Taylor’s research will focus on howknowledge, education and resilience canprotect children and teens with ADHDfrom the effects of bullyingand ostracism.
One of those effects is toxic stress,which can seriously damage brainarchitecture. Kids with ADHD mayalready have less than optimaldevelopment and toxic stress cancompound this by interfering withdeveloping brain circuitry.
Bullying is stressful because it consistsof repeated, aggressive acts (both verbaland physical) which, over time, lead toan imbalance of power between thebully and the victim. Bullying can takeplace at and away from school, and inperson or online.
Ostracism is also highly stressful
because a child is rejected by a social
group and left friendless and alone.
“At least with bullying your presence
is acknowledged. With ostracism, it’s as
if you’re not there at all,” he says. “Both
bullying and ostracism can affect mental
health and, ultimately, the trajectory of a
A recent study by Taylor and other
researchers found children with ADHD
who were already at risk of learning and
social problems are more likely to be
bullied and can have more psychosocial
Taylor wants to use his research tofind practical ways to help children withADHD in the community.
“To leave our work in the laboratory
only completes half of the equation,”
Taylor said during a visit to Calgary
in September. “We have to be better
at dissemination and practical
Taylor hopes what he learns about
helping children with ADHD can
be applied to help children with
other chronic conditions with
similar experiences. |a