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Zebra Stripes for ADHD

A monthly newsletter of stories tips and news for those concerned with ADHD, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, No. 8

Sarah Jane Keyser : ADHD Coach

ADHD is No Laughing Matter! Or is it?

Joey, the zebra with no stripes, was grazing all by himself just at 
the edge of the forest. 

"Hi, ho, Joey."  "He Haw, Joey. What's new?" Joey flinched as a handful
of nuts bounced off his shiny white back. He looked up to see who was
tormenting him now. It was his monkey friends, Chip and Chap.

"Go away. Leave me alone."

"Hey, then?", said Chip. What's up pup?", said Chap.

"Koko and Sammy have gone off. They wouldn't let me come- again."

"Ha, ha, ha," Chip laughed. "And these guys are your friend's?" giggled

"It's not FUNNY!" said Joey.

"Well, that's the best reason for laughing!" said Chip. 

"When nothing else works, laugh." said Chap.

"Hey Joey. What's the difference between a lion with a toothache and a

Joey looked blankly at Chip. "One roars with pain and the other pours
with rain.", said Chap, and they both laughed heartily while Joey
snorted, "Boo".

Chip was not the least discouraged by Joey's mood. "What does the lion
say to his friends before they go out hunting for food?"  With a shriek
of laughter, Chap replied, "Let us prey."  Joey began to smile a little
to himself.

Now Chap said, "What are the best steps to take if you meet an escaped
"What do you think, Joey?", prompted Chip.
Joey thought for a bit and finally said "Very long ones!"

"Yes", and they all laughed until they were rolling around in the long

The jokes continued. Joey practiced telling the new jokes he'd heard. 

As the sun was setting, Joey trotted back towards home with his tail
arched high over his back and his ears straight up, chortling to

A laugh a day.

You've just learned that your ADHD cherub has lost his anorak again or that the home work he should have turned in last week is still in his back pack or( I leave you to fill in the blank). You have that strong urge to do some violence.

But wait! What if you did something else?. What if you said Hey Tommy, I just saw a blue cow fly by the window. Come and look! Chances are you and Tommy will start laughing.

Peter Jaksa tells a story in ADDitude magazine* of Tina. Tina was in the dumps because she had just learned that one of her best friends was having a birthday party and she wasnt invited. Her mother tried to console her without success.

Then she asked Tina Do you know how to make a butterfly? She picked up a pack of butter and threw it out the open door. Tina was so surprised she started laughing. She laughed until she was shaking all over and with a hug from Mom she regained her good spirits.

Laughter wont return the anorak or get an invitation to yesterdays party but it certainly helps to lower the ambient tension.

Your ADHD child probably has a good sense of humor; help her to develop it and shell get more invitations next time. Ask her to find jokes and tell them at the dinner table. Some jokes may open a discussion about healthy or unhealthy humor and how a joke is not funny when it causes emotional pain.

Silly nonsense is a potent tool in the battle of wills which so often surrounds daily life with ADHD. Fight temper tantrums with tickling and playful banter. Get them laughing and the tension melts away.

This is not just feel good talk. Did you know that the brain uses 50% of the oxygen we breath in? When you laugh the contractions of the diaphragm force old stale air up from the bottom of the lungs making space for fresh oxygenated air to wake up the ADHD brain.

*Additude, January 2005, p.36.

If you want to learn more about ADHD you can subscribe at http://www.additudemag.com


Zebra Tips : Just Laugh

  1. Just start laughing. You dont even need something funny to laugh at just start with

    Ha Ha Ha,
    Ho Ho Ho,
    Ha Ho Hi Ho Ha Ho Hi Ho!

    Try it alone and again when a member of the family is around. If they treat you as crazy, laugh even harder.

  2. There are many places to find jokes; books and the Internet provide quantities. Have everyone in the family tell a joke at dinner. It will certainly open up a discussion about good and otherwise humor.

Have a very Merry Holiday. See you next year

For more about me, Sarah Jane Keyser, About Sarah Jane

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