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Why a Hedgehog can be useful for an ADHD Family

Why a Hedgehog can be useful for an ADHD Family2012-02-07T20:17:10+00:00

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    After a couple years of me telling my older daughter that we couldn’t get a hedgehog, my husband and I finally changed out minds. Although I won’t claim a hedgehog is a great pet, there’re some benefits which I’d never considered. The primary benefit is that hedgehogs can teach us to “read” others. Hedgehogs are primitive “prey” animals. As such, they tend to be timid and don’t really care about humans. The result is that if you’re too loud or move too fast, the the hedgehog will let you know by raising his or her spines (my daughter has reminded me that while porcupines have quills (which are hollow), hedgehogs have spines (which are solid)). The result is that unlike a dog who’ll take a whole of of abuse before growling, pulling back, etc. a hedgehog provides immediate, highly visual (and tactile!) feedback on your behavior.

    The unanticipated result is that instead of us all yelling at each other to “SHUT UP!!!” We calmly remind each other, “Don’t upset the hedgehog”. We even joke with each other when we don’t like what another family member is doing by our own interpretation of the hedgehog (a quiet “sniff” noise and quick whole-body jerk–NOTE: If you do this, let your kids’ school know, lest they think your child has developed a tic or other neurological disorder).

    Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out how the hedgehog can help me staying focused at work…


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    I learned something new: the difference between quills and spines!

    Sweet feedback that hedgehog gives. “Don’t upset the hedgehog” kind of sounds like a euphemism.


    Post count: 53

    I think there is a lot of truth behind your theory and it honestly sounds like a fantastic idea. I know that when I train horses I have to be 100% focused and attuned to my energy, gestures, the volume and tone of my voice etc… All prey animals react to all of this especially your energy and of course as an ADHDer my energy is naturally too intense for most horses and if I hadn’t learned to curb this I honestly probably would have had a very serious accident by now. For some reason growing up and not knowing I had Tourette syndrome nor ADHD no matter how many adults told me to hold in my tics and my energy I simply could not. No matter how much I tried and how many different techniques were shown to me etc… Horses however were able to teach me this. While I found that this skill never carried over into any other aspect of my life the fact that I could acheive this while riding horses was invaluable. It was so amazing to be able to feel true peace and relaxation even though it was only while galloping through the trails on a 1200 lb animal lol

    I think you are on the right track and commend you for opening your mind and looking into this. The other added bonus with this is that taking care of animals automatically (without you realizing it) forces you to adhere to a routine and instills discipline even when nothing else works ;)

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