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ADHD Myths — What If There Really Isn’t Anything Wrong with ADHD Children?

02-06-2006 10:20 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Celebrate! ADHD

February 6, 2006 (Washington, D.C.) - An ADHD diagnosis can often signal a lifetime of struggles for children. But consider the case of Robbie Raffino.

Robbie used to rise every day like most eight-year-olds. He'd wipe the sleepiness from his eyes, throw on shorts and shirt that don't match and eat cereal while watching cartoons.

But the innocence ended there. He'd swallow his Ritalin, hop on the school bus and enter a world where teachers, therapists and psychiatrists would try to “fix what is wrong” with him.

Children like Robbie-who have tremendous energy, don't respond to classroom lectures and prefer independent work-are often diagnosed with ADHD or Attention Deficit Disorder.

Kirk Martin, Founder of educational organization Celebrate!ADHD, insists, “Most 'experts' begin with the premise that these children suffer from a disorder, meaning an 'abnormal' functioning of the brain. This flawed premise leads to a natural conclusion-that society must change these children to make them learn and behave like everyone else.”

Parents Shelley and Andy Raffino of Chicago express a common frustration. “We spent so much time trying to fix our son's weaknesses that we never focused on his strengths.”

Not surprisingly, children subjected to the endless chorus that “there is something wrong with you” often lack confidence.

But what if there really isn't anything wrong with these children? How would our attitudes, treatment and children be affected if we recognized that these children are wired differently for a distinct purpose?

Ironically, the very society that has labeled and devalued these kids desperately needs the unique qualities that only children with ADHD possess. Who else possesses the energy, creativity, innovation, passion and persistence that lead to breakthroughs in science, the arts and business?

An inordinate amount of time, energy and money is spent trying to change behaviors and qualities that don't need to be changed-time that would be better spent cultivating the child's natural gifts, talents and passions.

After Robbie Raffino's parents began focusing on his strengths and working with his nature, instead of fighting it, they noticed an immediate change.

“By changing the way we reach and teach Robbie, we can improve his confidence, social skills and school performance,” Shelley Raffino states.

Robbie still has his struggles-as all people do-and his wiring presents challenges. But the Raffinos are thrilled with the changes.

“It's like we have our little boy back. He's himself again, and that is priceless.”

For a free newsletter filled with practical tips to help parents of children with ADHD, please visit or email Kirk Martin at

# # #

Kirk Martin is Founder of Celebrate!ADHD and author of four books. He can be reached at

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