ADHD Children: Squirm, Imagine, Create, and Innovate

"Children, whether they are boys or girls, educated or ignorant, must be as silent as possible as much as possible. Children are neither clever nor experienced enough to judge for themselves what is and what is not to be said. They must therefore and at all times defer to the wisdom of their elders. They must never speak out of turn. They must never be contrary. They must be extraordinary, without being out of the ordinary."
-The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand (pg. 192)
Climbing out of the box since Pre-K.
Did you just cringe a little bit? I did. The quote above comes to us from Claire Legrand's The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, a novel about a brave young girl who saves her best friend from a home where children are made "propper."

As a child with ADHD, I had many nicknames. But "squirmer" perhaps was the most fitting. I simply needed to move, to create, to imagine, and to be myself. Often the result of this - when not in gym, dance, art, or english class - was that I disobeyed the rules. I spoke up too eagerly or daydreamed too long, often losing track of our class discussions. My interests wandered as I grew ever more confined by the rules of the classroom.

Time, maturity, and understanding of my mind/body's unique rhythms have helped me to succeed, but that growth doesn't discount those early frustrations and wanderings. And how I still feel when placed in situations where I feel boxed-in (or made to sit for too long).

ADHD'rs need freedom, as every individual does to grow into who he or she is. Too much restriction only inhibits the self-understanding needed to develop strengths and manage weaknesses. So please, let's not be too hard on such children (or ourselves for that matter). There are a billion ways to reprimand one another, but only time, effort, and patience will nurture someone to his or her full potential.

Do you ever feel boxed-in? Or reprimanded for being simply who you are?