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Back to school emotions tend to exacerbate psychological problems. Anxiety, depression, and excitement are intertwined. Imagine students with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) with all these emotions. What might be visible is ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), irritability, bullying, negative self-esteem, and social issues. This would compound the typical symptoms of ADHD such as increased hyperactivity and lack of focus. Now we have the picture of a kid who starts the school year grounded by parents, considered disruptive by teachers, and labeled as a troublemaker by peers. Tempers flare among adults and kids. Classrooms are affected; marriages can be affected; family life is affected.

As a psychologist, I like to develop compassion and understanding with parents and teachers. They say it is helpful to understand the nature of their child’s disorder, emotions the kids are dealing with, and how to lead with empathy. I like to teach kids what is and what is not beyond their control and how to best adjust to newness.