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Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Celebration of ADHD

Although the 2008 Summer Olympic games are over, we'll long remember watching swimmer Michael Phelps win 8 gold medals. Unbelievable!

During an interview, Michael's mom, Debbie Phelps, said her son was diagnosed with and treated for ADHD as a child, and was medicated on weekdays throughout the school year. Is it any wonder that a man who can train intensely for five hours per day had trouble sitting still in school for any length of time? I wonder how many Olympians faced similar struggles.

I don't judge Debbie Phelps for her choices, but I do question a system that requires children to take medication in order to succeed. God bless Ms. Phelps for having the foresight to tap into her child's unique gifts. I worry that we may lose future athletes, carpenters, police officers, firefighters and war heroes in our inability to recognize and appreciate every child's strengths.

In an interview with Guideposts, Ty Pennington of Extreme Home Makeover details his battle with ADHD. He said he felt stupid until the day he took scrap wood and built a tree house in his backyard. After finding out he could build amazing things with his hands, he no longer cared what his school teachers thought about him.

There is more to life than sitting at a desk completing worksheets and listening to lectures. I was good at it, and it has not paid off in gold medals, endorsements or television contracts.

Here is some information about identifying and catering to your child's learning style.

In my September newsletter, veteran homeschooler and author Terrie Bittner will share her tips for homeschooling gifted and special needs children. Follow this link to sign up for my homeschool newsletter.

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1 comment:

Hey Yall... said...

Glad to have found your blog.
I can remember finding out that my brother in law(10 at that time) was being drugged for ADHD. He was a lively kid, but very bright. I couldn't understand why he needed drugs to sit still and learn. He could memorize and perform a hundred football plays. Sat still and played video games for hours, but even with the drugs, he couldn't sit still in the public school classroom...strange.