Ausnew Home Care | Jack Gower turns to recycling scrap to burn excess energy after ADHD diagnosis

Jack Gower turns to recycling scrap to burn excess energy after ADHD diagnosis

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Jack Gower has a trailer packed with unwanted white goods, bikes, even motorbikes that are destined for recycling.

The 10-year-old is on a mission to fulfil his new-found interest: dismantling large electrical goods.

Most days Jack's mum Gemma Gower picks him up from his school in rural northern Tasmania for a two-hour road trip meeting fellow Tasmanians and collecting their old equipment.

His new start-up, Jack's Scrap'n, is garnering attention and addressing community need.

It is also helping Jack, who has ADHD, by teaching him valuable skills and using up excess energy. 

"I wanted to help the people that couldn't lift stuff or couldn't get rid of their rubbish," Jack told ABC Northern Tasmania Drive.

"We take it to recycling centres and with the money I do 'spend', 'save' and 'give'," he said.

A boy stands on top of a skip bin.
Jack pulls apart fridges, washing machines, and even motorbikes.(Supplied: Gemma Gower)

Jack said "spend" meant using the money he made to buy tools and equipment for his business, while "save" meant putting it away to invest in his future.

"And then with give, I can help sick people with charity," he said.

He has received a stream of requests from Tasmanians since he posted his homemade poster to social media.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurological condition that takes three main forms.

They are inattentive, where individuals may struggle with attention, organisation, finishing tasks or following instructions.

There is also hyperactive — Jack's presentation — characterised by hyperactivity and impulsivity.

There is also a combined type in which people experience symptoms from inattentive and hyperactive types.

A boy uses tools to dismantle a vehicle.
Jack Gower has discovered a way to harness his excess energy. (Supplied: Gemma Gower)

Ms Gower said her son's advertisement had "blown up".

"I thought it was a little bit exciting and it'll keep him busy and give him something to do," Ms Gower said.

"Now I realise, he's going to be a very busy boy."

"He thinks he's just going to be pulling stuff apart. But really, it's so much more. Like he gets to learn problem solving, maths skills, and so much communication."

"He's quite a shy boy, and when he picks stuff up, he goes and knocks on the door and says: 'Hello, I'm Jack and I'm here to get your stuff,' and it teaches him how to speak to people."

Jack and his mum said they would take the enterprise online with a new YouTube channel connecting with other kids with ADHD.

Jack said it was all about "showing them what they can use their extra energy for".

'Out of the box' learning

Ms Gower said the road to diagnosis had been long.

But she said it been pivotal in Jack's development, helping her to choose activities to better suit his learning and energy patterns, such as Jack's Scrap'n.

"You can easily flag them as being the naughty kid," Ms Gower said.

"But now we're able to strategise instead of going, 'he's just misbehaving', and find ways to keep him busy like we have with the scrap metal."

While Ms Gower believed there wasn't enough information about ADHD available for parents, she said her son's school was trying to meet his needs.

"More programs that could keep [children with ADHD] busy would be really good," she said.

"His school is really good, if he's at school and it's overwhelming they do 'brain breaks' to take them away from the lesson for a minute."

She said the hardest thing was really having to push for the diagnosis.

"And I think some parents probably wouldn't push as hard as we did, and it might just get swept under the rug," she said.

A man and a woman and two boys pose for a photo in the snow.
Jack's mother and father hope for more resources for parents of children who may have ADHD.(Supplied: Gemma Gower)

A Parliamentary Inquiry into assessment and support services for people with ADHD this year found barriers to accessing care included long wait times for diagnosis and high costs of services.

It also found there was a lack of reliable information, along with stigma and inadequate support in schools.

Ms Gower said understanding her son's condition had helped her think outside the box when it came to parenting.

"It's definitely kept him busy and out of trouble," Ms Gower said.

"There's not so much of me telling him off."

She said Jack even skipped screen time to tend to the piles of goods filling up the backyard. 

"He even said to me yesterday, 'Can I give up my tablet time so I can go back out the shed for a bit longer'," she said.


Source: ABC

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