Every parent thinks her kids are smart. I always felt that way about my three children, even when their grades didn’t reflect it. Their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) -- all of them have it -- had something to do with their poor showing in school.
My daughter Caitlin is a good example. Her sister, Sarah, calls her “the dumbest smart person I know.” Caitlin does very well on standardized tests, yet her classroom work and grades never reflect her potential.
That all changed when she entered college. A very special psychology professor -- Dr. Albert Martin -- finally brought out Caitlin’s best in the classroom. Dr. Martin believes that his job is to help students learn in any way he can. He is clear on what he wants students to learn, and he hands out study guides to reinforce his expectations. When Caitlin misses a class -- which is not often -- she knows what was covered, and knows how to make up the work.
Caitlin earned an A in his first class and is on her way to acing his next course. Her self-esteem and confidence have gone up -- and the other students recognize it. A few of them asked her to tutor them after class. Imagine: My daughter -- “the dumbest smart person” -- is tutoring others.
I can’t tell you how proud I am, and I know that she is proud of herself. For the first time, she feels that people are seeing her for who she really is. It is the best feeling in the world -- for both of us.
This article appears in the Spring 2010 issue of ADDitude.
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