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Old 04-22-19, 11:05 AM
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Re: Maturity Control

Dr Russell Barkley found in his research that some areas of the brain have
developmental delays of around 30% compared to those of a similar age.

The 30% rule.

With ADHD, there are a number of parts of the brain involved and each kid has a different mixture of symptoms characterized by a slower development of these areas. Having said that some useful generalizations can be made. In general ADHD can be seen as a deficit in self regulation-self control. These kids have developmental deficits in the ability to resist impulse, stay on focus, connect what they do with the consequences, seeing ahead, planning for upcoming events, following rules and a number of other issues. ADHD kids are seen as more impulsive and having difficulty regulating behaviors and emotions. They do not see as far into the future as their age mates. They can be seen as functioning on a younger age level-immaturity if you would. Be aware that this has little to do with intelligence or achievement. It involves only those areas affected by adhd.

A number of years ago Russell Barkley examined studies looking at the amount of this deficit and he found an average of around 30%.

What this means is that you can take 30% (or a third which ever is easier) off a child's age and this will give you a rough idea how you should be treating this child.

If you have a 10 year old you should be treating him more like a 7 year old. Would you hand a 7 year old a book and tell him to have a report ready in one month? No way! What will happen is that "you" will do the assignment, not the kid. If we expect the child to operate like the normal 10 year old then it is our problem not the child's. What we might do is approach the assignment as you would a 7 year old. Break it down into smaller segments. Have the child read a few pages each day and write a few sentences covering what he just read. Again he has the ability to understand the material. This effects the amount of work that can be done.

The same principle applies to emotional issues. A 6 year old child will be operating more like a child almost 2 years younger. In other words, he will be reacting emotionally more like a 4 year old. Like a 4 year old, he will show his emotions faster and they will be more intense. If you expect him to exhibit an emotional control of a normal 6 year old it is your problem, not the child's. You are expecting the child to behave in a way of which he is not capable. If you expect him to see and react to events coming at him in the future again the 30% rule applies. "Didn't you see that coming?" The answer is likely "No". The child is simply not capable of looking that far into the future.

On discipline, take an 8 year old. He is likely to be operating on the level of a 5-6 year old. If you expect him to follow rules, connect behaviors to consequences, see problems and head them off like a 8 year old, it your problem. If you expect him to do like a 5 year old then you can successfully make it his problem. If you insist on dealing with him as a 8 year old then you will have battles, struggles and not a lot of behavior changes. If you deal with him as you would a 5 years old, then you will probably see some positive changes. This is in your control. Younger kids tend to forget more, goof up more, test the parents more but we do not think much about it because we expect the younger child to act this way. It is when we expect the child to act in a developmentally inappropriate manner is when we get into trouble.

Your child wants to drive at 16. Using the 30% rule, you are letting an someone with the emotional maturity of an 11 year drive your car. Wow! Not a good thing. Many parents link driving privileges to taking medication. Medication can, on some, bring them up to almost normal. This is to a good extent a treatable issue.

The 30% rule is based on unmedicated.

A note: While medication can help the deficit, one should always one should keep in mind that there is a real deficit involved, it is simply less on medication.
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ADD is not a problem of knowing what to do; it is a problem of doing what you know.

As far as I know, there is nothing positive about ADHD that people can't have w out ADHD. ~ ADD me
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