Passionate Instigator, Dynamic Problem Solver
September 4th, 2013 05:00:00 am
When the concept of this series of articles first came into my reality, I knew the first one needed to be about the evolutionary aspects of the gift - a process that is often times referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder / Hyperactive Disorder, or ADD/HD My original concept was to follow the evidence that ADD/HD has been progressively more evident in our culture for the last 100-150 years, a statement I make in my book, Managing The Gift: Alternative Approaches to Attention Deficit Disorder. As soon as I thought about composing this article I began to see two new clients who gave me a whole new perspective from which to write, perspectives personified by people who were caught in the midstream of the process of the ADD/HD evolution. In addition, a new third client helped me to solidify the idea I also needed to address the double-edged sword I call the evolutionary process of ADD/HD.
Instead of going deeper into concepts that I wrote in my book, these new perspectives allowed me to explore information undiscovered at the time my first book was released. Now I don’t know about you, but to me that is exciting!
The Evolving ADD/HD Person
Two children were brought to me because the parents were being told by the school system that the children potentially had ADD/HD and should be tested. The school systems told the parents that if the children were tested and did have ADD/HD, there were medications that could help them. Interestingly in both cases the child had a parent who was a teacher but a teacher in a different school system. In both cases these teachers/parents had personal experiences with how medications affected the ADD/HD impacted child and in both cases they did not want their child on such medication.
In the initial intake sessions I found that the answers I received indicated both sides of the impacted/non-impacted coin. For instance, questions that would indicate an emotionally ADD/HD impacted level would be in the negative, but questions which would indicate an intellectually impacted level would be definitely positive. Each child had some combination of the four levels being impacted or not impacted, but neither had all four levels.
In the past, I might see a person who appeared to be impacted with ADD/HD on one level but not another. Then looking deeper I would discover that something else had created conditions that looked like ADD/HD. When addressed, the “ADD/HD look-alike” symptoms would change or disappear altogether. In both of these new cases, however, this did not appear to be the case. There was more of an “even split” in the four levels (physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual). Using that information, I then performed a scan on each of these clients.
In both cases, the scan showed people who were “partially” impacted. They had some of the impact but were not affected on all four levels. The insight that I received was that not everyone with ADD/HDwas born fully impacted. Some people choose to “evolve” more slowly than others. Each type of evolutionary pattern helped to create support of the overall pattern, easing the transition of ADD/HD into our culture. Like many kinds of evolutionary processes, it is transitory in nature and some of the aspects would mediate as time went on. A reality of people who were either “fully” impacted or not impacted at all would only create further divisions into a world where divisions are seemingly like a cancer eating away at its core.
What we have are those people who have been leading the charge for the past 100 or more years and bringing about the new paradigms and those that have been the bridge builders to help support the changing realities. In both cases, the client still received some insights and suggestions to help, but in both cases, my opinion was that the child was not impacted with ADD/HD These children were just a different kind of child from the one envisioned when school systems were created. They were not, however, as different as the fully impacted child would have been. These children did not need as many tools to work within a school system, as would a child fully impacted with ADD/HD
This “semi-impacted” child, in many ways reveals the shortcomings of the school system. When a child is clearly labeled with a “disability” such as A.D.D., they are placed under a different set of criteria than the rest of the students. The school can then factor out that child’s progress when they compute the overall success of the school’s work. This “semi-impacted” child does not get a different set of criteria, and is thus measured with the larger group of students and is likely to highlight the school’s inability to meet the needs of its students.
The Double-Edged Sword
Often, when I speak to parents or do in-services for schools, I am amazed at the variance of warm to hostile reception I receive to the idea of A.D.D. being “a gift”. Once, while I was speaking, I had a mother come up to me with her child as I was about to begin to speak, point her finger at her child and say disparagingly, “ I am waiting to see how you can tell me this is a gift?” Most often however, the people with whom I work are in some way impacted with A.D.D. and they become excited about seeing the gift side of their A.D.D. Up to this point, almost everyone has focused on the “problems” that are created whereas I focus on the benefits and how to best manage those gifts.
The client I had before I sat down to write this article, however, was quite resistant to hearing about how his ADD/HD could be a gift. I knew he wanted to believe it, but he just could not do so until we talked about the double-edged sword of ADD/HD. We had to look at the fact that society does not embrace differences, that there is resistance to change and that it is inconvenient to not “fit into the mold.”
There is also another side to having gifts, which you (or oftentimes those around you) do not know how to manage or even access. Almost everything that I talk about as a gift is definitely not a gift if you do not understand it; for instance, how to have a body that may take exception to our low nutrient, fast food mentality—a mental construct that is about more than just food. Our society has become desperately in search of quick fixes, spending more energy and on who to blame then how to accept each individual’s responsibility in making change and thus accepting and working with the individuality of each person instead of trying to figure out how to get that individual to conform to what is known and comfortable to society.
To end this article I would like to share a recent interchange I had with a parent about the “complaints” that they were getting about their child. One of the complaints was that the child asked inappropriate questions in class. I asked for more information. Was the child asking questions that had nothing to do with the subject? Were the questions unintelligible or irrelevant? What I was told was “no” to all of those things. The child was asking questions that were, in the opinion of the teacher, “too advanced” for the level of the discussion and were thus “disruptive.” I question who really had the problem in this situation, don’t you?