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Nurse Practitioner and mother of an ADHD child, Laurie Dupar, explains how easily the school system can overlook the strengths and the natural gifts of a child with ADHD. The danger is that the diagnosis or label colours the teacher’s view, limiting a child’s chances to fulfill their potential.
I was accused as a child of sort of living with rose colored glasses on, I’d always see the positive in things. And when my son was diagnosed again I saw this amazing child with these amazing qualities that, this incredible talent and there was so much focus on the deficit and I knew that and we all have strengths we all have challenges but I wanted some way to focus on these strengths with him. Because I knew that would support his self esteem and eventually help him be a really great adult. Which, by the way, he is.
So I very early realized that for most people especially with ADHD it’s focusing on those strengths it’s looking at those strengths and sometimes looking at them a bit differently than we would typically.
My husband and I were called in to one of his teachers for a meeting because the teacher was concerned he wasn’t getting the a process of doing the square area of a room or something, obviously math is not my thing.
… And he said, you know I’m concerned because like he doesn’t seem to be getting this particular concept … I asked the kids to draw the room and then to do these particular steps….
…. and my son was there at the time and my husband and I were sitting next to each other and this teacher pulled out this piece of paper, and on it was a drawing of his classroom and I remember we were sort of sitting in chairs across from the teacher and it was literally a birds eye view of this classroom which obviously my son had never been at.
but his perspective of it was this birds eye view of the classroom and you could literally pick out, and as I held this paper at once my husband and I sort of looked up because he had even noted these very fine wires that were crossing this classroom that I don’t even know that I would have seen and they were where you would hang like pictures from the classroom and we hadn’t even noticed that and what had happened with again, focusing on the strengths and the challenges, the teacher was looking at this one concept he didn’t get , and I’m like to heck with that Blake, I said this is how you do a perimeter, you multiply this multiply that do you understand that? Oh yeah.
and I’m like look at this picture, here’s this child who had such detail and ability to have this perspective , that, that’s some of the things that I remembered. So as an adult he has this ability to see things and obviously from a view that most people don’t.