Friday, October 14, 2005

The Gift of ADHD

Another article pointing out the Gift of individuality and creativity for children.

In Thom Hartmann's book Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception (1997), he describes how Thomas Alva Edison, who invented the lightbulb and about a thousand other things, was characterized by an easy distractibility. He was known to have forty different inventions in progress at one time. He would work on one until he got bored with it and move on to another one as inspiration hit. Another word for distractibility is "flexibility," and it can be put to use in groundbreaking innovation and productivity.

Here's T. Edison's quote about his schooling experience:

I remember that I was never able to get along at school. I was always at the foot of the class.

Back to the article:

For example, what adults often think of as goofing off can be one of the most important activities for any child, but particularly a creative child. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, you may recognize that he does not have the same attention span and focus of other children, but you must also acknowledge his superior creativity that, as a parent, you are entrusted to nourish and nurture. You do not do this by getting him to conform to the demands of traditional ideas of achievement. You nurture his creativity by making allowances for his differences and unstructuring his life accordingly.

I've always appreciated the time given to our kids to just goof off. Goofing off by creating intricate Lego structures or drawing as they're watching a program. Or building the Mega Track of all go cart tracks. Or building a snow fort. All that goofing off seemed to have more value sometimes than some of my brainstorms about their official education.

Son's Doodles

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