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ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) affects children before the age of seven and is characterized by the inability to control hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and focus, especially around distractions. This often creates children who act out in many ways, such as bullying classmates in school.
The key trait in children with ADHD is hyperactivity. That one word describes an excessive physical response of emotional or physiological turmoil that can turn a student into a bully. One primary factor that creates this type of aggression comes from the inability to learn due to lack of focus.
Children that have ADHD are easily distracted, so learning is a more difficult task for them. Something as simple as a clock ticking or bird chirping outside can distract them. When a child can not learn, they inadvertently become the center of attention in a negative way. This can cause other children to neglect or become non-responsive to the child, which in turn can cause them to lash out at others. Other children may perceive a child with ADHD as stupid when in fact that is not the case. Bullying is then used as a defense mechanism. The American Psychological Association describes the characteristics of a bully as someone who is easily irritated, impulsive, dominant in personality, and has difficulty conforming to rules. When a child has difficulty learning, they tend to isolate themselves. As they try to deal with their own feelings, aggression often arises. It is very important to correct this type of behavior before it escalates to the bully stage. Bullying is a dangerous path, as it can lead to instances such as the horrific Columbine shootings. A child with ADHD has significant physical and emotional damage that needs to be repaired. Aggression often puts the bully in control of something that they normally have no control over. They react emotionally because there is difficulty in relating to other emotions other than frustration and anger. Sometimes, children with ADHD get bullied by other students. As other children pick on a child with ADHD, they may cause the other child to regress. Low self esteem can set in as an inability to cope with frustration. Sometimes this manifests as abuse to themselves and others.Treatment and early detection of ADHD can help children learn to function normally and cope with anger issues. ADHD is most often treated with medication like Ritalin. Parents play a huge role as they can help to stimulate and control the child through positive reinforcement. Signs of bullying often appear at home with siblings, so it is imperative to not to pass it off as “just being a kid”. Bullying should never be rewarded. A child with ADHD should be taught to be assertive but not aggressive.
This article is brought to you by Argosy University. Drawing upon our more than 30-year history of granting degrees in professional psychology, Argosy University has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning. Because getting a degree is one thing. Succeeding, quite another.
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