blog | Aug 25, 2011 | 1 Comment

Time to Stand Up Loud and Proud for ADHD

It’s time for us ADHD parents to unite. To stand up loud and proud. To no longer cower to the ignorance of those audacious enough to suggest our parenting skills impact our children’s ability to focus. No more hiding in the shadows of those peanut allergy moms who somehow have changed the very infrastructure of the class birthday party. Those peanut allergy moms that have removed every homemade cupcake from the classrooms of our country. Those peanut allergy moms that have instituted the class approved snack list, where Skittles stand firm as approved for my kids because five kids in the school have a peanut allergy!

(In the spirit of full disclosure this is a rant.  I have no idea the statistics of peanut allergy prevalence in our schools today.) This is a cry out for understanding why the peanut allergy moms can hire a blimp to rally change and ADHD parents huddle whispering in a corner or rally only in internet chat rooms designed for “our kind”.

Sure, says the peanut allergy mom, but my little Johnny could die if he eats a peanut!  Yes, Johnny’s mother, he could. A quick and tragic death.

Completely different from the slow sucking of life force that the current public education system drains from my ADHD Jimmy every day, a little bit at a time, so on one really notices except for his family. His family who watches him lose a little of his light each day as he works to meet expectations in a world designed against his spark and creativity. A world where little Jimmy started out a vivacious and excited 1st grader and over time realized that there was no place for his energy and excitement and he had to learn to put it away.  A world where eventually Jimmy gets to high school and no longer can tolerate showing up for class anymore. It’s too much to be frustrated and disappointed in himself because he now believes it is him that is wrong and the system must be right.  A world where it’s easier to get high and drink with the friends that will finally accept him for who he is.

Yes, Mrs. Peanut Allergy Mom, your son’s quick death is much easier for us to name and claim than the slow and arduous one we experience with ADHD. I promise to never bake a peanut butter pie and bring it to Johnny’s class if you promise to never look down at my Jimmy because he doesn’t sit still in his chair and he forget his backpack again.

Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D. Recognized ADHD Authority openly shares these statistics about ADHD teens:

I’m done. I’m done whispering about the Ritalin that my son gladly takes each day because he likes to focus and pay attention at school. I’m done. I invite you to officially be done too.

Let me remind you of a few things fellow ADHD parents, our kids are likely the brightest kids in the class, our kids hold the creativity and the brilliance of Steve Jobs, Jamie Oliver, and Steve Orfaello. If these people can change the world with our technology devices, a food revolution and how we get our copies, then our kids have something to show the world too. No longer will I have them hang their heads in shame for not being able to sit still through another lecture that sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher. wha, wha, wha.

I’m done pretending that my ADHD kid needs to find a way to conform to the factory model of education. He is not an assembly line kid, he’s Research & Development!  He needs an environment that allows him to learn by creating, experimenting, testing, and moving.

And by the way Mrs. Peanut Allergy Mom, your kid would learn a lot better that way too.

Let’s stand up, be courteous but courageous, be educated, be strong and no longer sacrifice our kids to a system that is clearly broke and broken.

I found this quote from Michael Manos, head of the Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health at the Cleveland Clinic in an article from ABC news this morning and it has me fired up.

If we created educational programs that work for children and youth with ADHD, we would create educational programs that work for everyone
~ from ABC NEWS story

 

I might take out a billboard with this one.

 

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[…] Okay, I got on a little rant a few posts ago. You may need to start here. […]

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