Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TaeKwonDo and ADHD

I wanted to shift gears for a moment to talk a little about Mr. Gavin.  That is what he goes by in his Tae Kwon Do class.

Gavin is a busy little man.  My mom refers to him as a breathe of fresh air and ball full of energy.  That is an adequate description of him, I must say.

We have had the "ADHD" talk in our home with him over the past few years. We have met with the child phsycologist, pediatricians, and have had the Vanderbilt testing, along with many conversation's  his teachers the past three years. 

The assessment, unfortunately, has been fairly inconsistent. Mainly between Mike and I.  He thinks he is doing OK for himself.  I, on the other hand, thinks he needs a little boost.  Just a little something to help him retain his ability to focus on chores, school, and general day to day operation of things.

His first grade teacher was very adamant about him getting on something. No doubt in her mind! There were many, many meetings with that teacher.

His second grade teacher thought nope. Not a problem.  He felt that Gavin responded well to praising, had strong and well established relationships with peers, and was able to complete his school work in an acceptable range. Again, another inconsistency.

We have "the prescription" in hand.  I obtained this from his pediatrician over the summer after an hour long conversation.  Still not convinced that that is THE answer.

It's not an easily obtainable diagnosis nor is the treatment. 

So, to honor my husbands request, I have decided to hold onto that prescription for now.  I have done some research on diet and have failed miserably implemented some of these things.  Not to the extent that I think would be beneficial but man! To remove process foods from our diet with the busy life we live seems like a really steep hill to climb!

I then stumbled upon an article that a mom had written in regards to Tae Kwon Do and ADHD (after my pediatrician made the recommendation).  Here is some of what she stated (and not all 100% pertaining to Gavin but you get the general idea):

"ADHD is gifted with spontaneity, creativeness and the ability to focus intensely on any task they take an interest in. All kids can be frequently distracted or inattentive and impulsive on occasion, but a child living with ADHD experiences these attributes most of the time. I know that as a parent I have a great deal of influence in helping him perceive these character traits as advantageous, instead of liabilities. The ADHD child doesn't lack focus but tends to apply that focus in inappropriate ways. He has a low tolerance for idleness and gets bored easily.

A martial art like tae kwon do always emphasizes self-confidence, self-esteem and self-control as part of the curriculum.

In our taekwondo classes, children learn the "right action" at the right moment which tempers impulsiveness and turns it into a positive action. Boredom is negligible due to the fast active pace of the class that is full of jumping and spinning, punching and kicking; the hyperactive child can unleash behavior in an appropriate way and be praised for it.

Another aspect of his tae kwon do training is tolerance and respect for everyone no matter what label society might have imposed.

And so, we enrolled Gavin in a local Tae Kwon Do class and he LOVES, LOVES, LOVES it!!!!  He takes it with his cousin every Tuesday and Thursday and looks forward to the next class.

Last week, Gavin got his very first belt, The WHITE belt and I couldn't be more proud! He worked very hard at this! 

So at the end of the day, he is happy.  He has amazing confience, his totally building up his slef esteem and his working hard at control.  Therefore, we are happy parents!

1 comment:

Cylee Blake said...

It's wonderful that you son loves taekwondo. I know many children who love it but I never realized what they got from it. Thank you for shairing. This post is very helpful to me.

I'm a nanny for a boy with ADHD and we (his parents and I) had him on medication for a year before we took him off. It ruined his appetite and his sleep which affected him in the classroom. His first grade teacher had asked us to leave him off the meds for a bit to see how well he learned and, apparently, he did better without it.

I will have to mention Taekwondo to his mother tonight.