Opinion: Overcoming stigma as an Asian American with ADHD

Overcoming stigma as an Asian American with ADHD

In many Asian American families, a good education and success in school is prioritized above all else. According to Eurekalert, a science news website, this high academic pressure stems from Asian cultures believing that academic success is the only way to climb up the economic ladder.

This strict viewpoint is imposed upon Asian American high school students with immigrant parents, and many of these students struggle with this pressure.

Meeting such academic standards is even more challenging for learning disabled Asian American children. And I am one of them.

As a Chinese student diagnosed with ADHD and ADD, it is extremely hard to cope with the fact you have a learning disorder. Some people in my Asian community did not acknowledge my learning disabilities, as traditional Chinese people look down upon learning disabilities.

ADHD, ADD, and other learning disabilities are considered shameful in the Chinese community. People who dismissed my ADHD and ADD just assumed I was “not smart,” and that was a “fault” of my parents. For many, there is no such thing as ADHD and ADD — they believe this is just a cover-up for laziness.

In an article from Understood, a website devoted to educating the public about learning disabilities, Professor Manju Banerjee states that Asian American parents believe that their child’s learning disability is a result of bad parenting. Therefore, these parents do not feel comfortable revealing data or information on their child’s learning struggles.

Thus, there is a scarcity of literature investigating ADHD among Asian Americans, but it’s not because ADHD affects fewer Asian students. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, the lack of data on Asian learning disabled children could be due to the fact that fewer Asian families report their children as learning disabled, due to the stigma.

Because of the stigma of ADHD, my ADHD was not even recognized until I was in middle school. I began falling behind in my classes because I was unable to complete my work or focus for at least 30 minutes. However, none of my teachers or counselors believed I had ADHD because I still managed to keep up good grades. And I think it was also rare for them to see an Asian student with ADHD, so I believe this is why my learning disabilities were so often ignored.

Teachers were unaware of all my sleepless nights and hours of frustration trying to keep up with my peers, who did not have ADHD and ADD. I felt like I was running a race with a weight tied to my ankle. On top of that, no one made me feel like my ADHD was valid, and I constantly blamed myself for not being able to perform like everyone else.

However, over the years, I have learned to accept my ADHD. I accepted the fact that although it does not define me, it is a part of me, and I have developed ways to cope with it. I am able to achieve success, despite my ADHD. Finally, I no longer feel ashamed of having it.

I want to use this opportunity to break the stereotype of Asians not having learning disabilities. It is so uncommon to hear about an Asian with a learning disability because it is stigmatized so heavily in the Asian community. Many Asian parents feel that their child’s inability to learn is their fault, and do not talk about it or try to hide it because it is so shameful.

Social Emotional Learning Programs Help Schools Recover From COVID Learning Loss

Looking to develop emotional intelligence in your students? Contact curaFUN today to get the social development program your school needs!

curaFUN, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building children’s emotional fitness, has released a series of programs aimed at building social intelligence, especially in Asian and 3rd culture kids.

Go to https://www.curafun.com/schools to learn more.

This latest announcement will help your school provide critical emotional and social education for your students, enabling children to develop the emotional intelligence and cultural fluidity to thrive academically.

Research shows that social intelligence is an important factor in academic success. A recent study showed an 11% increase in the academic progress in students that received social emotional education. These students also demonstrated improved classroom behavior, the ability to manage stress and sustain positive attitudes about themselves, school and their peers.

curaFUN responds to these trends by releasing a series of programs that turn psychoeducational assessment and social emotional education into gamified, interactive online experiences. These programs will enable your students to develop inner strengths such as communication, discipline, cooperation, empathy, confidence and resilience.

curaFUN will work with your school to proactively and reliably identify areas where children need additional development and apply a personalized curriculum based on the unique needs of each student. Moreover, the organization’s StrengthBuilder programs include continuous evaluation and valuable professional assessment reports and data detailing the student’s progress.

The organization’s programs can provide schools without a full-time school psychologist, speech therapist, counsellor, or instructional aides with economical and personalized learning solutions that are proven to reduce behavioral incidents and student crises, decreasing the need for counselling hours and support services. The programs also fulfill speech and social emotional education requirements with no additional staffing or training.

curaFUN currently offers programs for children aged 5-11 in Mandarin Chinese and English and are expanding their coverage to meet demand.

Originally developed as part of a US Department of Education and National Science Foundation Grant, curaFUN is committed to helping children achieve greater success by fostering social and emotional skills.

A spokesperson for the organization said: “Our programs are the ideal solution for schools and educators looking to implement social emotional learning to the curriculum. curaFUN gives students the tools they need thrive in school and in the world.”

Contact curaFUN today to get the emotional social intelligence education programs your students need to thrive!

curaFUN has the proven social emotional education programs to help children succeed academically and in the real world! Go to https://www.curafun.com/schools/ to learn how you can get curaFUN’s programs today.

Mandarin/English Social Emotional Education Program For Schools Launched

curaFUN, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building children’s emotional fitness, has released a series of programs aimed at building social emotional skills, available in English and Chinese.

For more information, visit https://www.curafun.com/schools

This latest announcement will help schools provide critical emotional and social education for their students, enabling children to develop the emotional intelligence and cultural fluidity to thrive academically.

Research shows that social intelligence is an important factor in academic success. A recent study showed an 11% increase in the academic progress in students that received social emotional education. These students also demonstrated improved classroom behavior, the ability to manage stress and sustain positive attitudes about themselves, school and their peers.

curaFUN responds to these trends by releasing a series of programs that turn psychoeducational assessment and social emotional education into gamified, interactive online experiences. These programs enable children to develop inner strengths such as communication, discipline, cooperation, empathy, confidence and resilience.

curaFUN works with schools to proactively and reliably identify areas where children need additional development and apply a personalized curriculum based on the unique needs of each student. Moreover, the organization’s StrengthBuilder programs include continuous evaluation and valuable professional assessment reports and data detailing the student’s progress.

The organization’s programs provide schools without an full-time school psychologist, speech therapist, counsellor, or instructional aides with economical and personalized learning solutions that are proven to reduce behavioral incidents and student crises, decreasing the need for counselling hours and support services. The programs also fulfill speech and social emotional education requirements with no additional staffing or training.

curaFUN currently offers subscription-based programs for children aged 5-11 in Mandarin Chinese and English and are expanding their coverage to meet demand.

Originally developed as part of a US Department of Education and National Science Foundation Grant, curaFUN is committed to helping children achieve greater success by fostering social and emotional skills.

A spokesperson for the organization said: “Our programs are the ideal solution for schools and educators looking to implement social emotional learning to the curriculum. curaFUN gives students the tools they need thrive in school and in the world.”

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Interested parties can find out more by visiting the organization’s website at https://www.curafun.com

Multilingual Creative Writing Contest For Children Launched

curaFUN, a nonprofit promoting inner strengths and multilingualism in children of Asian communities, has launched a creative writing contest featuring inspirational stories for the youth.

curaFUN, a US and Taiwan based nonprofit dedicated to the emotional and mental development of children in Asian communities, has launched a multilingual inspirational writing contest for youths ages 6 to 18.

More information can be found at https://www.curafun.com

Dubbed “Shining Moments”, the writing contest aims to provide kids with a positive and inspiring environment amid the challenges they have been experiencing over the past year.

Participants are asked to share stories of moments, whether their own or someone else’s, when inner strength triumphed. curaFUN hopes the stories will inspire other kids to act with the inner strengths of cooperation, self-discipline, communication, resilience, empathy, and multilingualism.

The entries may be written in any language. However, an English translation, whether done manually or through a translation app, has to accompany any entry written in a different language.

Contestants get the chance to win a cash price of $100 USD, which can be redeemed via a Visa gift card, or a gift card from a popular merchant.

Entries may be posted at the Shining Moments page https://www.curafun.com/shining-moments and may be “liked” and commented on. The story with the most number of likes by 1:00 pm PST on April 15, 2021 will be the winner. A leaderboard will be posted on the Shining Moments website starting in March.

According to a spokesperson for curaFUN, “The past year has challenged most families more than anyone could have imagined. We’ve also witnessed that words are powerful, in both positive and negative ways, and we can decide how we use that power.”

Individuals over 18 years, as well as those who prefer not to join the contest, may also share their own stories on the Shining Moments page to contribute to curaFUN’s message of positivity and to encourage the development of inner strengths in everyone, particularly the youth.

curaFUN offers evidence-based programs aimed at building inner strengths and developing multilingualism, particularly English and Mandarin Chinese, in youths of Asian communities around the world. The nonprofit’s founders believe success in life can only be attained by a good balance of EQ (Emotional Quotient) and IQ. The programs are available on subscription basis in English and Mandarin.

Interested parties can learn more from the website given above.

Why you should be writing

Writing heals. Writing calms. It connects and brings self-awareness. To write, we have to slow down our busy minds and focus on our purpose. It requires us to reflect on our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and see them clearly–which is why journaling has been found to benefit one’s long-term mental health even more than assistance from therapists. This process of reflection engenders self-awareness. curaFUN’s Shining Moments are personal narratives of when people’s character strengths helped themselves or their communities. Both the reading and writing of Shining Moments focus our attention on what we’ve done right, character strength goals and when we were internally rewarded/fulfilled by these inner strengths. One of my favorite authors, Epictetus, writes “You become what you give your attention to.” Shining Moments begins a positive reinforcement cycle by exploring inwardly for those moments and consequently seeking to demonstrate character strengths so we can create more Shining Moments.  Growth only starts when we put our attention and first recognize where we are, our strengths and weaknesses so we can enhance those inner strengths that we wish to possess.

When I first ask students to write Shining Moments, many of them come up empty and tell me they haven’t done anything great. They picture only news-worthy efforts at a Nobel prize level like Malala or Gretchen to be worthy as Shining Moments. That reasoning is akin to fledging falcons in their nests thinking they can’t immediately dive and soar like full-grown falcons so they might as well not try.

Start by asking yourself when you
1. Felt confident
2. Understood another person’s perspective
3. Worked well with someone else (teamwork) to achieve a group’s goal
4. Bounced back from a setback/disappointment and didn’t give up.
5. Restrained yourself from doing something that you wanted to but knew was wrong

Really dig deep and try to identify at least one example each from your life. This is no easy task because you’re not used to explorations like this. Start writing them down, and after a week, share a moment when you were the happiest with our community.

Why is curaFUN holding a writing contest?

The past year has challenged most families more than we could have ever imagined. Kids have had to adapt to virtual schooling, changing lockdown situations, missed team competitions and family visits, their teachers and parents’ working at home and the anxiety caused by these uncertainties–their own and those around them. We’ve also witnessed that words are powerful, in both positive and negative ways, and we can decide how we use that power. We want to build a positive community for kids where they inspire each other with stories of moments when their inner strengths triumphed, and in doing so, arouse their peers to act with the inner strengths of cooperation, self-discipline, communication, resilience, cooperation, empathy, and multilingualism.

curaFUN announces our Shining Moments writing contest where contestants have a chance to win $100. We welcome positive Shining Moments from everyone, even if they’re not interested in participating in the contest. You may download a pdf flier here to spread the word.

Contestants may submit their Shining Moments stories and enter the contest at https://www.curafun.com/shining-moments/.