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What is self-handicapping in children with ADHD?

Negative feedback may cause your child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to give up trying, or to self-handicap. Self-handicapping may be a strategy your child has developed to protect his self-esteem. This ineffective coping strategy can sometimes result from learned helplessness. If your child fails at something and can believe that he didn't really try, he can hold on to the possibility that he would do well if he did try. In the face of consistent and frequent negative feedback, children are likely to adopt self-defeating coping styles to protect some remnant of self-respect. Other symptoms of ADHD, such as losing things, not following through on instructions, and forgetfulness, can also be seen as aspects of your child's strategy to protect himself through self-handicapping.
The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

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The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

As a parent, you already know that your child has many gifts. What you may not know is that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) related symptoms—the very qualities that lead him or her...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.