The McPartland family chose to adopt their son with ADHD. CCAI has many children with ADHD in our country programs. If you are considering adopting a child with ADHD, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to psychiatry.org, “Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excess movement that is not fitting to the setting) and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur in the moment without thought).”
Raising a child with ADHD
Our son was diagnosed with ADHD, among other diagnoses in Taiwan. We have been home for 14 months and ADHD seems to be the most prevalent diagnosis. We adopted him at 6 ½ years old and full of spunk. He still is! As a special education teacher, I have experienced many children with ADHD in my teaching career. Before we brought him home, I was not concerned about his ADHD. Keeping structure, routines, and predictability are critical. Also, because of the language barrier, I knew we would need to be drawing a lot of visuals.
Preparing for our trip to Taiwan, I brought a few things with us: a small notebook for our visual schedule, Woody Goes to America travel book (a book I made concerning the airport process for our son), a sign language communication book with English and Mandarin (our family’s primary mode of communication is sign language), a calendar with pictures of when we would leave and lots of stickers.
After getting custody, we drew out a stick figure schedule so our son knew what would come next. We could not imagine being almost seven years old, taken from the only home you know, and leaving with strangers. It was important that he felt comfortable. This technique worked, so we used it religiously for months, and found that he began to trust us because we would keep our word about what would happen next. This schedule was very daunting at first, but we got good at drawing stick figures! Slowly, we left blank spaces for “unscheduled times” and changes in the schedule. When this happened, we talked about how things were unexpected in a controlled environment.
We no longer use the stick figure schedule every day, only on holiday breaks when we have visitors or are on vacation. Generally, if anything is out of the ordinary, we bring out some old tools to help him.
We do timers for meals, repeating 3 step directions, eye contact, eye contact, eye contact, eye contact, identifying feelings, and learning how to cope with feelings (breaks or Trauma Release Exercises). There are so many things daily that we no longer think about because it has just become second nature to our family. Currently, we are in the process of adopting a second older child from Taiwan! This time around, we are less concerned about special needs. Adopting an older child comes with many fears. At the end of the day, these sweet “older children” are still babies who need a family.
Learn more tips and tools to help your child with ADHD! Attitude magazine is a tried and true resource for parents raising children with ADHD.
If you are interested in adopting a child with ADHD or adopting through our Taiwan program, please email us at email@example.com or click here.