Resolving ADD & ADHD © Martyn Carruthers

Online Help for Learning Disabilities 2

Children who appear to lack concentration or curiosity or who are a nuisance to teachers may be labeled learning disabled. Such children are expected
to show diminished creativity, spontaneity and motivation.

Such labels can devastate the lives of children who suffer from family chaos
or food allergies – or those who are more intelligent than their teachers.

Link to Part 1: About Learning Disabilities

Family Dynamics & Learning Disabilities

Learning disorders can delay maturity. Adolescents with attention deficit disorders seem to need more years to mature than their friends and peers. Their paths to adult lives are more likely have detours and speed bumps; and they are more likely to need assistance as they transition from school to work.

Nothing has a stronger influence on children
than the unlived lives of their parents.
Carl Jung

Although it is not politically correct to compare children with learning disabilities with the maturity and happiness of their parents, these phenomena seem related. A child with learning disorders may be an asset to families in which a problem child provides parents with a reason to stay together – or with someone to blame.

(Relationship problems may also precipitate psychosomatic eye problems, if children unconsciously find ways to not-see unhappy parents. Some clients reported that their children’s eyesight improved following couple coaching or marriage counseling).

Learning abnormalities (including brilliant academic behavior) may pass unnoticed until adolescence. Latent problems often become obvious when teenagers cannot participate in relationships … if they cannot attract healthy friends, cooperate in teams and create healthy partnerships.

We help people clarify entangled or enmeshed relationships. We usually coach the parents of children who suffer learning disabilities, and during sessions with children, we embed our coaching in stories – within healing metaphors.

When I told you about my son’s ADD – you offered to coach ME! I felt insulted!
… I came anyway … and with my husband a few times … now our son is
doing better at school … but you never even met him!

Some learning disorders (e.g. dyslexia) can be resolved with expert modeling (which is integrated into our coaching), as are attachment disorders, couple counseling, children of divorce and parental alienation.

For Coaches, Counselors & Therapists

We support multimodal treatment for ADD and ADHD
that includes diet, medication, exercise and other therapies.

We ask parents of learning-disabled children to participate in our coaching solutions, as there seem to be few advantages of individually coaching children if their parents can sabotage, however unconsciously, their children’s development.

Children need emotional support from their parents. Children try to solve their parent’s issues often become mentally or physically ill. If one or both parents are depressed, dysfunctional or disinterested in their children’s education; some children benefit by creating fantasy parents who provide some needed emotional support.

As learning disabled children recover their intelligence, concentration and resources, they often become sensitive to family secrets. We can help sensitive children assess and assimilate their parents behavior. Otherwise the knowledge that parents are immature, dysfunctional or don’t love them may result in more stress than that caused by learning disorders.

If ignored, child ADHD can become adult ADHD, which is often associated with anxieties, mood disorders, obsessions and compulsions. Our solutions for adult ADHD include: organizing life, controlling impulsive behavior, finding constructive outlets for excess energy and finding appropriate mentors.

How Parents can Prevent & Heal Learning Disabilities

We hold that a primary parental responsibility is that parents respect each other. Even when one parent feels sick or neglected. Even if the parents are separated or divorced. Even if one parent is an addict, in prison or dead. We often coach adults how to show appropriate (not pretended) respect to their parents, partners, past-partners etc.

This summary can apply to many consequences of covert emotional incest, parental alienation and other family problems.

Solutions for Some Learning Disorders © Martyn Carruthers 1999
Children’s Symptoms Possible Causes Systemic Solutions
Children are preoccupied (ADD) and may show stress symptoms (e.g. nail biting, nightmares, bedwetting) Parent(s) ignore family crises, or pretend that crisis is normal Help the parents manage family crises quickly and effectively
Children obsess about family secrets Parent(s) evade, hide or ignore uncomfortable truths Help the parents manage guilt issues quickly and effectively
Children confuses roles, and bonds unhealthily with parent(s), siblings or friends Children may be traumatized and withdraw from family

Children may try to punish self or other family members

Parent(s) abuse childrenParent(s) live through children

Parent(s) try to own children

Parent(s) act like children

Parent(s) ignore / abandon child 

Help the parents have friends with whom they can discuss partnership and parenthoodHelp the parents clarify relationships with their parents, partners and past partners
Children confuse roles and try to become a partner to the parent Parent(s) bond to a child as a substitute for a partner (emotional incest) Help the parents parent their children, and love the partner – even if separated etc
Children confuse roles and may show chronic melancholy Parent(s) ignore dead or missing family members (often to avoid feelings of guilt) Help the parents discuss dead or missing family members
Children confuse roles and may show chronic sadness Parent(s) ignore the absence of a potential (dead) family member After an abortion, miscarriage, stillborn or cot death, help the parents honor the missing child
Children confuse roles and may become unable to commit to partnership as adults Parent(s) allow other people interfere with the parents’ roles and the child’s welfare Help the parents clarify who are parents and who are substitutes
Children confuse roles and may become chronically angry Parent(s) allow family members to be manipulated or victimized Help family members fulfill their responsibilities
Children confuse roles and may show chronic anxiety Parent(s) ignore courageous actions or bravery by a family member Help parents honor all acts of bravery by family members
Children may identify with conflicting parental beliefs, showing chronic internal conflict Parent(s) become resourceless, resorting to verbal or physical abuse, or ignorance etc Help parents work together as a team to maintain family harmony
Children may hide all emotions and emotionally withdraw Parent(s) insist that a child control or hide emotions Help parents explore child’s emotions and how to express those emotions appropriately
Children focus only on what is missing – may develop little or no sense of life direction Parent(s) ignore a child’s goals or punish children for saying what the children want Help parents explore a child’s goals and how those goals may be fulfilled
Children feel unloved and act out to discover if they are loved Parent(s) communicate that children cannot contribute to family goals Help parents explore child’s potential contributions to family situations and goals
Children withdraw from family. Depression & psychosomatic disease are common Parent(s) blame children for the family’s problems Help parents manage partnership and parenthood issues
Online Solutions for Learning Disabilities
  • Coaching children needs parental participation and support, or it only provides short-term relief. For lasting results, we offer parent or whole-family coaching.
  • We require the active participation of at least one adult member (ideally a parent) of a family who seek help for troubled children.
  • When we coach children, we use stories, interactive metaphors, art and games etc.

Contact us to manage emotions and solve relationship problems

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