I met a Mum today in the supermarket, with her son who is 7 on a student-free day.
She introduced me to her son and I said "hello, how are you".
This little kid looked me in the eye and said
"I'm ADHD, OCD and ODD." with a smile on his face.
Did you see it? can you hear it? He didn't tell me he has traits of those disorders. He told me he IS those disorders. That little boy has heard his Mum or Dad refer to him and his disorders so many times that he has learned to define himself by them.
Not for a minute am I suggesting that he didn't have those traits, or that his parents aren't doing their best, but there is a saying ( in many variations ) that WHATEVER YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS.
For this little guy, it seems that the focus of his world is his disorders and traits.
What if his parents introduced him from now on as "This is Bill. He's an awesome little boy with an amazing memory and boundless energy."
The story of Winnie The Pooh could have read alot differenty - after all, Pooh was a binge eater, Eeyore had depression, Tigger most definitely would be diagnosed as ADHD in the year 2011, and Piglet suffered from anxiety. Poor old Christopher Robin was suffering from hallucinations. And yet, they were all just friends living in a big forest, unmedicated and surviving just fine.
The fact is we all have traits of some disorder, we are all on the "spectrum", it's just a matter of where on the line we sit. I like symmetry and order. I like two of things in the garden, and I really dislike Random quilts. I like to see a pattern. It could be referred to as OCD traits, or maybe I just like the visual!
Our children become who we tell them they are. If we tell them they are bad, sickly, worthless, troubled, naughty, or a list of disorder abbreviations, that is surely what they will become.If we tell them they are awesome, wonderful, intelligent and courageous, just think how bright their future can be.
"Focus on your potential instead of your limitations."
Alan Loy McGinnis