For those of you who read The Gift of Adult ADD, you couldn't possibly forget Captain Scott who showed us the creativity involved in saving a life. While most people may not think of firefighters as creative, Captain Scott Ohlrich would argue differently. Scott has read widely about ADD, trying to understand himself and gain tools for leading his crew, many of whom he believes also display the symptoms and gifts of ADD. Scott believes that firefighters illustrate the idea that if you find a perfect match for your ADD symptoms you may never suffer any impairment in functioning.
I am thrilled to share with you more insights from Captain Scott who will be the guest blogger for today. Below are his thoughts and reflections on how he managed to succeed in spite of being scarred by his own experiences in school due to symptoms of ADHD. He writes to me:
"One of the things that you've mentioned in our discussions is that almost no one with ADD/ADHD reaches adulthood without the scars that come with being labeled (and I'd say, misunderstood). That is true for me. As you know, I was a product of a parochial grade school and relatively strict home life (by today's standards) in the 1960's. There was little or no understanding for free thinking - rote learning was the accepted practice. I was punished and often felt ostracized for everything from "daydreaming," to not completing homework, to outrageous acts of insubordination against my parents and teachers. As tough as that was, I would propose that it set me up for success in many ways. Three things that I've learned and consider keys to my success are: Responsibility, "Healthy" Defiance and Trust.
I cannot overstate my feelings on the importance of personal responsibility! My childhood experiences reinforced an action/reaction model which focused me on acknowledging my personal responsibility. I WAS disruptive to the classroom environment, I DID act defiantly toward my parents and teachers, I CHALLENGED authority at nearly every turn. For those who struggle with finding a way to be successful, one of the most important steps you can take is to acknowledge your personal responsibility in all that you say or do. Taking responsibility keeps you from ever being a victim. Victims are powerless. You are not a victim of a disorder! You may have a different view of the world, a different style of learning and a different way of contributing to the success of your family, work and personal environments. In those differences lie the potential for great success!
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