December update

To follow up on my post regarding “School,” shortly before Thanksgiving, my sister and I visited Molly, the therapist I chose to see regarding getting help for Dalton where school is concerned.  My sister holds the view that it is my ADHD that has caused him problems by not giving him a firm enough structure.

Basically, what she said is that I have failed to teach him “rudimentary” things.  Obviously, that did not sit well with me; it sounds like I must therefore be pretty stupid.  Our visit with Molly was a bit distressing because of the fact that my sister and I tend to have very different viewpoints about things.  In any event, the advice we got was that my sister should try to step aside and not involve herself – and just let me raise my child in my own way.  She agreed, but this is hard for her because she worries; she somehow envisions a disaster and she told me that when Dalton is 18, if he is not in college or working, he will not be living here.  Sheesh, is all I can say.  We concluded by arranging for me to come back the following week and bring Dalton.

Luckily, Dalton hit it off well with Molly.  And she was quite impressed with what a perceptive and intelligent boy he is.  In the meantime, we arranged through the school for him to be allowed to do Independent Study to finish out the semester at home.  We then investigated the idea of transferring to Valley Oaks, an alternative school which involves Independent Study, for the following semester.

But after the experience of seeing just how hard it is to motivate himself to work at home, Dalton decided he would prefer to go back to the junior high next semester after all.  With Molly’s help, Dalton has been working on getting his homework done so he receives credit for the semester.  And then we are hopeful that the 2nd semester goes much better!  And so, this ends the “school saga” for the time being.

Interestingly, at one point during this difficult time, my sister brought a couple of articles to my attention that relate to all of this and my perceptions about school, myself, my son, ADD, and the idea of “Highly Sensitive People” (HSPs):  Coping with Anxiety as an HSP, and  Are You Too Sensitive?  And here is a book that is mentioned in the second article that may be worth reading:  The Strong, Sensitive Boy.

Dr. Gabor Maté speaks in his book “Scattered,” about ADHD and genetics, and says:

“…what is being transmitted genetically is not ADD or its equally ill-mannered and discombobulating relatives, but sensitivity.  The existence of sensitive people is an advantage for humankind because it is this group that best expresses humanity’s creative urges and needs. Through their instinctual responses the world is best interpreted.  Under normal circumstances, they are artists or artisans, seekers, inventors, shamans, poets, prophets.  There would be valid and powerful evolutionary reasons for the survival of genetic material coding for sensitivity.  It is not diseases that is being inherited but a trait of intrinsic survival value to human beings.  Sensitivity is transmuted into suffering and disorders only when the world is unable to heed the exquisitely tuned physiological and psychic responses of the sensitive individual.”

He says that ADD is not a “disease,” but (to quote Sigmund Freud) “one of civilization’s discontents.”  (And it appears that I have quoted just this same passage before when I first read this book.)

So it seems to me that some people are finally starting to “get it;” things that I have felt and believed for a very long time.  Maybe someday people won’t automatically think I am just being weird when I talk about such things. 

As for “weird” though – earlier when I was researching different things about school and personality types, etc., I came across this stuff about “Indigo” people.  Now I don’t ever really go in for any of this “New Age,” psychobabble stuff, but it is interesting sometimes to see certain kinds of “connections.”  The description of an “Indigo” can certainly describe me, but I imagine that is true for a lot of people.  It is interesting that this “Indigo” idea is also linked to ADD.  I believe that there are just a lot of people who do not seem to fit in the “boxes” that society tries to put us in, whether you want to classify it ADD, Indigo, or Highly Sensitive.  It is all a matter of certain human evolutionary traits – and what I believe to be “higher” traits.  Sensitivity, creativity, humor, and compassion are all high-level traits.  So how maddening and frustrating is it when people who possess these wonderful traits are made dysfunctional and labeled as misfits.  It is a sad state of affairs in my opinion.

And finally, it seems to me that I often find myself thinking about and writing about ADD.  In Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, she says that “Writers end up writing about their obsessions.  Things that haunt them; things they can’t forget; stories they carry in their bodies waiting to be released.”  And so it seems that my thoughts about ADD and the issue of human nature as it relates to myself, seems to be my obsession.  Maybe someday I will write enough to allow myself to let it go.  In the meantime, onward and upward.

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