My son who has ADHD was not diagnosed until he was at university, in his 20’s. That doesn’t mean we didn’t strongly suspect he was ADHD, it was fairly obvious to anyone who spent more than a cursory amount of time with him. This didn’t stop those who saw him, briefly, if ever, passing judgement, however.
It’s been a source of wonder that he’s got as far as he has academically without the support a formal diagnosis would have given (he’s currently in his final year studying Biology at the university ranked second for his subject in Europe).
I’ve been thinking about how he could have achieved this. All I have discovered about ADHD since his diagnosis has told me that it’s a problem with intention and motives rather than lack of knowledge – he knows what he has to do and how to do it, but can’t quite drag himself away from something, anything, more immediately appealing.
Which is what reminded me about his reading. He’d often come home and recount a good test result, putting it down to the fact he’d read ahead in the text book. Not just the main sections, but the extra information.
He’s always been a bookworm, as have we all, and I don’t think I’m being too fanciful when I think this has been a major part of his success.
If he hadn’t enjoyed reading, if he hadn’t got immediate gratification from books, he would have struggled.
So, the current way literature is being taught in schools makes me very angry. It’s not a tick box exercise, there aren’t a set number of quotes from an approved list of books that need to be memorised to make someone ‘educated’.
Books and literature are an immense swimming pool. Yes, you may need some coaching if you want to win the Olympic gold for Butterfly, but there’s plenty of room to have fun splashing around in the shallow end before deciding if you want to do that.
There should be slides and inflatable castles, beach balls and wave machines. It should be fun, with no killjoy sitting on the side complaining that you shouldn’t be in the pool at all if all you’re going to do is enjoy yourself.
Now if only I could get Mr Gove to read this….
Oh, in case anyone thinks I’m talking rubbish, can’t possibly know anything about studying literature properly, I have letters after my name. MA (Oxon), so ner poopy pants to you, and all that sort of stuff. 😉