Skip the controversy of A.D.D, and A.D.H.D. Discover solutions.
Growing up I had two siblings with a learning disabilities. One was diagnosed with A.D.H.D as a child, and the other was born with brain damage. I observed first hand their ability to focus on tasks when they are given creative and athletic outlets to balance their energy.
Children with A.D.D. or A.D.H.D are highly intellectual, and creative, thus the reason why they need constant stimuli. Over the years I have watched kids I worked with that have learning disabilities grow into successful teenagers because of non-pharmaceutical interventions at an early age. From good nutrition, to getting plenty of exercise and rest, all play an important role in the control of moods for developing young brains.
After years of teaching dance, fitness, and music programs to children with learning disabilities in day cares and schools my belief in the power of artistic and athletic therapy solidified. When children are given the opportunity to "be free" in their mind for short periods engaging in artistic or athletic endeavors, they are more able to focus on linear tasks throughout the day. I have found that if they are not given these opportunities as part of their daily routine, they struggle to remain focused in daily chores and studies.
Al though there is still a lingering belief that children with a learning disability such as A.D.D or A.D.H.D are just "hyper" , "lazy", or "uncontrollable", research into behavior modification studies has shown that is not the case. That is because their brains are inherently slightly different operating systems. Meaning that, their approach to solving a situation may be different, but their needs as a human being are not. Forcing children with a learning disability to conform to the 5 learning types, does not give them a chance to shine in their "own" learning language. Their unique learning language is their super power. They are just as capable of success in their personal and work life with the right support in place.
My brothers have engaged in various entrepreneurial activities as adults, as they found it easier to work for themselves than for a regular employer. When I was a child there was not the research, or programs available to assist my brothers in developing emotional intelligence. Having high emotional intelligence is the cornerstone of having good social and life skills as an adult. As parents, I believe it is our duty to ensure our children can be as independent as possible starting at a young age.
Children with learning disabilities should feel empowered to dream, and have goals, and it is our duty to equip them in problem solving. Art is an outlet where children can express their emotions and thoughts in a safe environment that allows them to problem solve on their own. The parent/ guardian and teacher should be present to provide mentor ship to put those pieces together.
Art classes shouldn't be a maybe. The music, art, or dance they create will speak to you in ways that words can not. Art is powerful.
If you are interested in private art lessons for your child, or public art classes for them please visit my classes tab above. :) I hope this article was helpful, as just as I want my brothers to be happy, I want your child to be too.
Stephanie A.E Strugar
Certified Grumbacher Painting & Drawing Instructor.
She is a retired Certified Face/ Body & Temporary Tattoo Artist.
Caricaturist. She is currently an active
Public Speaker, Consultant, and Arts Educator in the Manitoba and greater Canada area.