I was thinking back to my life in the NYC public schools system and became acutely grateful to the teachers and mentors who let me be who I am rather than diagnosing me with some behavioral disorder.
I certainly had behavioral issues but they were hardly disorders.
I was a gifted child in need of mentoring…and thank God I got the mentoring I needed
This newsletter offers some thoughts about meeting the needs of gifted children, especially hyperactive boys.
Of course I have added a very funny and mildly inappropriate music video.
This Van Halen video was so popular that 30 years after it was made reporters went looking for the young model/actress in the video.
A day’s work and Lillian Mueller she is remembered for posterity.
She is now 60, is a vegan, a health coach and a motivational speaker
Here is a short piece on her. After all I don’t want to treat her like a sex object. I’m a feminist.
Oh… and here the greatest video ever made for all you boys and girls who were told you had ADHD back in the day and turned out to be visionary geniuses. It is over the top, possibly sexist, absolutely tacky etc.
I surely felt like the kid “Waldo” in the video when I was in public school
If you have a child who seems inattentive or is being diagnosed with ADD or ADHD the best thing you can do is find a group among teachers on Facebook dedicated to the theories on Multiple Intelligences. This is visionary work and is being increasingly accepted within the mainstream teaching community.
It is important that you remove your child from an environment that is unaccepting of your or your child’s unique learning style and social needs.
Gifted children quickly realize on some level that they are somehow different internally from their peers. They are also likely to accept and internalize the continuous feedback. If it is positive feedback it can foster a positive self image that becomes self-reinforcing. If it is negative it can foster a negative self-imagethat becomes self-reinforcing as well
If these children progress into adulthood without an effective response to their special needs their inattentiveness, ongoing frustrations, and poor self-image may create numerous and severe problems maintaining healthy relationships, succeeding in postsecondary schooling, or succeeding in the workplace. These problems can compound frustrations that already exist and can often lead to the development of other life challenges including anxiety disorders, dysfunctional sexual behavior, mood disorders, and substance associated with ADHD in childhood appear to be less overt in adulthood. Most experts feel it is likely due to an adult’s ability to make cognitive adjustments and develop compensating or coping skills to minimize the impact of inattentive or hyperactive symptoms. However, the core challenges of ADHD do not disappear with age. All this means to me is that prosperassessment and counseling can direct a person with these qualities into careers or social environments where they may prosper.
So what if a person is restless or has tendency to fidget. This is not a disease to be medicated. It is a personality trait to be explored, nurtured and addressed in a supportive and productive way. Something most mental health professionals and the institutions that pay their salaries are not able to do. The challenges for the individuals who are diagnosed with ADD and ADHD is clear. it is about processing speed, performance IQ, memory, and fluency, flexibility, working memory, visual/spatial ability, motor ability, language and attention specifically sustained attention. There are also the issues of dealing with social intelligence and inhibition.
If you really want to know how arbitrary the diagnosis of ADD and ADHD is here are some facts.
- It is virtually impossible to accurately estimate exactly how many children worldwide have ADHD because different countries have used different ways of diagnosing it, while some do not diagnose it at all.
- Children from certain backgrounds may be particularly likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, because of different expectations about how they should behave. Unless a teacher has received special assessment training in understanding cultural idiosyncracies and specific cultural needs of a child, which is unlikely to happen in most schools, a child’s behavior may be easily misunderstood.
- About five times more boys than girls are diagnosed with ADHD. Is this because boys are seen as the prototypical ADHD child, therefore they are more often over-diagnosed with ADHD than girls. Is it possible that instead of having ADHD the truth is that boys express their difficulties differently than; boys have testosterone racing through their bodies and girls do not.
This entire idea that boys and girls both have attention problems is misdirected. If they were placed in environment natural to their developmental needs these ways of behaving would not be seen as problems at all. Instead of locking boy in a classroom and teaching him physics why not give him a skateboard and teach him the mechanics of how skateboards work. Boys are naturally more likely to be overactive and difficult to manage.This doesn’t mean they have a behavioral disorder. Children from all cultures and social groups are diagnosed with ADHD.