I recently heard a wonderful quote by Nelson Mandela that read, “I never lose. I either win or I learn”. I thought that was profound. So much so that I considered adding the quote to my signature block (which I’m sure I will get around to one day).
It made me think about my own experiences. I frequently say that “failure is not an option.” In my mind, if I do fail that just means I have provided myself with an opportunity to do better next time. I guess it’s the same idea but Mr. Mandela said it better.
At my clinic, one point we always try to make after we tell a parent their child has been diagnosed with either ADHD or Autism is that neither diagnosis is a curse. In fact, both diagnoses are blessings. I continue to be impressed by the resilience of my patients to grow within each diagnosis and become a truly unique and phenomenal individual. After all, an individual with ADHD, Autism or any learning disability is born that way. They didn’t catch Autism from their friend, get it from an immunization or from the gluten or red dye in their food. A person with Autism or ADHD is just that: a person. They are just the way their God intended them to be. Last I checked, my God doesn’t make mistakes.
The only issue I see with these diagnoses is that you don’t know you have them. Your parents don’t know you have them and neither does your teacher or friends. Eventually, your behavior may change and even become undesirable as a result. That behavior change would be the clue that something is going on. Another problem is that sometimes folks don’t know what to make of these behaviors. I’ve heard everything imaginable. I’ve been told that a 6-year-old is still going through the “terrible twos” that the other kids are making him behave this way or the classic explanation is that “he’s a boy.” The key is, if your child is not acting like the majority of kids his age, whether that be less mature or more mature, he warrants evaluation.
Knowing what’s going on and putting a name to it can be a liberating experience, if for no other reason than now you as the parent have insight into why your child is thinking, saying or doing what they are. That’s when the Superhero training begins . . .
Are you a winner? The answer is a resounding “YES”.