The Creative In The ADHD Brain

Anakin typing

Confession: I have been guilty (along with a list of teachers and coaches) of accusing my child of either being lazy or sabotaging his opportunities.  A lot more before I understood what it means that my oldest has ADHD, and thankfully a lot less now that I understand the balance between his attention and his distractibility.

I don’t think we give these children (and adults) enough credit.  Yes it’s hard for them to engage in some things at the same level as other “normal” children – either gazing out the window absent-mindedly or cutting off their peers every five minutes – but their brains don’t just stop there!  There is something amazing on the other side of this disability and it’s their God-given, creative genious!  When they reach that sweet spot, man can they take off!

DifferentI strongly recommend you pick up the book “Different” by Sally Clarkson and Nathan Clarkson. [Disclaimer: This is not an affiliate link, it’s my honest mom’s recommendation.] Nathan was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, and OCD – making him a very different child growing up.  Now he’s used his talents to create movies like “Confessions of a Prodigal Son” and he acted in “The Purge”.  His adult life now is the result of Sally Clarkson’s labor of love, and raising an ADHD child to reach his “sweet spot”.

I’ll share about my younger son in another post, but I wanted to highlight something amazing about my oldest, Anakin.  We’ve always struggled with writing assignments, although he’s advanced for his age, because of the work it took to get him to sit still and focus long enough to write a book report/essay/story that made sense.  And then something was unlocked in him that has him taking off, publishing e-books [Anakin does receive a percentage of the purchases from this link, so it’s as close to an affiliate link as I have], illustrating his own cartoons and writing like crazy; he found a passion for history.

Anakin and Caleb reading

He says history is his favorite subject and he wants to become a writer.  He says things like, “Now that I’ve read the book ‘Unbroken’ I’d like to see how Angelina Jolie directed the movie based on his life.”  His passion – at the young age of 10.5 – is to write fiction stories in historical context so you learn about history without the rote work of memorization.

Confession: History was MY WORST SUBJECT EVER.  And then came math.

Now I can’t make him just write a “paragraph” on anything, as you can see in his assignment on The Silk Road of the Middle East.  The instructions were to write a paragraph or short story on what it would be like to trade along The Silk Road. And here comes Anakin, 809 words later, he has created quite the plot – with developed charaters, dialogue, and within the historical context of the times.  One I’m happy to share with you (for free) because my son wants to know if it’s readable enough for younger children to stay captivated – in the hopes of developing it into a children’s book, complete with illustrations.  Y’all let me know!

The Life of a Silk Road Trader

 

Old Goku

Original Artwork by Anakin Hass, “What would Goku look like when he’s finally old?” based off the Dragonball Anime universe.

The point is, successful adults with disabilities are those that are able to major on their strengths.  The key to raising successful adults, then, is to be parents who let children major on their strengths! If you would’ve asked me last year if Anakin was a good writer I would’ve answered with a, “Eh…” and a half smile.  And I would’ve been wrong.  I missed his gift because he just had not found anything he was passionate enough to write.

 

I want to encourage you, from one mom to another – whether you homeschool or not – to give your children the space and time they need to pursue their passions.  Even if it doesn’t look like the things you are passionate about! We are raising world changers.  I believe, prophetically, that the battles to be won will be fought by those who stand their ground at the intersection of a Kingdom Need and a Heart-Filled Talent.  This intersection will be their posts as adults, and we need to shepherd them in that direction.

Have you ever been surprised by something you didn’t think you could do, but you did very well?  How did that experience impact your perspective on life?

25 thoughts on “The Creative In The ADHD Brain

  1. I love reading your posts! I love hearing how you are applying all that you learn through research and experience to your parenting. I think a lot of times we can eliminate the stigma of people with disabilities simply by getting to know what they CAN DO. We all have areas of weakness in our lives and struggles to overcome (although I recognize the degree of those struggles varies). But I’ve met some incredible people who were so beyond talented and had so much knowledge and understanding to share, even as kids! But they never got the chance to share those things because no one would look past the diagnosis they were given and really just get to know them. Building relationship and finding time to learn ourselves and be understanding makes a HUGE difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lo! I feel like this is not just my niche, but something I’m passionate enough about to make it my mission. It might change the direction I’ve blogged in before, although I still want to encourage others in the faith…

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  2. Maria, You are amazing and so are your children! I love how they have found an outlet to compliment their ADHD. They have taken their creativity and turned it into an incredible gift! As parents, the important thing is to never give up or give in to what the world tells us when we know God has a perfect plan for each of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen! Thank you so much – I’m not sure how to process parenting compliments because I don’t feel any better than any other mom – I’m just trying to encourage more moms in this journey. And you are right- God knows where every single soul fits in His Kingdom!

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  3. “I missed his gift because he just had not found anything he was passionate enough to write.” That’s so interesting! I’ve been letting my daughter experiment with all sorts of interests and activities, just to see what kind of talents emerge. Kids are pretty amazing and it’s exciting to watch them develop when they really capture a passion for something.

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  4. I know several people (both adults and children) with ADHD, and it’s incredible to see what they’re capable of — especially when encouraged by people who understand them! He’s so fortunate to have you for a mother!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ivy! Your compliment means a lot to me. It’s easy to get discouraged so we can use all the support we can get!

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    • Thanks Hope! Just keep praying and don’t give up! Everyone in life has to find their passion. Some kids, especially ADHD kids, just take a little longer to get there some times.

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