What would it be like to walk a day in the shoes of a child (or adult) who has ADD? What would it feel like? How would others react to us? How would our perspective change by the end of the day? Would we treat others in a different way following this experience?
Many of us know someone in our family, a friend, or an associate who has been diagnosed with ADD. It may help us to better understand and be more patient with them if we consider what it really is like to be them and to experience what they go through every day.
I think of the story of the man who got on the subway with six children. He seemed distracted and the children were rambunctious. He did not seem to be interested in disciplining them. The people around him began to look at him and think negatively towards them. Imagine their shock when they found out that he had just left the hospital where his wife, the mother of these six children, had just passed away. Immediately, the strangers who had been judging him, offered to help them and do whatever they could. They were more compassionate and patient. Their perspective had changed. All because they better understood what was really happening.
What a difference it would make to those who have ADD to feel understood, accepted and loved – as they are and for who they are. A book that I highly recommend that might help us see things from a new perspective is Driven To Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey. The authors give a personal perspective of what it is like to deal with ADD both as a child and as an adult. Along with experiences, they share excellent suggestions for dealing with ADD including how to educate ourselves and others, how to help bring structure, how to coach someone who has ADD, and practical tips on how to deal with it. A fantastic read that will help us walk a day in their shoes and really begin to understand what is going on for those who have ADD!