learning disability

Our son's teacher is certain he has a learning disability. She wants our doctor to put him on medication and she doesn't have much patience with him. What should we do?

So many parents are finding out when they take their kids to school, especially their sons, that teachers are very quick to label these kids as being ADD—some kind of “deficit” disorder.

Let me weigh in on this from a personal point of view.

I would like to find whoever it was who decided to put the word “deficit” in the diagnoses of kids that have a hard time paying attention, and throttle the guy.

I know all about ADD. I was a poster child for ADD when I was in school. I took this stuff to an extreme level. I was always anxious. My knees were constantly moving. Plus, I’m a bit dyslexic, so I read slowly. I didn’t reward my parents on report card day. I struggled in school.

But I want to tell you something, Mom and Dad. If somebody is trying to tell you that your kids have ADD, let me tell you what your kids have. They have a gift.

And it’s an extraordinary gift.

Sure, it makes it a little tougher for them to learn and study, but they have a gift. They say, “Well, they have Attention Deficit Disorder.” It’s not that they don’t pay attention. They pay attention to everything! They have a sophisticated level of being able to pay attention. That’s why it is very tough.

Now, when I was a kid, it was a little easier, because we had quiet classrooms, they only talked on one subject at a time, and you had to raise your hand. But now it’s not uncommon to have classrooms with working groups all around, a lot of movement, two or three subjects out there at once. Well, that’s a perfect storm for a kid with ADD.

But I want to tell you something. When they do decide to lock in and concentrate, we can lock in like the surface-to-air missile. I’m telling you, it’s a gift. We can stay on point when it’s something we are really interested in, long after all the other kids have fallen by the wayside.

I do worry about your kids getting a label, because it’s a label they can use as an excuse not to try or to give up. No, no, no. They have a gift.

Now, if you are going to get them examined, just don’t got to any doctor, go to a specialist on this. Take them to a neural specialist. Let them map that kid’s brain. See if they really have something like that.

And if so, OK. Maybe you could help them out. Maybe a prescription will help. But don’t let that kid think that he is going to fall behind. He may not make great grades, but he is going to be a great success.

Some of the highest-paid people in our country are ADD. A lot of our CEOs are ADD. The bulk of the deck of millionaires are ADD.

There’s plenty of future for your kids. Don’t let anyone tell them otherwise.

Hey, I already like your kid. I like the fact that he is like my childhood, and I had a great one.

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