Written by Cindy Gaddis
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According to the CDC, “Among children with current ADHD, 66.3% were taking medication for the disorder. In total, 4.8% of all children aged 4-17 years (2.7 million) were taking medication for ADHD.” Many right-brained children struggle in school and are diagnosed with ADHD — and medicated. Behind practically every learning disability label (ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, learning disabled, dysgraphia, twice exceptional, dyscalculia, etc.) is a right-brained learner.
During my research, I discovered my children were right-brained learners. The more I researched material about this way to process information, the more ah-ha moments I experienced. I began to recognize how the learning environment my children participated in supported their gifts and strengths which helped them flourish and thrive while the traditional school system focused on the weaknesses of right-brained children which triggered negative behaviors.
As I began to speak to families at conferences about this exciting information about a well-matched, strengths-based learning environment for right-brained children, I saw lives drastically change.
As I listened to the many stories from families about their right-brained children, the enormity of the diverse struggles broke my heart. Not only were learning disability diagnoses common, but I was even hearing about elementary-aged children burdened with anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thinking!
Of further interest to me were the adults who approached me after my conference workshops incredulously exclaiming, “You mean I’m not broken?”
These were grown, successful adults who carried shame for years and decades!
My interaction with my home builder neighbor represents a common occurrence for me: After I told him and his wife about my book project, he immediately recognized himself in my description of a right-brained child in a mis-matched traditional schooling learning environment when he was growing up. With shameful trepidation, he quietly admitted he dropped out of school after eighth grade. He couldn’t take the shame anymore. His voice then became strong and eager as he said, “Your book will change lives…for people like me.”
The three main cultural shifts in perspective that I speak and write about are:
- there is more than one way to learn, and some are opposite of what we’ve been conditioned to believe is “normal;”
- schools are “no fault zones,” so we’re led to believe our child is broken; your child isn’t broken! and
- right-brained children are highly sensitive in all areas; therefore, becoming knowledgeable about the various natural ways they can be supported results in a holistic, healthy lifestyle of joy.
The good news is that there is more available information than ever before at our fingertips to assist us in supporting our creative, sensitive, right-brained children. We are a more educated populace than ever before with parents who are willing to go the extra mile to provide a healthy lifestyle for their children. Good information reduces fear. Choices empower people. I hope the information I share through my book and my website about understanding and honoring the natural learning path for right-brained children is part of the positive journey for families in helping their children flourish and thrive.
About the author:
Cindy Gaddis educates families, teachers, and physicians about the right-brain dominance learner as an information processing gift, rather than a deficit. Find her MP3 audio workshop Understanding the Right Brained Learner as part of The Art of Healing Extreme Library Sale.