Boring, repetitive tasks?
I have an article that I ran across in 1997 that I’ve been quoting from ever since. Here’s the gist of it: First it states that ADD is a neurological problem and often present at birth, but may go undiagnosed until the elementary years because the symptoms go unnoticed at home. “We intuitively adapt to the needs of our children,” it says. Then it goes on to say: “But when sustained attention is required for boring, repetitive tasks in distracting settings like classrooms, the symptoms become easier to see.”
I have read this line hundreds of times over the years, at conferences, workshops, trainings, in individual consultations—and still I am blown away whenever I read it again. Are they kidding? What does that mean? In order to NOT have ADD a child is supposed to be able and willing to perform boring, repetitive tasks in distracting settings like classrooms? I don’t even know how to respond to this!
Did Ben Franklin have ADD?
Now here’s another article—this one is titled “Did Ben Franklin have ADD?” And the tag line says: “People who have it are creative, expert says.” It then goes on to say, “Benjamin Franklin might have had attention deficit disorder. Why else would a man go out into a rainstorm with a key on a kite hoping for lightning to strike it?”
Again, are they kidding? What does that mean? Are they saying that being a brilliant scientist or creative person equals ADD?
This article also quotes a psychiatrist who believes that at least half of the American population could have some form of genetically based attention deficit: The American gene pool is loaded with ADD, he says! He also says that people who have “the disorder” tend to be creative.
Yikes, again—I am almost speechless. Does all this sound bizarre to you, too? Half of the population? Doesn’t that mean, then, that these are the average students by definition?
Here’s what I know.
People who score high in Inventing or Thinking/Creating Dispositions are the ones who are labeled ADD. And those who have a combination of one of these plus the Performing Disposition are labeled ADHD. And guess what—these Dispositions together make up 50-60% of the population.
What’s the point of the labels?
Why can’t we just say this person is gifted in inventing, discovering, creating, etc? Or, this is the style that is outgoing, seeks adventure, is on the move, makes a great entrepreneur?
Once again we have a great example of how perfectly legitimate learning styles are characterized as learning problems!
At LearningSuccess™ Institute we prefer to encourage strengths and that is why we don’t use labels. They really serve no purpose. However, if we were to use the initials ADD, they would have a completely different meaning: Attention to Dreams and Discoveries!
These are not disorders – they are signs of intelligence.
People who have these Dispositions are the potential artists, inventors, writers, musicians, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers—if we don’t crush their spirits and convince them that they are defective!
When you know your child’s (or your) learning styles – and you acknowledge them and make use of them - you can move forward in confidence knowing that you are now guiding that child (or yourself) on the path to success.
What do you need to know about your children that will lead them to success?
©2009-2011 by M.P.Willis, email@example.com, 805-648-1739
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