Explaining ADHD to anyone is complicated, never mind a young child! For starters, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:”
- Is not actually a deficit in attention,
- Does not always involve hyperactivity, and
- Does not lead to disorder in every environment
I wanted to share a few key concepts that have made a big difference in the way I think about feedback with children. These ideas come together to form the framework I use for talking to kids about their testing results:
By the time we start an assessment, many kids already have a sense that they are different in some way. Still, for many the kids I’ve worked with, learning that there is a name for their experience didn’t necessarily bring a sense of relief.
After the assessment is over, the next challenge is explaining the results to the child. This is no easy task – understanding testing results is hard enough as an adult!
So, how do we translate our often long and complex reports into child-friendly language, so that every kid leaves knowing how to explain their amazing brain?
Helping kids understand their learning differences doesn’t happen at the feedback session – it’s an ongoing conversation throughout the assessment.
Talking to kids about learning differences and disabilities is not a one-time conversation. But as a testing psychologist with limited time, it can often feel like I’ve only got one shot.
Explaining learning differences to children is challenging.
As a testing psychologist, I’ve struggled to find the right language to help kids understand their differences in an empowering way. It’s easy to overwhelm a young mind, and many students just stare back with that glazed-over look, or stay focused on the negative.
In talking to others in the field, it turns out I’m not alone!