A Rant and a Rave
When did having a disability become fashionable in the U.S.? I leave the country for a decade and return to find a large number of students on medication with the disability label of ADD or ADHD.
Many of these challenging children do exhibit characteristics attributed to this label, but is medicating them to their advantage? The crutch of medication does not allow the development of coping strategies. Unfortunately, the current educational system does not provide time for a teacher to delve into a students’ psyche to see what physiological challenges may need to be addressed to foster the self-confidence required for academic success.
Is ADD and ADHD really a disability or is it a characteristic of exceptional creativity? At least seven out of ten medicated students I have taught in the U.S. are incredibly talented. It may not be measureable by a standardized test or witnessed on a daily basis. But, I am always amazed at the outcome when I am able to present a variety of tasks that are open to creativity.
I was the subject of an ADHD conversation about 18 months ago.
What do I know: I am a very creative person and thoroughly enjoy being Out-Of-The-Box.
What I was told: “You should get yourself checked out for ADHD.”
I was stunned. I could not deny the fact that I was sitting before 135 years of educational experience. I countered with the request of two behaviors from each person that I would modify within two months. I would seek a diagnosis if I could not keep my end of the bargain. Well, I couldn’t modify even one of the behaviors. I went to the doctor and returned with an ADHD diagnosis.
Everyone wanted to know which medication I was given. They were quite surprised to learn that I would never exchange my creativity for anything in this world or the next.
(P.S. What I am sure someone will tell me: “You have no idea what teaching in a public school is like in a big city.” They will be 100% correct.)