The Emotional Developement of the Child
Currently the DSM V and the criteria for the identification and possible diagnosis of ADHD in children does not include the emotional impact that ADHD has on the child. A child may be very good at hiding the symptoms of ADHD while still being plaque by the emotional impact of the disorder.
This is because the area of the brain most affected by emotions, is also where the majority of the symptoms for ADHD originates from. It is therefore no coincidence that researchers are current trying to include the emotional aspect into the diagnostic Tool for ADHD.
The following factors do influence the emotional development of the child and we will briefly focus on four aspects.
- Sociocultural environment
- Education practices
- Rules that apply in the Community
- Reward sytems
Before we delve into these factors let us briefly examine their link to ADHD as a disorder from what we know.
- Regardless of the cultural to which you belong, no one culture is spared this disorder. regardless of the level within you may find yourself, you may not be spared. It does not discriminate even at these levels. However, how you respond to the child’s disorder and the measure of help you can offer him, will be influenced by the sociocultural environment. It may not cause ADHD but it can activate and or aggravate the symptoms.
- ADHD and learning disabilities. Education practices can affect the development of the child’s intellectual potential if he is not stimulates enough from an early age. ADHD and it emotional connectiveness could bring about further problems if the education practices do not meet the specific needs of a specific group of people.
- Self-governed behavior. Learners who are not ADHD are quick to impose rules on themselves based on the expectations of society. However, ADHD being a disorder of Self-regulation and inhibition, creates an environment of lawlessness for the child. Rules need to be created and behaviors modify to simulate the same type behavior as the non-ADHD child.
- Reward systems. Non-ADHD children respond well to reward systems. Learners with ADHD also require a reward system but also a systems where consequences become part of the system. ADHD children are not very motivated at times and is rewards given not for doing the right thing but to get them going.
In the next lesson we will be focusing on the three phases of emotional development in the young child.