"Really, wow that is terrible. What are you doing about it?"
"Well the doctor has said the only way to treat Risk Deficit Disorder is with Riskalin. So now Gregory is taking Riskalin twice a day."
"Wow, that's serious. Why does he have 2 tablets a day? Is he that bad?"
"Yeah. I give him one tablet in the morning and the teacher gives him another half way through the day. She says that by lunchtime she can see the first Riskalin tablet has worn out. He is totally freaked out! He will simply not swing from the jungle gym at break. And then in class he is unmanageable. He's continuously glancing anxiously at the clock to keep confirming his work/time progress. If she asks the class to decide on a topic for an oral, he is paralyzed by questions and need for reassurance."
"It sounds serious."
"The worst part is the Riskalin tablets are changing his personality. When he comes home he is out exploring the garden, doing experiments with a science kit, and even sometimes playing new games. It's just terrible. My Gregory is simply not the calm, ordered, predictable, conforming child he was."
"Oh, well at least he doesn't have A.D.D"
"It's some new crazy condition where kids are naturally not calm, ordered, predictable and conforming. I bet before long they will have some tablets for them too!"
We live in a world that is rich in its diversity. The Bible puts it beautifully when it says
"I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so?
If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it." (1Cor 12:14-18 MSG)
Yet, while in word we sometimes celebrate this diversity, in life we all too often strive for something completely different. "You can be a foot, and ear or a nose...as long as your primary purpose is to see!"
However, what is worse than this is when we take a personality type and label it as a disorder. Imagine labeling your nose as V.I.D - Vision Impaired Disorder or your ear as S.I.D. - Smelling Impaired Disorder. It's crazy, because a nose is not designed to see and an ear is not designed to smell. Every body part is perfect for what it is designed to do. Yet, in our crazy world, we label those who do not fit into the category of "orderly", "compliant", and "sedate" as suffering from a condition, no, not a condition but a disorder - Attention Deficit Disorder. Yet, why does our labeling end there? Every personality type has its strengths and weaknesses. The risk taker is unlikely to be compliant. The compliant are unlikely to take risks. The logical are unlikely to be compassionate. The compassionate are unlikely to be logical. However, these all go unlabeled. Maybe to be complete, and fair, we should make sure all personalities types have a label...
A.D.D. - Attention Deficit Disorder
R.D.D. - Risk Deficit Disorder
L.D.D. - Logical Deficit Disorder
E.D.D. - Emotional Deficit Disorder
Take your pick, you, your kid, and every person on the planet is going to have one of these "disorders". Yet why is it that only A.D.D. carries a label, medication and so called "treatments"?
Well, quite simply because the school systems, with their rules, ordered desks, and straight lines are run mainly by R.D.D. people. R.D.D. kids thrive while A.D.D. ones suffer. And guess which graduating kids return to become teachers for the next generation? Yeah, the R.D.D. kids of the previous generation. And so the fallacy of A.D.D. is perpetuated, as non-conformist, free thinking, adventurous kids are labeled, medicated and treated. If we ever want to build a great future, it's time we get rid of these detrimental labels and rejoice in the fact that "God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it" - that in our diverse strengths we can become a complete human race.
I know I'm taking a risk writing this, but hey, I haven't had my Ritalin today!
Craig Blewett is a certified True Colors personality assessment facilitator and the developer of the FaceIt personality tool. Craig runs fun and engaging workshops for schools, universities and companies to help people understand their own strengths and weaknesses. This understanding is vital in career choice, business and personal relationships. Visit www.craigblewett.com