Last week I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across a post that made me stop.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading.
I’ll admit I was offended by what I read; something along the lines of back in my day, the best cure for ADHD was a father’s belt.
While I was offended by the words, I was more disturbed by the person who posted them; a highly educated individual whom I respect.
As the mother of child with ADHD And other neurological disorders, I take offense to people telling me my child just needs a good old-fashioned spanking.
You can’t spank ADHD out of a child.
You can’t discipline children with neurological disorders the same way you discipline neurotypical children.
Believe me; we’ve tried and we’ve failed.
Why would we spank a child who struggles with aggression?
How is spanking him a good example when we’re constantly reminding him that our hands stay on our own body?
Not only do I have a child who shows aggression when he’s upset, I have a a sensory seeker. He doesn’t experience physical touch the same as you and me.
Nancy Peske, co-author of Raising a Sensory Smart Child, says, When a child’s behavior is due to sensory processing disorder, punishment and reward do not work as motivators.
Children with Sensory Processing Disorder and other neurological disorders need to be taught self-regulation techniques and proper social behaviors.
I have yet to find an instruction manual that tells me exactly how to parent and discipline a child with special needs.
Some parents figure out the complexity of it all rather easily; and some parents, like us, need a little guidance.
That’s why we’re starting Parent Child Interaction Therapy this week.
PCIT is a dyadic behavioral intervention for children (ages 2.0 – 7.0 years) and their parents or caregivers that focuses on decreasing externalizing child behavior problems (e.g., defiance, aggression), increasing child social skills and cooperation, and improving the parent-child attachment relationship.
My husband is a neuropsychologist who has seen first-hand how successful PCIT can be. We are choosing to give it a try because we want to find something that works for our son. We want to discipline him in a positive way and set him up for success.
We want him to have the social skills and self-regulating techniques to help him overcome the aggression and behavioral challenges that come with having Dyspraxia, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder.
There will likely be people who think I shouldn’t share such private details about our life; but when people are posting asinine things on Facebook; someone needs to say something.
Let’s stop assuming all children are the same.
Let’s educate ourselves.
Let’s be willing to go the extra mile for our kids in order to find the thing that works best for them.