I have a seven-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl. For me this is a study in developmental comparison. These kids couldn’t be much different. It is hard as a parent to not compare them to each other and to compare them to their peer group. I see this all the time with my clients and with their families. ADHD folks develop at their own rate. It is often said that ADHD kids are two to four years behind in maturity. I agree with this, but with an important caveat. That is that these kids may be super immature in some areas but very mature in other areas. You might be able to have an in depth philosophical conversation with an ADHD 11 year old as if he/she were an adult. Then that same kid might, for example, moon the whole neighborhood from the bus on the way to school the next day. (Side note: I was that kid. Good thing I didn’t take the bus. That one wasn’t autobiographical.)
Anyway, I was thinking the other day about some examples that I can point to about folks who developed at their own rate and came out just fine. I thought I would share one such story with you.
My Dad did not learn to read until third grade. They were just about to put him the “special” classes when his neighbor, who was a wonderful woman and a retired school teacher, stepped in and give him one on one attention. It worked and subsequently, my dad graduated from Brown with degree in Classics, wrote a play that was produced off Broadway, was a high school English teacher for 30 years, and is one of the most voracious readers I know.
I have always loved this story because it reminds me to be patient with myself. Now it helps me be patient with my children as well.
In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.