Every child is born with gifts. A child who has the fascinating trait called attention deficit disorder (ADHD) possesses extraordinary ones, but they may be hidden. And if they’re found, they can be tough to unwrap.
I hear from ADHD parents who say they need a plan to help them do that. Well, your wish has been granted. I have a five-step plan, called the cycle of excellence, which will reveal your ADHD child's gifts for all to see.
The plan works best if you love your ADHD child in the right way. First, try to catch her spirit and essence. Watch, listen, and interact with her, and don’t direct or worry about getting things done. Just hang out with her. You’ll come to see who your child is.
Before she gets labeled smart or stupid, hardworking or lazy, athletic or klutzy, friendly or taciturn, engaging or standoffish, before she gets labeled ADD or XYZ, a parent usually senses the beginnings of who her child is. Hold on to that!
Second, don’t listen much to the diagnosticians. Out of necessity, diagnosticians oversimplify. We miss the subtleties, the complexities, and the richness that makes up the spirit of a child. It is sad to see how many children lose that essence growing up. You can protect your child’s spirit by noticing it, naming it, and nourishing it.
The cycle of excellence will do the rest. I have used it many times — and have seen it used by other parents. The plan will help your child do more than get by in life. She will thrive and soar beyond where she, her teachers, and even you may have thought she could. Now let’s get started.
Step One: Create a Connected Childhood
This article comes from the Spring 2009 issue of ADDitude.
To read this issue of ADDitude in full, buy the back issue.