Dave and I recently spent some time with 2 very hyperactive ADHD 11 year olds and it was most inspiring.
We fetched them from school on a Friday afternoon and took them for lunch and milkshakes. It was not a quiet time.
Both boys are at a remedial school and ADHD is only one of the challenges these youngsters face. J is adopted and the first 5 years of his life were horrific in so many ways. He now has a loving family and is bright, happy, funny and excelling at swimming. He can spend hours hyper-focusing putting together mechanical toys and like most ADDers is exceptionally good at taking things apart.
J's understandable anger at the world due to the trauma he had suffered as a toddler has virtually disappeared. He is now confident and well mannered and very loving.
N came into the world extremely premature as his mother had been in and out of diabetic comas for most of her pregnancy. Against the odds he has survived and thrived. He has zero sight in one eye and 11% in the other. His caring and loving parents are determined that he will be the best that he can be. He devours books and is an incredibly talented painter who has already sold at 8 paintings at prices of up to R800 each.
Laces undone, shirts hanging out, one sock up, one sock down, speaking at the tops of their voices these two boys have developed an incredible bond. They have both struggled to develop friendships, have endured bullying because of their disabilities and lack of social skills yet their friendship is one of simple non-judgemental time together.
Having had it drummed into him, J told N to close his mouth while eating and N retorted that J should stop putting so much sweet stuff on his ice-cream as it would make him hyper. Neither took offence at the other one's comments. In fact they probably didn't even hear them as they both babble nineteen to the dozen.
When we went horseriding with J's Dad, J showed great concern helping N to mount the horse and gave a yelp of delight when N finally made it. No belittling and no name calling.
J and N's parents are focusing on what their children can do and not harping on the negative. It makes a huge difference in building self esteem.
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