Monday, March 18, 2013

One Boy's Struggle

"ADD is an explanation for the way my mind works, but using it or thinking of it as an excuse is not helpful. Taking responsibility for who I am is infinitely more beneficial for me than sulking and feeling sorry for myself."

     There is a recurring question that gnaws at me- "Are you paying attention?!?"  The question first came from my parents, pre-classroom confinement, remained a staple throughout my K-12 experience and persists to this present day. For decades now, I am the one asking the question. I am a teacher. I wish I had read Bryan Hutchinson's book before my first roomful of students stared back at me. In Bryan's words, 

"This book is an endeavor to help others understand the disorders called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)." 

In reality, One Boy's Struggle is much more- the book provides an opportunity to hear Bryan's struggle in his own words. Anyone who struggles with feeling different can relate to Bryan when he writes:

"For a very long time I hated the way I was and wished I could be someone else: a good kid, who did exactly what he was told to do. I couldn't change no matter how desperately I tried."

Bryan tells his story is a manner that is painfully honest. As I read I remembered my own childhood teachers and, for the most part, they are not fond memories.  I can relate to this thought from Bryan-

"I felt that none of the teachers understood me, because they were too busy trying to teach me in a way that was right for them, but impossible for me."

I now know that the true teacher teaches people, not subjects.

One Boy's Struggle is the success story of Bryan Hutchinson, a misunderstood kid who overcame tremendous obstacles with the help of friends and doctors and should be read by everyone considering the field of education. 

Thomas Edison said, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

Thank you Bryan for not giving up.

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