We recieved an interesting question on our facebook page a while back.

The question ADHD disobedience vs ADHD behavior

Where do you draw the line between ADHD behavior and disobedience? Struggling with this at the moment….any thoughts?

In other words is it ADHD behavior sometimes wrongly attributed to general misbehaviour?

Our answer:

Children with ADHD would often appear to be inattentive or unmotivated. They struggle to concentrate on boring or repetitive tasks, but can focus on tasks they find stimulating or fun. They struggle to sit still, stay quiet and their impulsive nature often takes over (shouting out answers); this makes it difficult for them to adapt socially.

Place the behavior in context

You should always evaluate behavior in the context of the situation. Also try and determine what the child is trying to achieve by behaving in a certain manner.

The real question should be do they act in this manner in a variety of context (in class, at home, playground) or is this an isolated case of only in the class or a specific teacher’s class. If not displayed in various contexts then the chance is good that it is merely disobedience. A child with ADHD will seek instant gratification from a task (a reward, praise). You may also notice once the child finds the current task or activity fun and engaging (i.e not boring) they are more likely to comply. This is not to say that the ADHD child will not display willful disobedience from time to time as is common in all children. A child that is disobedient might not seek your approval or praise but only your attention (good or bad).

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