View Full Version : Finding your own way.

07-31-09, 08:33 AM
I was reading posts on the forum and quite personal thoughts were triggered. I found myself with the notion of sharing just in case it might help someone.

So some thoughts and some personal experiences. Use or not as you choose.

In my work, I have come to believe that the key to dealing with ADHD or any disability is that individuals must focus on finding their own way and that way will be unique and not like any other. The frustration comes from trying to do as we are taught to be the right way and failing again and again. If one has no disabilities, then the rules and prescriptions that society has laid out can be successfully followed. For the rest, that path lies trapped with danger of failure, frustration and despair.

While not ADHD, I have other disabilities of at least equal impact. The struggle to find a way that works can be a terribly difficult one and may, at least in my case, take years. I did not discover this principle until I was an adult. For me, it was the start of a perhaps intimidating path but I knew that I had to find a way that would work for me-that was my task. I then spent years learning how to do what I had to do.

As a result, now in my later years, I find that I have accomplished most of what of the things I wanted do do in my life. The bar was lowered in some areas and raised in others. Not all tasks were completed but enough. I guess that might be a description of growth.

The road learning how to deal with the hand I was dealt was littered with failures and wrong turns but I hammered out a way to approach life that, while not perfect, was enough that if I should die tomorrow, I would feel that it was in some way worth the doing. However small, I had an impact.

All one can ask for.

Drawing then from my own experience, I began to realize that this was applicable to individuals with any disability. As I watched and learned in my efforts to understand, I saw others, after much frustration, begin to discover what they needed to have their lives work. I saw them began to turn their lives around when they realized they could succeed but only in the light of the self discovery and acceptance of their uniqueness.

I subsequently used this principle working with some severely handicapped children and have seen their eyes light up when when what they felt instinctively was validated; that they indeed could do things well but it would be a different path. They tried doing as others did but it did not work so now they had permission to find the way right for them.

For kids, the thing to keep in mind is that they want to succeed. The parent's job with this approach is to help them find their way, not show them. Let them be the main part of coming up with answers not just the recipient of decisions by others. This often works very well but takes a lot hard work and trust on both parts.

Seeing these kids succeed was both humbling and awe inspiring. I was lucky to have been a part of their lives.

For both adults and children, this phrase I used variations of so often, seemed to be helpful:

"You will find your own way and it will be unlike any other. It will be unique to you and to you alone and it will work only for you but it will work."

So, for whatever it is worth.