As children with ADHD try to sit and listen to their teacher, it will not take long for them to zip-line somewhere else if what they are ‘learning’ is not interesting. If Mrs. Jones is lecturing about the War of 1812 and Joey does not care about the War of 1812, Joey will zip-line to something he finds more exciting. He might begin doodling his latest invention. He might begin tapping his pencil as he daydreams about creating a tree fort. Or, he might be wondering how far he can flick the paperclip on his desk using his left hand instead of his right. All is good until in the distance he hears his name being called, “Joey, Joey, Joey! What are you doing? What did I just say? You need to pay attention. You need to try harder!” Joey has absolutely no idea what Mrs. Jones just said. He zip-lined away long ago.
I tell parents and educators all the time, our ADHD children are not horrible, undisciplined or unruly children, we have just created a world that no longer allows them to fit inside the box. Our goal as parents and teachers is to reexamine the box we are expecting our children to fit into. Standing outside of the box is not a bad thing, it is our future, but we just keep trying to squash them into a one size fits all box.