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Special Treatment for ADHD Kids Causes Arguments: Is Being Allowed Special Passes to Cut Queues at Theme Parks OK?

There is currently some debate in the UK over Disability Discrimination Act legislation that allows children with ADHD to be given special passes that allow them to “queue-jump” at theme parks. If a child can prove that he has ADHD then he can be allowed to move to the front of the queue on any attraction without having to wait. This has caused some controversy over whether this is the right way to treat kids with this condition. So, is it in their best interests?

The Advantages of Not Making People With ADHD Queue

Theme park queues are notoriously long. It isn’t unusual for it to take hours to work through the line to get to the start of an attraction. ADHD sufferers do not generally find this easy. They may, for example, have problems with:

  • Concentrating long enough to stand in line
  • Understanding that they need to queue and wait to get on to an attraction
  • Coping with the stresses of queuing
  • Understanding how time works

Given these factors, many parents of kids with ADHD might simply avoid taking them to a theme park in the first place. The pass system simply allows them to introduce their child to this kind of environment in a structured and managed manner. They can have fun and may also learn something from the experience. The scheme has met with the approval of the National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service.

The Disadvantages of Allowing People With ADHD to Avoid Queuing

The main counterargument for this system has come from Professor Katja Rubia from London’s Institute of Psychiatry. Her perspective is that this special treatment does no favours for children with ADHD. She believes that it is counter-productive to avoid teaching ADHD kids that this is the way that the world works. As she said in a BBC article, it “isn’t right to bring them up in a system where they never have to wait”.

The principle here seems to be that it is possible to help ADHD sufferers to learn how to cope in these situations in many cases. It might, therefore, be better to work on solving the problem rather than removing it. After all, people with ADHD will have similar situations to deal with later in life and might be better served if they are taught coping mechanisms.

At the moment opinion seems split on whether this is a good idea or not. Whilst many parents appreciate that their child may be able to learn specific life skills that can help them cope with this kind of situation many are also aware that this can take a long time to work.

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