By Peggy Gomula, PCI Certified Parent Coach®
“ADHD. It is not a disability, it is a different ability.” — Unknown
Raising a child with ADHD is not always easy, but it sure is never boring! It takes patience, the ability to always stay calm, and the ability to not take everything so seriously. I am very lucky that my children taught me all of these traits as they were growing up.
Since both my husband and I have ADHD, I don't think that we ever realized that our children had ADHD until they were heading into their teens. For us, they were just regular kids. They had a lot of energy, were creative, and were eager to learn new things. I suppose that they were not really strong at keeping their rooms neat and tidy, they were pretty good procrastinators, and sometimes their energy was exhausting, but that felt pretty “normal” to us. I certainly never considered that they might have a "disorder” or a "disability.” I still don't.
Our family never looked at ADHD as a disorder. "Disorder” sounds so ominous, and there was nothing ominous about the way any of us had felt. The girls sometimes had difficulties in school, but through time and patience, we were able to figure out what worked best for them. The girls knew that having ADHD was not an excuse to get out of doing their schoolwork; it just meant that they might have to work a bit harder, or that we had to find different ways to help them understand some lessons. There was nothing "wrong” with them; they just had abilities that were different from the other children in their class.
Those "different abilities" are what made them all so unique, so special, so lively, and so much fun. I believe that people with ADHD see and think differently than other people - and different is good. We need different. We need people that think outside of the box. We need children who have ADHD so that they can grow up to be inventors, and innovators, and entrepreneurs, and to be the people whose minds have “different abilities”. They might not be the round pegs that fit into the round holes that schools seem to want right now, but someday their way of thinking will be an asset for them.
So, don’t look at ADHD as a disorder or a disability; look down the road and see your child as an adult using their gift of ADHD to change the world.
Peggy is a PCI Certified Parent Coach who is committed to helping parents understand the gifts of ADHD, unlock its potential, and raise their children in a fun, calm, and connected household.