Finding Dory: How It Relates To ADHD And What Parents Can Learn From The Fish

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Maybe you've seen the recent Pixar release, Finding Dory. It has sparked a lot of conversation on how to parent and meet the needs of special needs kids. Dory suffers from severe short-term memory loss, but a lot of what she goes through can be adapted to other contexts, such as the world, or ocean, of ADHD.

Dory has trouble with multi-step directions, is easily distracted, and is very impulsive.  She has a terrible time remembering all of the rules, even though her parents remind her frequently and incorporate rhymes, songs, and role playing to help her remember. Her hyper-focus gets her in trouble when she lasers in on a special purple shell for her mom, becomes distracted, completely loses track of where she is, and ends up getting lost. Her parents instructions not to go in that area were not strong enough to hold back Dory's impulsivity.

Parents of children with ADHD know that this is an all too familiar story.

Throughout the movie I was surprised to see just how much of the FastBraiin method was being implemented in helping Dory. In a fun, fast, visual production, parents can gain some incredible insight into better caring for their ADHD children.

Here's my list of 5 Lessons For ADHD individuals and parents from Finding Dory:

1. Everyone has strengths.

Help your child find and develop their strengths. What are they passionate about? Good at doing? Pour into these areas of strengths and your child's confidence and abilities will grow, overshadowing their weaknesses.

2. Believe in your child and let them know it frequently.

Be your child's cheerleader. Studies show you carry the most influence when it comes to shaping your child's confidence and self-esteem. It's not enough for us to believe quietly, we must tell them we believe in them. Nor is it enough for us to tell them once in a while, we must tell them frequently.

3. Figure out how your child learns best and adapt home review to meet their needs.

Every child is different. Every child has their own unique learning style. Don't assume your learning style is their learning style. Take the time to get to know how your child learns, and adapt accordingly. Share what you learn with your child's teachers, so they too can adjust their material to better suit your child's needs.

4. Never criticize or use " you always" statements when angry.

It's easy to let emotion get the best of us. And we can end up saying things we regret, things that hurt our kids rather than help them. It takes a lot more positive statements to counteract one negative. When we use critical words or generalize it can be very damaging, especially when accompanied with angry emotion. Instead, resolve to take a few breathers before responding. Leave the room and come back if you need to.

5. Teach and encourage your child to never give up.

It's cliche, but it's so true. We should never give up. We can't give up on our kids, and we can't teach our kids to give up. We have to encourage them to keep trying, and "just keep swimming". There are many routes to the same end point. And where you are today is hardly correlated with where you are going. How many adults can remember what they made on their 3rd grade math report card?

Parenting ADHD/FastBraiin kids is no walk in the park, or "no ride on a turtle's back." Sometimes, oftentimes the current feels against you. But you can keep pressing on. With the right strategies and a great deal of perseverance and patience, you will see amazing things happen with your family.

As always, FastBraiin is here to help. Give us a call if we can help you on your pathway to success, we'd love to serve you.