I've been thinking on this one for several years. I have an 11 year old son, Bonobo, who is a riot. He is clever. He is very bright. He is energetic. He makes friends easily. He is optimistic and generous. He is a delight to be around. He gets frustrated. He has a difficult time focusing and staying on task. He struggles with reading and writing. And did I mention he can't sit still?
I know, I just know that this child would be referred to medications for his activity level.
He is talking and thinking as he falls asleep and wakes up with a thought and a question!
His brain chemistry is one of the things that I love about him! It makes him who he is.
I know that his teachers would not find him quite as charming as I do. He would be talking. Laughing. Trying to make others laugh. Connecting with people. Aware of their feelings and wanting to intervene. Simply needing to move.
In order to focus, he keeps toys in his pockets. He has learned that having an action figure in his hand and running games through his head can help him to keep a track of his brain open to learning. He HAS to keep one track in his mind busy so that the other one can listen and pay attention. He has to be moving. Sometimes breaking in to what someone else is saying in order clarify or to make connections.
I honestly don't know how he would be treated in one of today's schools. Possibly he would be treated well. But the kids that I remember from elementary school who are like this were considered "trouble", "bad kids", or just "intolerable". I wonder about those kids and how they are doing...
Today, I hand him an action figure and a vehicle and start reading...it's great!
We are currently reading a very extensive collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. Bonobo is loving them!
His favorite part of our reading: