Yesterday I sat down and wrote about the challenging road ahead in getting game-based learning and gamification into the classroom. I’ve read countless articles at this point outlining these strategies, how successful they are, and how students just want to dive right in. I think what is missing is some of the variables that may cause a lesson or classroom centered around these concepts to go sideways. I witnessed first-hand how new these teaching strategies are and how it will take persistence and time to insert these wonderful ways of learning into a classroom.
Enter Mr. ADHD. Having ADHD changes some of the variables in a way that nearly pushed me down and out of the world of education. Having spoken to many colleagues yesterday about my lesson and getting some incredibly positive feedback has helped me reframe things in a much more positive manner. So how does ADHD affect this you ask? I’m going to touch on two small things that have a big impact on an ADHD life.
I have seen so many recent educational posts on ADHD and I’m terrified at the misinformation that has been presented. One article said something around the lines of let’s cure ADHD. You can’t cure ADHD! It is a part of the being as much as some people prefer control or are laid back. It is us, it cannot be changed. It can, however, be embraced. It is a unique personality that enables us to think faster than most, dig deeper than most, and be more passionate than most. However, some of the faults of ADHD lie in these characteristics. Thinking at 300 mile per hour is exhausting, digging so deep may cause issues in getting out, and the passion we have means that even the slightest failure is soul crushing.
ADHD is so much bigger than people realize. The reaction I get is almost comical when I tell people that I have ADHD. It usually goes one of two ways. “Everyone is a little ADHD…” or “Oh no how can I help? what do you need?”.
The line “Everyone is a little ADHD” is disappointing to hear. No, not everyone is a little ADHD. You cannot be a little ADHD. You either are or you are not. Some people may be slightly inattentive, or energetic, but you are not a little ADHD. You have not had to combat years of social awkwardness, exhausting coping strategies, sleeplessness, depression, relationship issues, countless job changes, mood swings, impulsivity, hyper focus, and the list goes on. These things are our reality. This is our life everyday.
Don’t feel sorry for me that I have ADHD. I love it… well most days 🙂 But learning about ADHD was like opening a window to my soul. I am now able to say I am intelligent, I am incredibly quick thinking, I am passionate, and I am capable. I am proud to have ADHD. It means I’m different, but in one of the best ways possible. It takes a long time and lot of hard work to get to that point. You have to essentially break yourself down and build yourself back up. You will stumble every day, but you will not just cope, you will SUCCEED. Thank you @ADHDtheGift for that. But it is true. If people with ADHD step forward and recognize their gift it will go a long way in educating those without. If those without could please stop saying “well I’m a little ADHD” and take our hand to work together, the problems that could be solved seems infinite. Accept our gift, let’s go to work. Thank you Dr. Shauneen Pete and Michael Cappello for that phrasing.