Sports & Activities

Finding a Passion: Happy Feet

How these parents of a child with ADHD discovered the benefits of their son’s attention deficit disorder — his creativity.

deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD).
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD).

My child, Trevor, received a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was 7. Because he has a heart condition, he can’t take a stimulant medication. The ADHD meds he does take don’t help with focus. Trevor has trouble with schoolwork and managing friendships. My husband and I try to accentuate the positive in the face of low grades and long hours in the resource room. It can be a slog.

About the same time that Trevor was diagnosed, we noticed his creativity and the benefits of ADHD — that he loved to dance to classical music or anything else on the radio. An old dancer myself, I noticed that he could point his toes like a little Nureyev and leap like a mini-Baryshnikov.

So we signed him up to audition for the children’s program at the Alvin Ailey dance company. He was accepted, and he studied there for two years. He loved it, and was inspired by his success. The downside? He was the only boy in his class. Then a mom told me that the School of American Ballet has a free program just for boys. He auditioned and was accepted. Now Trevor takes ballet classes twice a week at one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the world.

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My husband and I are happy and grateful to discover these benefits of ADHD in what seems like a sea of negatives for a child with ADHD. I believe that every child is born with a gift, but not every child has the chance to develop or share it.

Trevor won’t be writing or engineering his way to success later on. He will dance his way there.