Justice and ADHD - Quality advice based on experience

Support, Help

Lets face it, ADHD effects behaviour.  We all know it, we see it and we suffer the consequences of it.

The very first time we encountered a parents problems in how they wanted to speak with us announced in clear terms that ‘this whole’ ADHD thing goes deeper than just troublesome kids.

If we describe that encounter then describe some of the things that we reflected on, this should allow you to identify the points for you.  So here goes:

The scene:  An ADDISS parenting conference, Steve walks through the auditorium doors to have his personal space compromised.  A parent, who is now a good friend, stood toe to toe with him and said in a raised voice ‘You NEVER return my phone calls!’  Her assumption was that Steve was ignoring her, deliberately.

So in this quick example, lets just look at what’s going on:

  • The parent acts impulsively – this catches Steve off guard, he’s expecting to at least get through the door
  • The body space invasion isn’t noticed by the parent – it won’t be due to her ADHD and a common issue of reading the non verbal signals from others and reflecting in action
  • The assumption that Steve was ignoring her, was made because she was used to being ignored by professionals and she judged Steve accordingly
  • And finally, for now, in the parents mind she was entitled to judge, confront and challenge Steve as she wanted to talk with him and that wasn’t happening.

But from Steve’s angle:

  • He had never received or missed a call from this lady, he didn’t know who she was
  • He was immediately feeling threatened by the conduct of this stranger
  • He could have, in his mind, been justified in not responding positively to the parent
  • He could, in his mind, have dismissed her as someone without interpersonal skills who he couldn’t be bothered with.

He didn’t and after a quick reassessment of the situation, they both sat down and talked through her needs and the fact that she had the wrong telephone number.

So, as you read this, ask yourself:

  • Is this me
  • What could I do to avoid this being me
  • Am I the best person to advocate for my child?
  • Who else could I get to have the ‘Steve’ conversation for me?
  • Shouldn’t I arrange for them to be ready to act for us ahead of time and prep them a bit?
  • How can I make myself ‘count to ten’ despite my impulsive nature and make sure I ring my chosen advocate?
  • If you take ADHD medication, do you know when this works off – so you can think clearly and when?
  • Can I prepare a written explanation of what I am seeking to communicate to take with me?
  • How do I SHiELD myself from an encounter with a teacher, social worker, police officer going wrong?

** Key message – you should plan ahead and ask if you are the best person to advocate for our child** 


www.addiss.co.uk/ www.chadd.org/