As a mother of two children who were
labeled with this learning challenge, I must say the most frustrating aspect
of it is that none of the experts can really agree as to what it actually is.
Some thoughts have included food allergies, a brain defect, temperament, and
a thinner brain cartilage that creates both sides of the brain being equally
active rather than the normal right side or left side dominance of the
Whichever school of thought you wish to
side with, the ADHD brain has proven in many brain scan experiments to have
higher chemical activity over the average person. ADHD does have physical and
psychological symptoms, as mothers of such children can truthfully witness
to. We have seen the mental shutdowns, the shaking nerves (Ashlee use to call
this feeling as snakes being loose inside of her when she was little), the
inability to concentrate, the inability to organize themselves, and the
little hearts that wish to be anything other than what they are.
What ADHD isn't!
- It isn't a mistake. God creates everyone for his purpose to
glorify His name. The person with this challenge tends to be creative,
imaginative, curious, intuitive, original, enthusiastic, playful, funny,
overwhelmingly joyful at times, passionate, loyal, loving, and quick to
pick up abstract ideas. They are usually good with numbers. You will
often find them in adulthood as ministers, scientists, engineers,
artists, teachers, writers, and musicians. What a sad world we would
have without them!
- They are not learning disabled - They actually learn very quickly, but not
with traditional lecture and dull textbook methods. They often need
information quickly and a variety of hands-on (kinesthetic) activities
to help them learn. As one friend put it, they need in effect to reinvent
the wheel. More often than not, it is that we are teaching disabled if
they are failing to learn. We must step out of traditional methods to
often reach them, and that is indeed a challenge to most of us.
- It is not a fancy label for bad behavior - I have to be honest here. I absolutely HATE
when a child can not seem to behave himself and someone says, "He
must be ADHD." Granted, there are times when these children are put
into over-stimulating situations that cause them to react negatively.
Granted, they are at times impulsive. That doesn't mean they can't
behave. In our family, bad behavior is not tolerated. If we moderate the
times of disorganization and upheaval in their lives and teach them
coping skills, there is no reason at all why our children can't behave
themselves. I told my girls from the very beginning that ADHD wasn't an
excuse for "I can't." God just wanted them to work harder than
most to accomplish goals, because He had a special work for them in
their futures that he needed the training that such an experience as
this would give them.
- It's not the parents fault - I think at times the hardest thing about
realizing that your child is learning challenged is the guilt we parents
often have. We immediately begin asking ourselves, "What could I have
done to have prevented this? What did I do wrong? Why my child,
Lord?" and other similar questions. If you begin to realize that
God made your child in their own special way for His own special
purpose, these questions will begin to lighten. However, they are
usually followed by guilt over our own inadequacies at times in reaching
them and our lack of patience. You see, God gave you this particular
child because of the lessons they would teach you too. I have often said
that the greatest gift my children brought was my increased prayer life.
Pray, lay it all at the Lord's feet, know that He understands, know that
giving into guilt will hinder our ability to follow Him, and dust
yourself off with resolve that tomorrow will be better. Also know that
you are not alone.