ProTeacher Community

ProTeacher Community (
-   School Mental Health (
-   -   ADHD defense (

eeza 11-03-2015 07:21 PM

ADHD defense
I have noticed that many students where I work use the ADHD defense when they are rude to others by swearing or using slurs. Some are even aggressive. When I read the DSM criteria, it discusses impulsivity as more of calling out in class instead of raising your hand. I don't recall it ever saying that being rude or aggressive is part of ADHD.

How can I say to parents that ADHD is not related to aggressive or rude behavior? Those are issues, but I feel it shouldn't be blamed on ADHD. Or maybe I've been wrong? <!--eyebrow-->

GraceKrispy 11-03-2015 08:12 PM

Ugh, that would be so frustrating! I haven't had that experience much at all. Sounds like someone probably told one of them that once (a parent? a teacher?) and they've all caught on!

I probably wouldn't necessarily go to the "not related to aggressive/rude behavior" to parents, because honestly they could make a valid argument that impulsivity could cause them to say and do things like that without thinking. And there is some validity to that, imo. However (and this is a big "however"), if they are ONLY impulsive when swearing and being aggressive, then their claim doesn't hold much water. Don't get me wrong- I don't think aggressive and rudeness are ADHD symptoms, but I can see parents arguing the point because of impulsivity.

I would approach it as impulsivity being one symptom of ADHD, but it doesn't always mean rude and aggressive behaviors, and there are ways to help kids self-manage their behaviors. If swearing and being rude are issues, then maybe they need a behavior intervention plan to address those issues. They are certainly not behaviors conducive to success in life, so I would think parents would be on board with changing that.

eeza 11-03-2015 08:23 PM

ADHD defense
Yes, I think parents have read something somewhere about aggression and being rude with ADHD and say "well, my kid couldn't help it; it was impulsive". I just feel that if that were the case, then every ADHD kid would be rude and impulsive.

You make a good point though about self-managing their behaviors. I don't know many employers who would be forgiving if an employee used the ADHD defense when being rude to a customer!

GraceKrispy 11-03-2015 08:34 PM

I find it's always easier to get parents "on my side" if I couch stuff in a way that provides benefit for the child and doesn't place blame (even if there might be blame to be placed<!--giggle-->). And, really, although I love to prove myself right, the important thing is always "where do we go from here." ;) I just wish I could always abide by that!

Mrs.Lilbit 11-04-2015 07:45 PM

Garbage in, Garbage out...
Perhaps the real issue is anger. Why are these kids so angry that their impulse is to be mean and hateful? If they were having kind, happy thoughts, their impulsivity would reflect that, would it not?

Perhaps that's the way you should phrase it to the parents.

eeza 11-04-2015 08:07 PM

ADHD defense
Mrs.Lilbit, I think you've made a good point. The anger needs to be addressed as well. My high school has made some good strides with getting more mental health clinicians on site which I am so grateful for. We are going to be offering an anger management group each semester this year!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:42 AM.

Copyright © ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.