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    I was on Ritalin for five years. My mother, and i guess many others (including doctors) believe ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a defect some children are born with. I was going to be a very active young boy. This, of course would create complications. When I was eight years old, a doctor alerted my mother that it was time to start me on Ritalin. It is a cocaine like substance that seems to calm down and 'focus' hyperactive kids, but it gets normal people high. ADHD children's bodies, most likely under the duress of social situations, are not producing certain neurotransmitters at the standard level. I was in the third grade when the policing of my physiological processes began. I had continually been a behavioral problem each year throughout my schooling. Many teachers expressed concerns to my parents that I was not going to function very well in society. I have remarkable memories of those times.
    For example, on my third grade report card my teacher wrote under Behavior that I was a disruptive student; I fell out of my seat on a regular basis. I always wanted to be able to balance my chair tipped back on only two legs. It was quite a challenge and sometimes I fell, but I am good at it now. Tipping back in my chair probably stemmed from seeing performers do balancing tricks on the television and I really wanted to do some of my own. I have always hated sitting still in a chair with nothing to do.
   In the fourth grade, a message was sent home about my unusual classroom behavior. I had contorted myself into an unusual position during class. My teacher explained to my mother that I was completely upside down in my chair. My feet were where my head should have been and my head, underneath the desk. I had my head on the floor and was holding my book upside down. I was comfortably following the reading lesson. My teacher had heard about my behavioral problems from other teachers. She was also a friend of my mothers. She was sure that there was no way I could have been paying attention and keeping up with her lesson. However, instead of punishing or scolding me, she decided to experiment. She asked me a question about the reading lesson hypothesizing that I would not be able to answer correctly. To her surprise, I correctly answered her question. I had been following along without a problem, although it had been difficult for her to focus on me. I was moving all over the place all of the time.
   Children move. They create a blur. They are so excited and so active. Picture in your mind a hyperactive child. If you believe there is such a thing, he or she might be whirring around in your mind's eye right now. Be aware of your particular perceptions. I imagine you see the energy of a normal child times ten. Shuffling, fidgeting, talking, touching, experimenting, playing, probing, learning. I then imagine constructively harnessing that energy. The child is very excited about it's environment, especially the school environment, which includes a lot more than the teacher's task at hand. Well that may be my misperception. What is the teacher's task at hand? Behavioral management? Teaching standardized skills? Keeping the kids quiet? These are all important. Teach the child to thrive in its environment, to develop interpersonal communication skills, and the importance of meeting expectations. Teach them how to cope with difficult situations and their inabilities to make everyone happy all of the time.

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