I wasn't diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder until I was in my fifties. After my counselor shared her professional opinion with me, I was stunned. I had spent the last 10 years concentrating on our two boys' ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) challenges. I could hardly believe I had missed labeling my own difficulties.
"Perhaps my impulsiveness was due to my being so busy. No time to think things through," I would reason. Now it was all starting to make sense. I certainly saw this trait in my boys. This area almost always got them into trouble at school.
I clearly remembered how hard it was to stay focused during my school years. I feel one of the biggest challenges of living with ADD/ADHD is how easily we are distracted. For me, it is extremely hard to focus unless it is perfectly quiet. Even then, I have had to train my mind to stay on one idea. Writing has helped discipline me in this area.
Having trouble memorizing math facts or memorizing just about anything was a huge challenge for me. I was a terrible test-taker. This kept me a prisoner of mediocre grades. I was labeled "not college material" by my high school counselor. Thankfully, I chose to fight this label and enrolled in college and graduated. I then enrolled and graduated from a Masters of Science program in educational counseling with nearly all A's. In the Master's program, we rarely took tests. Submitting written research projects was the main method of being graded. This was my good fortune since writing was my strong suit and perseverance was my best friend.
The upside of ADD/ADHD is your ability to see life with a creative eye. Our boys have been blessed in this area. Creativity can be highlighted with our children. Reward and praise them for it! Both of my boys were always very artistic. Our youngest son taught himself how to draw with perspective at a young age. Our older son has natural drawing abilities as though taught.
In September 2017, I wrote three blogs on this subject matter. They are titled, "Could it Be ADD or ADHD?", "Living in Balance with ADD/ADHD" and "Adults Living With ADD/ADHD." I wrote in depth about these subjects and would recommend you read them.
Living with any disability colors the way we view ourselves and the way others perceive us. Children often end up with low self-esteem because they are often in trouble at school for too much talking or acting impulsively. By age 5, our youngest son was already suffering. He told us he wanted to be a little snail and live outside in the dark. This still pains my heart to remember his suffering.
I think the most important aspect of our identity should be grounded in the way God sees us, "fearfully and wonderfully made!" (Psalm 139:14) With our identity reborn in the beautiful way God views us, we will learn to blossom.
"Remember to show kindness when you see someone struggling." - Betsy Kay Ridgway, M.S.
See you next Friday at www.sparklinghope.net