was on Ritalin for five years. My mother, and i guess many others (including
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.
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.
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
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
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.