Hello everyone! I am the 35 year-old “success story,” David, that my mother Ellin wrote about in this blog entry. I put success story in quotes because, like all of us, I am still a work in progress. Frankly, have not entirely let go of the demons of growing up — and living with ADHD.
I have a few thoughts to share, especially with those still battling these demons, parents with ADD and ADHD children, as well other family members who face these challenges.
It’s easier as an adult to see the strengths of having ADHD (hyper focus, for example), than to see it as a child. However, it doesn’t have to be that way, at least completely.
Everyone can benefit from what I was taught in college and learned on my own about dealing with learning disabilities. ADHD or LD is not a prerequisite to benefiting from being embraced and embracing yourself as an individual. I have seven non-verbal learning disabilities as well as ADHD. There was and is a lot of stuff going on.
Focus on your strengths. Use them combat your weaknesses.
No one is good at everything. Some of us are square pegs and will never fit in typically round holes. Concentrate on things you are good at. Build your career of things you do well and about which you are passionate.
Of course you need to get through school first, but even there, by focusing on what makes you special and unique, you can push through, in college more so than high school.
In college, the answer is more important than how you reach the conclusion. That’s where I struggled in high school. I would say, “I can get the answer, but not your way.” That never seemed good enough. In college, and even more in the professional world, answers are critical. Unique perspectives can prove good, as well as profitable.
Be organized! Find a way to do it comfortably and effectively. Organization helps everyone.
Never forget that everyone is an individual and unique. Encouraging all youngsters to do what they are good at and rewarding them for it would help everyone. Further, instead of telling everyone they are a “winner,” which, even to children seems disingenuous, reward them for what they do well. Help them develop a sense of purpose and pride in their individuality.
Everyone should be taught to embrace what they do well and not forced to focus on what they do poorly. Especially not at the same time.
Everyone needs to learn math even if writing is their specialty, but if you focus on figuring out what makes someone good at writing, it will help them with math and other studies.
This would be a big improvement educationally for every child, ADHD or not.