Nataline and Harry both have ADHD and I wouldn't discourage their friendship for all the Ritalin at Walgreens.
by Kay Marner
I think Natalie's friend, Harry, was 5 when he told his mom, "Natalie and I are married."
"When did that happen? I would have liked to have been there," his mom said.
"Well, we had to do it in kind of a hurry," Harry explained.
Nat and Harry both have ADHD. They do everything in a hurry.
Nat and Harry met at age 3, in Audra Watson's preschool class at Wilson-Beardshear School, where kids with special needs are integrated with typical learners. From the beginning they were like two peas in a pod. Both had suffered from the moment of conception through age three, and were just finding out how it felt to have food, love, safety, and a stable home and family. If they hadn't been born on opposite sides of the world, and two months apart, I'd swear they were twins. They have an unusual connection that goes beyond friendship.
If one has a med change, within a few weeks, the other usually follows. What one's psychologist says the other's in-home therapist echoes. They miss each other when they're apart; they fight like siblings when they're together. Natalie bosses Harry around; Harry is Natalie's fierce protector. Natalie doesn't mind a bit when the other girls tease her about Harry being her boyfriend. After Natalie played at his house one evening last week, Harry sighed, and told his mom, "I love Natalie." He gave her a bouquet of weeds Friday night. They're still in a vase in her bedroom.
Their friendship isn't without problems. Their special education teacher has concerns about the dynamics in their relationship. And until recently, when they played together, it took two adults to keep track of them and keep them safe: 1 child with ADHD + 1 child with ADHD = DUCK AND COVER!
But I wouldn't discourage their friendship for all the Ritalin at Walgreens. They are soul mates, soul siblings. And they were born with marks: one large, round, brown mole on each of their left hips--to prove it.