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16 yo ADHD equals 11 yo developmentally

Date: August 3rd, 2015
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: If you are diagnosed with ADHD and you’re 16, the research out there neurologically says that you are developmentally closer to 11.

Think about that…

If that’s the way the brain chemistry is, it means that developmentally you’re 11 years old, and you’re allowed to drive!

Be careful about thinking that every child is the same. Parents tend to say, “Well, every other child drives at 16, so my child has a right.” Absolutely, they have the right… legally. But if a child has ADHD, we need to consider the developmental age, and where they are.

Am I going to let my child drive at 11 years old? Absolutely not.

These kids need to learn how to deal with distractions, and we need to teach them.

When I was tutoring kids through Driver Ed, I would ask them, “Ok guys, when do you get gas?” What was their answer?

“When it’s empty.”

It was almost like, “I just drive, drive, drive. Oh! It’s empty, I need gas.” That’s not a good way to go through life when you’re driving. We have to teach these kids to do things more proactively.

For example, one of the ideas we had was using Velcro to stick a little notepad to the glove compartment. On the notepad was a checklist. This taught the kids that when they got into the car they needed to check the gas gauge, put their seatbelt on, pick up milk after school, whatever it was they needed to do. They would check that list until it came naturally.

Now, what usually happens when someone is broken down on the side of the road?

Traffic gets backed up for miles! Why? Because half of the world can’t deal with distractions. They have to slow down, take a look at what’s going on.

So, how would we teach kids with ADHD to deal with this type of distraction?

Take a quick look, and then get back to what you’re doing.

Dealing with distractions and being able to manage them is such a HUGE thing! It’s the most important thing behind ADHD, even more so than focus!