I’ve never personally been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, since when I was in Elementary school, they weren’t doing that yet. And by the time they did, I’d developed coping mechanisms that helped me to blend into the general population. But I’m certain that if I’d been born just ten years later, my teachers would’ve been pressuring my mother to put me on drugs. The three defining characteristics of ADD are Inattention, Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness. And boy, do I have all three. But, I’ve come to realize that I don’t “suffer” from these symptoms. I’ve been blessed with them. And in today’s post, I’d like to explain why I feel that way.
What is ADD?
ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder, is a way to describe kids (and adults) who lack the ability or willingness to focus on something they don’t care about. Period. When speaking with those, or the parents of those who have been diagnosed this way, I always ask the question: “If you really care about something, do you have any trouble focusing on it?” So far, the answer has always been a resounding “No! Not at all!” So, it’s not actually an issue with focusing. It’s not that kids with ADD can’t pay attention, they simply don’t necessarily pay attention when and to what WE want them to.
Is ADD a “new” condition?
Yes and no. There have always been children who spoke up in class when they weren’t supposed to, had trouble sitting still and had trouble memorizing information that didn’t interest them. Before we invented a medication and then a diagnosis that allowed us to prescribe it, we classified these children as “bad” or “daydreamers” and we punished them for their willful behavior. And, like me, many did learn to conform enough to stop making so many waves.
So no, ADD is not “new”. There has, however, been a huge increase in the individuals who have chosen to be born this way. And there will be many, many more to come. Why?
Because people with ADD are not broken and in need of being fixed. They are the future.
The corporate training ground
In order to understand this fully, let’s look at our school system, the training ground for our society. The model on which our current school system is built, was developed largely in order to prepare the population to work in factories in the Industrial Era. In other words, our current school system is designed to churn out good little workers who do as they’re told, perform repetitive tasks over and over again without complaining, and don’t think for themselves. Individualism is squashed and conformity is not only encouraged, but demanded. Learn what we tell you to, whether you want to or not (and whether it’s actually useful or not). Speak when we let you, be silent when you’re told to be, sit still, play at designated times only, don’t complain and perform to a predetermined and largely arbitrary standard.
Anyone who has ever worked for a large corporation will see the parallels. You are told when to come in and when to leave. You are told when you can eat. You work on projects that are given to you, whether you want them or not and whether they are actually useful or not. You are told how to dress, whether or not you can put a plant on your desk, how to speak and even when to speak. If you complain, you’re a troublemaker. Individualism is squashed and conformity demanded. Your job performance is judged according to predetermined and largely arbitrary standards.
Our school system does a great job of training our kids to be future corporate drones. There’s only one problem: This model no longer works. Conformity breeds mediocrity. If you want innovation, if you want people to truly care about their jobs, about making the workplace, the company, and the world a better place, you have to foster individualism.
We are in the midst of a great evolutionary change
We are constantly evolving and always have been. Right now, at this very moment, we are evolving at a faster pace than ever before. Time is speeding up and the gap between generations is getting wider and wider. You are not the same as your parents were, and your kids are not the same as you. Only, the difference between you and your parents is much smaller in comparison. We are evolving faster.
Each generation comes into the physical a little more awake, a little less willing to be trained out of their connection, a little more demanding that they be allowed to be who they really are. The kids we see today are less willing than any generation before them to conform. And the generation after them will be even “worse”.
But before we diagnose and medicate these kids into conformity, let’s take a look at the “symptoms” and how the current system (both school and work) copes with them:
Again, people with ADD usually don’t have any trouble focusing on something they truly care about. They simply have trouble focusing on anything that doesn’t really concern them. Our current system, however, does not allow students or workers to pick projects based on what they’re actually interested in and what they’d enjoy doing. But why not? Studies have shown that people learn and perform best when they have a high level of interest in the subject. They are much more innovative, creative and make much fewer mistakes. What’s the point in forcing kids to memorize facts which they will never use again and which they’ll forget 24 hours after taking the test? What’s the point of creating useless reports that no one will ever actually look at? Why is it considered “abnormal” to refuse to play that game?
Kids with ADD have a hard time sitting still. They want to jump in class and run and sing and yell when their little bodies tell them to. They have a tremendous amount of energy but refuse to funnel it into activities they don’t care about or on someone else’s schedule. So what? Who determined that people do their best work between 9 and 5? A lot of people don’t, actually. And being more interested in how many hours an employee’s butt is in the seat than in the quality of work he actually produces will lead to employees whose main goal of the day is to get through it. Why do we have to wait until 12 to eat Lunch? Why can’t we eat whenever we are hungry? The office isn’t going to shut down the way the factory line would’ve if you pull out a sandwich. We have become so obsessed with arbitrary rules (how many hours worked, when someone clocked in, if they were 5 minutes late coming back from lunch, if they stayed late or not, if they look good in a suit) that the real goal – running a successful company, designing better products that people actually want, creating an environment that allows and encourages employees to give their very best, has gone right out the window.
So what if someone can’t sit still? Will the meeting really be ruined if someone prefers to stand? Is it good for the company to force people to sit through useless, boring and productivity destroying meetings in the first place? And why is it considered “abnormal” to refuse to play that game?
Kids with ADD get a thought and run with it. They are easily distracted from something they don’t care much about by something they care even just slightly more about. They can’t control their impulses in the way that we’d like them to. They speak up when they want to be heard instead of waiting for permission. They have trouble listening to people go on and on and on about subjects they couldn’t care less about. So what?
Great ideas don’t come on schedule, and when they do pop up, it’s best to run with them before they vanish. Anyone who’s ever had an inspired moment knows that when you get that awesome idea, you can’t wait until later to write it down, talk about it or flesh it out. You have to do it NOW. People with ADD do this naturally. When something interesting occurs to them, they grab a hold of it. Again, if we want innovation, this type of behavior should be fostered, not squashed. I’m certain that if Einstein had been born in this century, he would’ve been diagnosed with ADD. Who decided that we couldn’t think creatively and innovatively at any time of the day? Why do we think that only certain people can have million dollar ideas? Why not allow the entire general populace to use their noggins to come up with the best solutions they can think of? Why is it considered disrespectful for anyone but certain members of the workforce to blurt out questions and solutions? How is society served even the slightest bit by prioritizing those activities and ideas that we are most passionate in absolute last place? And why is it considered “abnormal” to refuse to play that game?
While inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness are the three main criteria for diagnosing ADD, I’d like to add a fourth that can exacerbate the other three. Kids with ADD are often highly intelligent and are generally greatly understimulated by our current school system. In other words, they’re bored out of their little minds. When you add boredom to the above characteristics, you can easily get an individual who not only refuses to pay attention, sit down or shut up, but may act out quite aggressively. And why wouldn’t they? Most people who have been locked up in prison do…
The upshot of ADD
So far, in this article, I’ve described how individuals with the characteristics that are used to label them with having ADD have trouble fitting into our current society. I’ve tried to make it clear that trying to hammer these kids into a mold that no longer works is becoming increasing untenable. The system has to change (and I believe that it is). But there’s one major upshot to having this so-called ADD that I haven’t really seen talked about: the ability to hyper-focus.
While kids with ADD lack the ability and willingness to focus on something they don’t care about, they react very differently to something that really grabs their interest. When they DO care about something, they lock onto it with a laser like intensity. They learn everything they can about it, often at incredible speeds and with perfect recollection. They think about it, talk about it, read about it, write about it, dream about it, imagine ways to make it better, sing about it, evangelize about it, and generally behave like a dog with a bone. A tasty, tasty bone. This ability to hyper-focus can lead to incredible breakthroughs, ideas and innovation.
And yes, I know that some have described this behavior as “obsessive”, to which I have just one thing to say:*gets on soap box* Are you freaking kidding me?! If we’re going to declare any behavior that differs even slightly from the norm a disorder, we’ll have to start medicating the majority of the populace. Oh wait…*gets off soap box* (Sometimes I just have to let the sarcasm out.) 😛
ADD kids are the future
ADD is a sign of evolutionary change. It’s a GOOD thing, even if our society is having trouble keeping up.
- We NEED people who run with their brilliant ideas when they have them. And we have to allow them to practice that, even when their ideas aren’t brilliant yet.
- We NEED people who will joyfully obsess over a problem until they come up with creative and awesome solutions. And we can’t dictate what someone will obsess over.
- We NEED individuals who refuse to tolerate bullshit, cut through useless red tape and find better ways to do things. Today already.
- We NEED people who speak their minds when something doesn’t make sense, ask questions when they don’t understand something, and aren’t afraid to point out when something’s not working. And we have to foster this behavior right from the start.
- We NEED a workforce that’s more interested in doing great work and fostering amazing ideas than clocking 40 hours or showing up at 9 a.m.
- We NEED those who demand to work on something that they are passionate about. Passionate people have better ideas, happily work long hours when needed, dig in until they find solutions, and are much more innovative. And when you put them together with other passionate people, they are much more likely to share. When people know that they’re allowed to have as many ideas as they want, they don’t tend to hoard them.
Things are changing
Having said all of this, I do believe that our society is changing to reflect the type of humans we are becoming. In the technology field, where globalization has made outsourcing to independent contractors around the world standard practice, many workers are no longer paid by the hour, but by the project. If an engineer can complete a design in 30 hours, no one is going to demand that he sit in a chair and “look busy” for another 10. These types of workers often work whenever they want to, and many choose a different schedule than 9-5.
New types of schools, such as the Sudbury Schools, have no curriculum and allow students to learn whatever they want. Contrary to what many feared, students of these schools don’t just sit around playing video games all day. In fact, many learn advanced math and physics well before they would’ve been exposed to these subjects in traditional schools and with much greater success. Put a kid in a physics class and he’ll most likely fall asleep. But if the same kid wants to learn how to build a skateboard ramp, he’ll learn whatever physics he needs in order to complete that task in no time.
More and more companies are introducing flex time, contemplation areas (designed to give employees a bit more freedom with their time and to encourage creative thinking and problem solving), remote working and ways to structure tasks around areas of interest. And while the technology field is leading the way, other companies are following suit. The world is changing, there’s no doubt about it.
I don’t ever actually say that I have ADD, and not because I’ve never been officially diagnosed with it. I don’t consider it a disorder. I don’t consider it something bad. To me, the unwillingness to conform to a broken system or focus on something uninteresting and useless, coupled with the ability to hyper-focus on subjects that I’m passionate about, is a blessing. It’s made me successful in every field I’ve ever entered (because I entered them by choice and was interested in the subject). I learn at lightning speed when I want to, get so deeply immersed in projects that I’ll easily lose several hours, and will tinker with the tiniest of details in order to achieve perfection. As long as give a crap, that is.
So you know what? I think it’s time to change the stigma. If you’re going to declare that you have ADD, don’t hang your head or use it as an excuse to feel inadequate. Say it proudly! You are the future! Shout it from the rooftops! Say it like you know that it’s THESE qualities that are going to help you change the world! Say it with me now: “Thank God I have ADD!”
I remember once during my wasted youth going for an interview for a job in an insurance company. The ground floor greeted punters with carefully set-out foliage and nice colours. nice polite receptionist, general all-round niceness. Nice. The PM showed me around and gave me a general idea of what it was I was supposed to do and insisted verily that all jobs were to be carried out according to company policy. Second floor full of eager typists going at it in the nicest of ways with nary a dissent. Third floor…wow! this was where it all happened! Chaos! Pot-bellied guys with mugs of coffee and beards, strewn papers, unwilling vegetation trying to cope with cigarrette smoke. Yay! Home! The dropouts here were the ones doing the stats and interesting stuff and sure looked like they’d suffered from low-boredom thresholds….
I really liked your post. I’m a college student who just recently happened to look up ADD and found that I pretty much fit all the symptoms, much to my surprise. I think the reason it was never caught before is because I luckily have a really good memory and classes in elementary and high school were really easy, so I got by with good grades even though I hardly ever did anything or even payed attention (I used to read in class ALL the time, its basically what I hyperfocus on).
However, now I’m in college and my parents want me to become a doctor, which I have no interest in. I’m sitting there in Organic Chemistry completely uninterested and unable to pay attention and fidgeting and doodling and I can no longer rely on the bare bones of what I remember because this stuff is actually difficult. But my parents don’t understand (even my mother who apparently was diagnosed with ADD when she was a kid but just ignored it) and tell me that I just have to get through it. But I can’t because it’s not something I want to do. Actually, my passion is really in writing, but that’s not an acceptable career to my parents. So I’ve begun to wonder whether I should go to the doctor and get a prescription and get medicated so I can make it through medical school. My parents just don’t really think ADD is that big of a deal. I wish they thought like you lol. Great article and I definitely agree that people with ADD can do amazing things when they’re allowed to work on stuff they’re interested in.
I don’t want to tell you what to do, but you’re asking if you should take medication which will help you to force yourself to go down a path that you already know will make you unhappy… Perhaps you could think about having a conversation with your parents (not a screaming match), where you explain to them that you know that they just want you to do well so that you can be happy, but that you know that being a doctor will not get you there. And you know that if you put your brilliant mind to it, you’ll be able to find a career that you can be super successful at AND that will make you happy. Don’t talk about the writing right now (that will scare them), try to make them see that there are other options out there for you to explore, that will appease their fears about you not doing well for yourself. Ultimately, they want to know that you’re ok. They don’t want you to be unhappy. They’ve just decided that being a doctor will make you happy. If you make it your mission to speak to them calmly and in a mature way and just tell them that you’re not happy, they may well consider your words differently.
Also, spend some time visualizing that conversation going well before you actually have it and work the bugs out.That’ll help A LOT. 🙂
iam saving this post to show to my son when he is older (he is currently 8). I believe he probably does have ADD or something similar, but I refuse to go down the route of getting him formally diagnosed or medicated. he has all the amazing good traits of these, as well as those which his school occasionally finds inconvenient. but he is who he is and I honour and celebrate that
Yay Debbie! And that’s why you’re his mother. Because this kid wanted a mom who would allow him to be who he is. Good for you!!!
You don’t need to show signs of hyperactivity, though… For ADHD, yes. But for someone just with ADD, hyperactivity was never an issue with me even when I was a kid.
Everyone’s experience is their own. Hyperactivity isn’t always part of the mix. It really wasn’t for me, either.
This is yet another wonderful post! Thank you do much for spreading the word about this. As an ADD sufferer myself, I was dying in the corporate world and I hate being surrounded by zombies. Are you sure this is happening, Melody? Society is dying for change, yet schools are using test scores more than ever to categorize children and label them and entire futures are based on that. The curriculum still requires students to sit there most of the day and follow instruction. I pray the world changes and comes to our level and vibration, but I don’t see that happening just yet. I do hope it happens soon. I am glad there is so much awareness about it and people are resisting written standardized tests.
I’m sure it’s happening. As the vibration rises, those who are unwilling to evolve will feel the pressure of that widening chasm (between where they are stuck and where their ever evolving inner being is) more and more. And in so doing, they will hold more and more tightly to what they know, feeling the fear that comes with change and not understanding change. Our school system is like that. So are out governments. People in fear will create more and more rules and regulations to try and feel safe again. But it won’t work. And the time will come when the old infrastructure will just dissolve.
But in the meantime, the opposite is also happening (and yes, it really is). You just can’t focus on the broken school system and see the progress at the same time. There’s plenty of it. And a new system is being built right now, which will become available to the masses when the old one finally breaks. It’s the best of times and the worst of times, and we get to choose what kind of time we have. 🙂
This is absolutely the best article that I have EVER read on ADD! You are so authentic and on the mark. I can relate 100% to what you said. I will highly recommend this article to others!
Thanks so much Cathy! And welcome to Deliberate Receiving!
It has been suggested that my son has mild ADD. And he does exhibit all that you described, except, when he MUST, he can and will focus to get things done, whether it interests him or not. His teachers have no major complaints, so I guess he makes necessary adaptations at school like everyone. Next year we go back to homeschooling and will do the unschooling variety as we travel.
I really appreciate what you wrote. It touches my heart. I too agree that he and kids like him are the future. I have often observed him (and his quirks) and his friends clearly on the spectrum and all so uniquely gifted in distinct ways, and have thought there must be a reason for these traits that so clearly give them a peculiar edge in various ways. My only reasoning is that we are observing an evolutionary shift that serves our more modern, fast-paced electronic world much better than we can understand yet. I learned to keep my mouth shut because people would think it was just a mother refusing to accept reality, but if you have spent time around a group of such boys (more affected than girls) and observe their way of talk, play, thinking you notice something remarkable that you can’t fully define but know is significant.
Oooh, you make a great point. But I as you this: Are the kids changing to keep up with the technology, or are both the technology and kids a reflection of the rising vibration? I tend towards the latter.
I was actually quite successful in school. I was able to adapt for the most part. What I realized later was that I didn’t actually learn much. I just knew how get good test scores. What has served me the most in my life, in terms of real world success was my ability to learn quickly and my confidence in that ability. I very rarely think “I can’t do that.” I usually default to “I can learn how to do that.” If we teach our kids that they can learn, and how to enjoy it, we do more for their future success than if we get them to memorize some data and regurgitate it on a test.
So many people are insecure about their ability to learn new things. Your kid is exploring his world, excited and intrigued by the new, not afraid of it. Bravo!!!
I think this may be one THE best article written on ADD I have ever read. Thank you for this. It is exactly how I feel, and exactly why I homeschool my 12 year old (brilliant!) son who HAS been diagnosed with ADD (several times over). I say BRAVO!!!!
Thanks so much Lillyth (what a beautiful name!)
Welcome to Deliberate Receiving! So your son has ADD? Yay! Good for him! Perhaps the time will come when that will be something to be proud of. Kids will brag about their ADD. “I’m so ADD, I won’t focus on anything I don’t resonate with!” Hell yes. 😀
Thanks so much for your wonderful words.
Huge hugs for you and your brilliant boy!
Thank you for the compliment on my name. I chose it myself. According to ancient Hebrew legend, she was Adam’s first wife, and when he wanted her to bow down to him, she said “Dude, either we are equals, or I’m outta here!” Except she probably didn’t say dude. Or outta. I found re-creating myself to be very empowering.
I think you are right. ADD is something to be proud of. There are 7 billion people on the planet, or, as I was fond of saying throughout my wedding process, “They have people for that.” We have such a diversity of people on this planet that no one really SHOULD focus on anything they don’t resonate with. Why should I study sports scores and analyse them if they bore me to tears. Same thing with any subject, really.
BTW, you will be amused to know that on my way to meet the other homeschoolers at the park the other day, my son delivered a half-hour long monologue on prehistoric animals. When I asked him if he has seen that on the documentary I had assigned him that morning he replied, “No, this is stuff I looked up and watched about four or five months ago. Back when I was interested in prehistoric stuff.” A HALF AN HOUR’S worth of material, and he hadn’t even looked at the information in over four months. Talk about an ability to hyper-focus!
That’s awesome Lillyth! I hear stories like this all the time from parents of kids with ADD. When they’re interested in something, there’s no stopping them. Woohoo!
You can’t imagine how much I love this post! Is really love to see this sort of philosophy embraced in our culture. Having been diagnosed with ADD 13 years ago I’ve struggled through school but I made it and graduated from one of the top universities in the country and have gone on to have an incredibly successful career in the very competitive art world. I quickly discovered that it was my ADD that made me unique, special, talented and set me apart from my peers. Fortunately for me, people expected to be loud and cooky in the art world. Stop trying to fix it and embrace it! Thank you thank you thank you for this post!
Going through the current school system is definitely a struggle. I didn’t realize how many coping mechanisms I created to help me through until quite recently. I didn’t need them when I cared about the subject, though… 🙂
I’d love to see more people realizing that different from the “norm” is not broken. It’s just different. And diversity is good (can you imagine if we really were all the same??? Ick.)
Thanks for your wonderful words.
I personally think that ADD has been way over diagnosed in the past decade. I think more and more people are using it as an excuse for their children that can’t behave themselves. While it may be a real disorder I think it can be “cured” outside of using drugs to make the children depressed.
You know, there are a lot of opinions about medicating kids out there. I’m not sure that every case of ADD can be treated without meds. Sure, many of these kids don’t need to be “treated”. Society has to catch up with them. But there are some cases that are severe (very few, relatively speaking), where the child is suffering. In these cases, diet and environment (allergens) can make a huge difference. And, at times so can medication. I think those cases are few and far between (I do believe we over medicate to a ridiculous degree), but they nonetheless exist.
A lot of these kids defy discipline and when parents don’t know what to do, while being terrified that they are screwing up their kids, a well meaning teacher or doctor waving pills can have a tremendous amount of influence.
I still think the answer lies largely is changing the system, but also in accepting people for who they are and ultimately, following our own intuition. When we do that, the tools that we use, whether it be a diet change or meds or simply a different approach, will be the right ones. 🙂
I have read this post, and also the comments, a few times. It is interesting but I do not recognize much in of it in any of our four children.
Except maybe in our second son, who also got himself into trouble often, not by misbehaving but by being different and accident prone. And of course it was judged as lack of intelligence as well, as really all four of our kids experienced at one time or another in their lives, though somehow the boys seemed to be able to cope with it better than our only daughter.
The eldest son is the only one though who now conforms more or less to ‘normal’ standards: good job, (Dutch) wife and two kids, still members of the church, be it not fanatically (and thank God his eldest daughter’s best friend in school is Moslim and that is not a probem, or I should start to worry!). His brothers are both married to Vietnamese, Buddhist girls, one couple living in Vietnam, the other here. We have attended two weddings in two different regions in Vietnam, one of them in a Buddhist pagoda. My son seems to have made some very funny promises there, judging to the reactions of some of those present. Fortunately his Vietnamese is better by now.
My daughter was the last one to find her feet again and is very much oriented on the Middle East. Almost all her friends are Moslims and she is interested in Islam but not necessarily planning to convert. She likes discussing religious issues in an open and intelligent way though and has attracted quite some positive friends with an academic background. One of them seems to be coming more into focus. Next and final wedding in the Middle East perhaps? After all, then we would be almost back where we started, my husband and I, as we got married at the top of mount Carmel in Israel.
But to cut a long story short, all of our kids are, always have been and will be okay, despite ADD or whatever.
That’s really the main point of this post – to offer a perspective that allows us to see each individual as OK, even if they differ from the norm in some way. I find that parents are often torn between “knowing” that their kids are perfectly ok and always will be and this massive fear that they will not be. And that fear can cause them to override their intuitive knowing. From what you’ve shared here in your always excellent comments, I’m certain that your kids are doing fabulous. They are open and accepting of others and aren’t afraid of having adventures. What more can you ask for? 🙂
Hey! This article reminded me of a video I saw on Ted.com. Check it out! http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html
Always big bear hugs back!
Thank you so much Sophie! I found a follow up talk by Ken Robinson that’s just as brilliant! The message is the same as mine, but his delivery is incredible. :o)
You know, ADD/ADHD is not even noticed here where I live. If parents notice something unusual, it is often filed away as one of those things that occur in childhood. I have a friend who does not want to return to India because there’s no structured system to help deal with this. Also – medication for behavioral issues, though not uncommon, labels the child – “something is wrong with him” everyone would say. Worse still, at school, some children who are unusually brilliant but appear strange (ADHD) when compared with their classmates are teased/bullied and end up feeling lonely unless an understanding adult (teacher) intervenes and makes it better for them. Most of them are just labeled dreamers and later “duffers”. I remember one classmate of Vidur’s couldn’t add 9 8 in the 7th grade. I recall seeing his paper – he had just sketched a couple of figures next to it with a solar system around it 🙂 So endearing. Rather than approach the issue, they just failed him in the test. The boy is one amazing fella who can keep his classmates entertained for hours. He’s quite fearless and speaks his mind. And the teachers constantly complain to his Mom about him.
I think ADD is a gift in extraordinary people that must be leveraged. I get the feeling that when an individual cares about something and it matters enough, the focus comes in, naturally. Vidur, my son is like that. Appears careless on the surface, but is amazingly organized about the things he cares about. Enjoyed this post. Feeling the brilliance.
Thanks so much for sharing this awesome example of how our current system isn’t really equipped to deal with these kids. But it will change, the children will continue to demand it. And really, there are so many examples of those who were poor students who ended up realizing their brilliance as adults, there’s actually not that much danger that the system could really damage a kid. They can try, but kids are allowing that “damage” less and less. And their parents are helping in many cases, following their own intuition, not giving the kids medication, etc. Everything is just fine. I love watching these kids, though. They are changing the world just by being who they are. But then, I suppose, so are we all. 🙂
We totally share the soapbox on this one Melody. These are so many of the reasons that we’re homeschooling our kids. My husband and I are watching the effects of the school system on our neices and nephews and, for some, it ain’t pretty. We’re watching some amazing potential getting squashed and turned into something very dark and the parents are oblivious to it because they blindly follow all the figures of authority in education and medicine without educating themselves.
My husband shoes horses and actually chose that profession years ago so he could bring our kids with him when he works. While at a client, my son was running around playing, asking questions and generally doing what he does. The client, a teacher, asked my husband if we were homeschooling Cody. When my husband said ‘yes,’ the client replied, “Thank God! The schools would have this kid completely drugged up.” He complimented my husband on how excited and inquisitive Cody was.
I would never bother to have my kids tested for any of these “disorders” because I think it’s the natural way kids are. We’re using the unschooling approach to homeschooling which, like the Sudbury Schools you mentioned, lets the child lead the learning. Cody loves dinosaurs so we use that as a platform to learn all the “subjects.” He knew how to read the word “bracheosaurus” way before he could read “dog” because he loves dinos. He won’t buy a toy T Rex if the toy designer didn’t bother to put the correct two, instead of three, fingers on their arms. My 5 year old daughter is the same way with horses.
Obsessed? Maybe, but what difference does it make? As long as they love learning, I don’t really care what they’re learning. I just want them to be happy and excited about life and each one will express that differently.
To Jeanie’s point, I totally agree. The amount of non-food that people (especially kids) eat is messing up our systems on so many levels. We eat in the way she talks about but have been more alert to food allergies. We’ve started to notice the negative effects on all of us from dairy products. Some of us are more sensative than others to wheat and sugars (not the white kind).
I completely agree that we’re evolving and the people of the past should stop trying to drag the people of the future backwards.
Thank you so much for explaining this issue so well – as you usually do.!
Your kids are so lucky! I love how free you let them be. I noticed the same things with my nephews. One, at 5 years old, was asking his mother to read him a encyclopedia of mushrooms, complete with Latin names, over and over again. Not great fun or her, but he soaked it up. The rule book doesn’t apply to these kids. We have to create a new one, or better yet, just let each of them write their own. 🙂
I do think that a clean diet makes a huge difference as well, for many reasons, hyperactivity just being one.
Oh, and I think this is a T-shirt worthy slogan: “The people of the past should stop trying to drag the people of the future backwards.” LOVE it!!!
Melody, my wife read your article and tweeted it directly to me. As you may have guessed, I too have ADd. And something you didn’t mention was that the very society who doesn’t deal well with hyper, obsessive, impulsive people can work incredibly hard to conform us to their standards so that we are extremely hard on ourselves. I didn’t realize until just a few years ago that I had ADd, but you know what? Suddenly, it made sense why I had been fired OVER and OVER again. It made sense why I had always had trouble managing money no matter how obsessive and organized I tried to be about it. To that end, I might add that it’s good to have friends and spouses who are organized and can help with some of those tasks.
Appreciate your energy, my friend. I truly enjoyed this read!
I developed quite a few coping mechanisms. I simply do things a little bit differently. They’re not better and not worse. Some of the biggest disputes that I had with my teachers were times when I would get the correct answer but not in the way they wanted me to. They couldn’t get their heads around the fact that I did things differently and my child mind had trouble understanding why they would be so intolerant (actually, I still have that problem). When I did math in my head, they accused me of cheating, for example.
I found the same intolerance in the workplace. It’s called micromanaging. People don’t just tell you the results but how to get them, even if you could get better results in a different way. When I started managing people I did my best not to do that. And employees often came up with much better and more creative and cheaper solutions than I could’ve. Schools and employers would to well to simply say: Accomplish this. I’ll show you one way, but if you come up with a better way, go that, as long as you meet the goal. It would skyrocket innovation and make students and employees much happier. 🙂
Thanks so much for your wonderful comment!
It gives great relief to me, heheh hehe hehe. Most of the time i am in same way as you blogged. Means i am in search of my passion. If you post somthing ” how to find your passion?”, it will be a great help for me.
It’s non the list, I promise. I also share tons of awesome posts on Facebook, and I know I’ve shared some on Passion. If you’re not a fan of my page yet, you might want to be.
Great to hear from you!
Just found this on huffpost. Some of these kids are so in alignment, it is not even funny….ok, yes it’s really funny.
Holy Crap, some of these are funny.
Number 26 brought back some memories. I corrected my teachers if they were blatantly wrong. It didn’t occur to me not to. I wasn’t being disrespectful in my mind, they were simply wrong and I felt I had a duty to point that out. They didn’t much like that either… LOL.
Number 28 made me sad. No hugging in schools? There are actually schools that ban all displays of personal affection? Seriously? Never mind drugs and guns. Keep my kid safe from a hugger! As a hugger, I protest. 😉
Huge happy shiny puppy hugs for everyone! Buwahahahahahaha!
I had a teacher suggest medication for my highly creative son when he was third grade. He really thinks outside the box, with a crazy sense of humor, and a huge love of learning, not like schools teach but in his own way. I thought she was crazy but tried to not be in denial and go through the thought process. Since, I am a teacher I know of ways to look at an individual and see if it’s just boredom/other things or if a real problem is there. My son was fine! We did NOT medicate. And there isn’t a smarter kid around, who is now majoring in art and doing very well in school.
Posts like this are highly needed to educate everyone out there!!
I think a lot of parents are confused and scared of doing the wrong thing and well, they think the teacher must know what’s best. But nothing ever trumps our own intuition. It’s so awesome that you followed yours! 🙂
Thanks for your kind words!
Oh, and by the way…
“Blame it on my A.D.D., baby…SAIL!”
Wow. I loved it! Thanks for sharing Jason! 🙂
TALK ABOUT SYNCHRONICITY!
Hey Melody, I hope you don’t mind, but I just read this on my bookmarked Abraham/Hicks Daily Quote:
The children desire freedom! And every particle of their being from their Source says, “You are free. You are so free, that every thought you offer, the entire Universe jumps to respond to it.” And so, to take that kind of knowledge and try to confine it in any way, defies the Laws of the Universe. You must allow your children to be free, because the entire Universe is set up to accommodate that. And anything you do to the contrary will only bring you regret. You cannot contain those that cannot be contained. It defies Law.
Of course I don’t mind!! Abe and I totally planned the timing of this, he, he,he. Don’t you just love it when crap like this comes together? Wahoo!
If you want them off drugs, be sure to begin with NO SODA, throw out the sugar, junk food, fast food, anything with BPA, including cleaners and most mass produced carpets and any clothing that wreaks of chemicals. And, if you’re going to let them get ‘hooked’ on games because you are having a hard time coping, don’t be surprised if you get emails from their teachers. Just sayin…
I think that diet and environment do play a big role and many parents who refused to medicate their kids and looked for alternatives, found information about these aspects that greatly helped. As Julie pointed out above, perhaps getting them hooked on video games isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He, he. ;P
It’s funny. I believe my daughter has some ADD tendencies — she constantly bounces on one of those big exercise balls in order to “invent” her stories. She’s a would-be writer and says she needs motion (the ball) and music (her iPod) as catalysts for her creativity. She’s a girl who couldn’t read until the end of 2nd grade and now, on the Dean’s List in college, wants to be a writer!
Oddly, I am somewhat the opposite. I need quiet and lots of sleep to be at my best. And yet, I am totally supportive of my daughter’s preferences. They work for her. Never once did I ever want to subdue her tendencies with drugs or testing.
I think more parents are becoming aware of the dangers of drugging their kids. I hope so. The most powerful advocate children have are parents who know them best, parents who aren’t afraid to ignore the pressures of society. They allow their children to become whatever makes them happiest.
Added benefit: If you’re happy, you’re healthy. That’s a pretty good way to go. 😉
Your daughter sounds awesome! I’ve never tried writing on a bouncy ball, but I’m so going to give it a shot. You know, I often say that a large part of my job is giving people permission to follow their intuition. Oooh, that could be a slogan. Ha.
Anyway, the way I see it, that’s all I’m doing with this post. If someone has a kid with ADD, and they don’t want to medicate but their teachers or doctors or whoever are trying to pressure them into it, it might help to know there are others who are in the corner of what their gut is telling them. It’s a better feeling perspective and one they WANT to adopt, but need permission to do so.
If someone really feels that medication is the answer, then they should do that. But deep down, most of us know that there’s nothing wrong with the majority of these kids. It’s time that we acknowledged that. 🙂
Thanks, M. (Just trying out a reply here to see if my new avatar works!)
An interesting and entertaining look at ADD or ADHD. As I was reading it I was agreeing with you … but then the more I thought about it the more I disagreed. And here is why:
True ADHD, I’m assuming, is not in question here. This is a true disorder that doesn’t allow for the person to focus on any one thing for every long before moving on to the next. Thus making it very difficult to function even with the most basic of life functions.
The ADHD (or ADD) being discussed here is the often misdiagnosed one of children (or adults) where they can only focus on things that they enjoy doing or utilizing a methodology that may be contrary to the norm. Whether it be learned behavior, parents not willing to set boundaries, bad diet, non-recognition of special needs, …
Ideally it would be great if we could say “let’s redo the education system so it is effective for everybody” and just think it will happen. The problem is not enough people or resources are being dedicated to figure out how to do this on a nationwide scale that wouldn’t cost a bagillion (I’m calling this a real word for the sake of argument) dollars out of the gate. Not to mention the politics and opinions that would be involved. General rule of thumb with anything new: 1/3 will love it, 1/3 will be okay with it and 1/3 will hate it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a significant number of the jobs in modern society are repetitive, require multiple skills, and must be in a predictable work environment. The best example is retail. If the employees just walked out randomly for half an hour, and closed the store until they got back, would you shop there? This also applies to nearly everything where an appointment is involved or there are standard ‘open’ hours. Call centers, medical, dental, … the list goes on and on.
I think there is a general consensus that our Education system needs a reboot to be more effective. We recently watched a documentary about the Finland school system and what they have done. Many countries, including the United States, are looking to elements of what Finland has done and how the pearls of it might be implemented. One of the major ideas that comes out of it is the idea of splitting off academic and vocational education. But this also took decades to get where it is now and a HUGE investment by their government in making it work.
There will always be a place for dreamers and those that think outside the norm. Reminds me of the show Eureka on SyFy. 🙂 However, home schooling and private schools do exist now to assist parents in helping to keep their children from being added to the corporate collective.
But like it or not there is a greater need for people to do the most basic of tasks not because it is all they can do but because somebody has to do it. And it’s not that they are being “droned” because we want them that way … they are needed that way! There are a minimum set of skills required to keep society moving along.
Much of my working life I have done things I like and did them very well. It wasn’t until 4 years ago that I wound up with a dream job. But I had to go through some really sucky times and situations to get here. And in looking back at my education which included such useful things as Shakespeare, Dodgeball and skipping class it has all come together in some fashion to who I am today. And I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
My two cents. I could be wrong. 🙂
Thanks for this awesome reply. You’ve made some really great points.
First, yes, I’m certain that there are cases of ADD or ADHD that are so severe that medication is a major part of the solution. If someone is suffering because of a condition and medication can alleviate that suffering, it should certainly be an option. But when we create that suffering because of a perception that everyone must conform to a system that no longer applies, it may be time to shift that perception.
Notice, I never said “don’t medicate your kids”. That’s up to each individual family. I’m offering a different mindset, that’s all.
And sure, there are many jobs where some kind regularity is needed. But there are also many individuals who love that regularity and love that work. The idea that some of us have to just pay our dues and work in jobs we hate is a belief system and not one that serves us very well. There are people who love to sew, those who love to wait tables, those who love to work in factories. This is a whole different blog post, but one of the main issues there is that certain jobs are frowned upon, making it “not ok” to want to be a waitress or car mechanic, as if those jobs are somehow less valuable. We don’t believe that we all have the right to be happy, but we do. And we should encourage people to do what they want, even if it’s not the most lucrative option (again, an arbitrary way to pick jobs). This is where this great diversity in the human population will serve us: Not everyone wants to do the same job. And for every need, there is a person that would love to fill it, if given the chance and not discouraged in some way from it.
I do think that our education system is changing. It has to. And more and more solutions are being offered from the private sector. I don’t think we need one solution that will fit everyone, I think we need lots of solutions and then just make sure they are all valid choices.
Ultimately, from a big picture perspective, there’s nothing wrong. The changes I’m talking about are happening whether we are aware of them or not. Kids are changing, the system is changing, we are all evolving. But by becoming aware of the process, we can perhaps have a smoother ride.
Your two cents are worth a lot. 🙂
I finally had to put my child with ADHD on medication because she ate all the rotten food at school and took her hyper behaviors way overboard for getting along with anyone…she also had ODD – we had to stop all the yelling and scream to be able to even get close at all
She has a lesion in the brain over Long Term Memory so every 2 weeks everything would just disappear that was not repeated daily…we had to finally teach her to put information in 3 different ways and WOW is she intelligent.
We used food to help the other two wake up and get going and they complied and I let them homeschool in middle school and sent one daughter off to college 2 years early – she just went for her 10 year reunion.
As high energy as I am, I am having trouble keeping up in the blogging world…wow it just changes about every 6 months right now….and I keep getting distracted with content and feeling badly that this highly intelligent person has never made any money to speak of…now I have to keep pace and never retire…
I will say that I developed the alternative elementary program in my community with several other moms…and I home schooled all of them at some point….I had to hire out math and science, but that was fun too and they met such interesting folks
Oh this was fun.. I do think Melody that the most successful bloggers are hyper active.
I didn’t mention medication (well, a teensy bit) in my post, because I would never just come out and tell a parent not to put their kids on meds. That’s not for me to say. Every parent has to make that decision on their own, based on their situation and intuition. Many parents, however, feel that they don’t want to medicate, but kind of need permission to follow that feeling.
I’m certain there are cases where the solution to what someone wants can be delivered through meds. And in those cases, they help a great deal.
It’s so awesome that you home schooled your kids. Of course, I know that option isn’t open to everyone, but bravo.
You know, I get the strong sense that you simply haven’t quite found your passion yet. You’re close but not quite there. I think I’ve said this before. When you find it, you won’t be able to stop focusing on it. 🙂
Sending you huge hyperactive hugs!
As an LCSW, I’ve worked with a lot of “mental” disorders. I believe strongly that the way we’ve been eating and living for the last 40 years has contributed to the stratospheric rise in all conditions and disorders of the body and mind.
We weren’t genetically meant to eat frankenfood, and we can’t expect our brains and bodies to function well without proper nutrition, starting with rich, organic soil and nose-to-tail meat.
This is a resource that I’ve used in collaborating with families and doctors on the dx of ADD, by the way: http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/related-conditions-40570-5.html
I always, ALWAYS advocate testing for micronutrient deficiencies & food sensitivities (supplementing until levels are optimal), eating whole, grassfed meats, lots of grassfed butter, pastured eggs, organic veggies. Then it’s time to increase outdoor playtime, get a proper amount of sleep for at least 6 months. If all of these measures fail, well, then perhaps it might be time to consider therapy and possibly medication.
Just my two cents. Feeling good and being focused are our birthright…but the choices we’re making in agribusiness are killing that right slowly and surely.
I’m so glad you brought this up. There simply wasn’t enough room in one post, but the comments always seem to fill the gaps. I totally agree – the way we are eating today is far from optimal and many hyperactive kids benefit greatly from a clean diet, as would everyone else. It makes perfect sense that when you regulate the energy output (get rid of sugar spikes, anxiety caused by foods, etc.) of a child like this and give them plenty of chances to get physical exercise (which many kids and adults today don’t get) that they’ll have an easier time of it. But I’d love to see all of that happening anyway, not just as a way of “controlling” ADD, but because we care about what we feed ourselves. 🙂
Who knows how much genius we are squashing by eating the way we do?
Aaawww, i love this post! You’re describing what’s also called the DaVinci syndrome and a sign of high intelligence and outstanding creativity, much more a gift than a disadvantage.
I’ve been diagnosed twice, first with Asperger’s/, then High functioning autism and was sometimes wondering why, if you take only the past ten years, there is such an increase in people of all ages who are diagnosed. The spectrum includes “disorders” like ADD, ADHD, milder forms of autism, executive dysfunction, pervasive developmental disorder, to name just a few. In other words, virtually everybody has any of these “disorders”.
There are lengthy and acrimonious debates on the causes, from a genetic explanation up to food additives, on the other hand many people state that shrinks are simply too eager with diagnosing.
Your explanation makes perfect sense – our time has come. Those outdated ideas about work and school had to do with suffering, at least that’s my idea. About 100 or even 50 years ago most people believed they had to earn fun by enduring uncomfortable circumstances. Parents and teachers put so much effort in the training of children as though they were to become little soldiers. Children who didn’t fit the scheme were described as rebellious and wicked and often punished in a cruel way to enforce obedience.
It’s so great that times have changed! Eventually everyone will have a label like ADD or AS and that’s a good thing because we not only need to accept our peculiarities but appreciate the associated benefits.
You make a really interesting point – I think in many cases the actual diagnosis did no harm, but may have actually done some good. After all, if you just think you’re broken or bad, it’s one thing. But if you have a disorder, you can’t help it and people have to lay off. And I think for quite some time, that brought relief to those who were diagnoses. They were not alone, they were not at fault… But the time has come that we recognize that diversity in all its forms is not a bad thing. Just because someone sees the world a little differently, doesn’t mean they have a disorder. They are exploring new ways to see this reality, and if we let them, I think we will all benefit from the view they’ll gain.
So, you know, send us a postcard every once in a while and let us know what you’ve discovered. 🙂
Hi, I stumbled upon your post because Veeh tweeted it. I would like to add some – hyperactivity comes with ADHD, ADD is the inattentive type. Otherwise, you are totally correct, it is hard for people with AD(H)D to focus on things they are not intrinsically motivated for. I have always felt it is a motivational disorder more than an attention disorder. Also, I am sure it is a genetical variation of all ages. To say more people with ADHD are being born nowadays is taking it a little too far. We have no historical records. But since psychiatry has evolved a lot over the last 20 years we are getting way more diagnoses. To say that people with ADHD are more intelligent is creating a new myth…
Welcome to Deliberate Receiving! For the purposes of this argument, I was lumping ADD and ADHD together. My point applies equally to both. Since the studies on the actual number of ADD and ADHD individuals are so contradictory and vary so widely, I based my comments on the anecdotal evidence I gathered from teachers and parents of these kids. Where there may have been one “trouble maker” in a class before, now it’s five or six or sometimes even more. Certainly not all ADD kids are more intelligent, but based on the same anecdotal evidence, the great majority of them are. One can certainly consider that a myth, but as far as myths go, it’s not a bad one. 🙂
I am admiring the subtle ways in which you respond to everyone here.
Actually, I never thought of that, the amount of hyperactive kids in each class might indeed be an indicator of things changing. A pity no one kept stats before. Anyway, I am not really concerned about the figures.
The main thing that parents with add kids or people who have it themselves should care about is how they can build a life that allows them ample opportunity to be themselves. In schools they will always be different from the majority – I see little one can do there. But after school lots of add kids will be able to start shaping their own life the way they want. If parents understand their needs, and help, it will be easier for them.
Not always easy, but easier.
Furthermore I am a firm believer in medication… I have seen it change the life of many family members and friends. The add-diet that cures, that would be wonderful and I would totally try it, but so far the results are inconclusive.
I laughed out loud at someone’s response in this string that a lot of succesful bloggers must have adhd. I agree. I could name a few I suspect of having it 😉
Thanks so much for your kind words. I have rarely been described as subtle, but I’ll take it! 😀
You are so right. I had a wonderfully supportive and understanding mother growing up (still do…) So, even though I didn’t fit in at school, and that caused me a lot of pain, I was never pressured to from home. I was accepted and even when I didn’t know it at all, my mom knew that I’d be ok, that I would find my way. She knew the world thrived on differences. And eventually, I realized it, too.
For me, it doesn’t really come down to whether or not we medicate, which school we send a kid to, or any other action. There is no right or wrong way. For me, what it really comes down to is accepting each child as they are, and then following our intuition on how to deal with them. Parents know what their kids need. If they don’t provide it, it’s because they became afraid and started to act out of fear. But if we act authentically, allowing ourselves to be inspired and teach our kids how to do the same, we’ll always find the right path. That may include medication, it may include home schooling, or it may include public school. Who cares? What matters is how it feels to each individual. 🙂
I kind of agree, too. To keep blogging consistently, you have to be kind of hyper-focused, I think. And possibly a little bit nuts. 😉
Again it’s the universe calling through Melody :):)
Today I thought about the same thing when I was really angry with some of my students with ADD.They are really smart and I sometimes don’t know what to do with them.They’re the smartest kids ever.I think I have a lot to learn and let them be themselves.Great article,thanks so much:..:)
My heart goes out to you, being a teacher in the current system and trying to bridge that gap between that and these new kids who want no part of it. But you will figure it out. They manifested you as their teacher for a reason, you know. 🙂
Melody–YES, YES, YES and YES!! I have never had any of my four children diagnosed with ADD, but this has been a favorite soap box of mine for the 34 years I’ve been raising them!
For a very different take on “just” playing video games I would highly recommend the book, “Reality is Broken–Why games make us better and how they can change the world’ by Jane McGonigal. The entire book was eye opening for me, but in chapter 7, the author writes about a school in New York City called, “Quest to Learn” that was funded by both the MacArthur Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The development of the school’s curriculum and schedule is led by Katie Salen, a ten-year veteran of the game industry and a leading researcher of how kids learn by playing games. VERY interesting stuff!
Thanks for standing on the soap box!!
Welcome to Deliberate Receiving!
I’ve heard about this! I think I saw a TED talk on it. Kids learn best while playing. Go figure… he, he. I love it when I see new technologies being used to solve older and until then, unrelated problems. From what I can see, the number of private individuals getting involved in education reform is hugely on the rise. I read an article about this just the other day – high networth individuals who want to change the world, investing in think tanks, alternative schools, and sociological research to try and solve the world’s problems. We know that governments aren’t going to be able to bridge that gap, they’re not set up that way. But we have plenty of individuals (often those who became successful BECAUSE they defied that training…) who want to make a difference. And they are. Big changes are on the way. 🙂
You have written this post with such passion Melody. This topic is really close to your heart. You have really raised very interesting points. Why do we have to eat lunch at 12 and do everything we are told without asking. I think the school system did it’s job well in instilling the need of conformity to it’s students. Anyone who is seen swimming against the tide is immediately shot down. The rules have to be followed no matter. Yet these rules just make us not to think for ourselves. The idea of walking zombies comes to mind here.
I totally agree with you. It’s not right to move through life in a daze afraid of speaking up. The little voice in us should be given a chance. We are all individuals and when we allow it. We can be able to tap to a greater power and even live out our purpose. Instead of conforming to society’s expectation. The more I reflect on this post. The more it touches me. You have given me great food for thought…
Thanks so much. The thing I rail most against is the assumption that if you are even the slightest bit different, that there’s something wrong with you, something that needs to be medicated or operated or disciplined away. There’s a reason that we have so much diversity – and not just in outward and easily identifiable ways like race and hair color and gender, but within each of us. We are all unique and we simply don’t have enough categories to try and label everyone. It comes down to acceptance – accepting everyone just as they are and perhaps even learning to appreciate everyone for what makes them unique and different. Oooh, what a beautiful thought!
Applause for those with ADD! As a math teacher for 30 years, I worked with many and tried my best to keep them off medication.
I’d like to put in a word for the many, many awesome teachers who work within the existing broken system and try daily to make learning fun and interesting for ALL their students. I’m not sure open learning is the total answer (there is no total answer), as many children appreciate a comfortable, secure, structured system they understand. Sometimes those with little structure at home revel in the structure of school. That said, the curriculum needs to change – and not from above!
Relevance is the key. For example, instead of memorizing the formulas for surface area, we would work out the production costs for packaging toothpaste tubes into boxes. (Hint: most kids love figuring out anything to do with money.) One year we spent a month with each student individually working out all the details of building or remodeling a room, complete with models. The students had no idea how much math they were practicing as they calculated paint coverage. One family actually used the student’s project to remodel his bedroom. They realized it would cost less than they had thought. Wow! Logic puzzles teach the formal rules of logic without the jargon. Diagramming basketball or football plays is a form of graphing. And so on, and so on….
It takes a huge amount of work to come up with creative projects that cover the basics of the existing curriculum (which isn’t all bad). If teachers were given more time to get together and share ideas, everybody would benefit. Last hobby horse, a simplified national core curriculum (with lots of input from teachers and students, and not too specific) would work so much better than each state inventing their own lopsided wheel.
Oh yes, pay teachers a professional salary and give them a lengthy paid internship. It should be just as respected and lucrative to be a teacher as to be a lawyer or doctor or architect or MBA or whatever.
Whew! And you thought you were on a soapbox! Stepping down…
Hugs to all,
Hi Mary Carol,
I totally agree. I have nothing but love and respect for those teachers who manage to actually instill a love of learning in their students and keep their passion for teaching within the current system. I know it’s not easy for them and that the current system actually gets in the way of teaching, instead of supporting it. There are so many things to be addressed.
And I also agree that there is no one answer. That’s part of the point – we’ve been trying to apply one answer to all kids and one way of working to all employees. This cookie-cutter approach just doesn’t work anymore, which is why education system is breaking down and many companies wonder why their workforce is so apathetic.
I believe that changes are occurring right now that will ultimately leave us all better off – including the teachers. 🙂
P.S. You sound like an awesome teacher! I wish you’d have been mine! 🙂
I love this perspective, and agree.
At the same time, I get where the haters are coming from – even if they dont 😛
From what I understand, the resistance to ADD is mainly a call for members of society to FOCUS and CREATE SIGNIFICANTLY.
Generally ADD types seem kinda s**tty at focusing and creating something significant, until they – as you said – find their interest and suddenly become “non-ADD” and very focused.
So, as you said, encourage the ADDers to find a subject that interests them 🙂
The thing is, EVERYONE performs better when they focus on something they care about. Even if you can force yourself to hunker down and work on something you don’t like, it’s never going to be your best or most inspired work. Instead of trying to make people with ADD conform, how about we let everyone without ADD also be free? 🙂
I thought I said that 😛
Who wants that, eh?
I say keep ’em all in bondage and enforce our will! MWahahha!
Great post. You definitely gave an interesting spin on this oft-diagnosed condition these days! I really resonated with your use of the word ”arbitrary”. I use that word often as well as it perfectly describes what a particular culture deems ”appropriate” or ”right.”
I like the word arbitrary, too. So many of the “rules” we so staunchly adhere to were just made up at some point, usually based on an agenda that’s no longer valid and maybe never was. The assumption that if one doesn’t, can’t or refuses to conform to these rules then there must be something wrong with them is false, in my eyes. People are different and we need to start allowing them to be. 🙂