Overcoming special challenges:

This is a story related to me by a reading coach in Paterson, NJ. She tutors hundreds of students every year at the public library and has tutored hundreds of children and teens with ADHD:
J.M. is a compassionate African American woman who works very diligently with children and teens who have special needs, all of whom need help in reading. Paterson, NJ is a city with something like 200,000 people, it was called Silk City, because in the 1930s it was the leading city in the world for textiles, silk fabricating. It is still a wonderful city, but also, it has many social problems, such as drugs, alcohol, crime, gangs. The area where J.M. works is close to where some of these problems exist. Obviously, children are most effected. Some children are born from mothers who abused drugs or alcohol, some are victims of child abuse.
Jackie states that of all the children she has tutored and helped over the years, she feels that three have been truly ADHD, although many had been diagnosed. She feels that the support from coaches, tutors, caring adults, does much to give support to children with special needs and can be a very effective part of a treatment or support plan for such children and teens. She relates one story of a boy she tutored for many years, who had been diagnosed with ADHD. His case was “severe” she said. Unlike some, his mother was very attentive to his special needs and worked diligently with him. J. M. also worked with him through his teen years. Although he never took medication, he himself worked hard and diligently and he was able to graduate high school, as well as to attend and graduate college and work afterwards. He got much extra help from teachers and from supportive adults like J.M., his mother and others.
Jackie was very thankful to see this boy get through his struggling years, and for persons with ADHD, it can be very encouraging that if they work hard and point their eyes straight ahead, with positive goals, they can succeed. For any children or teens with special needs, if we view them as stepping stones, rather than stumbling blocks, we can rise above our special situations, and that can result in our success as well as help us to develop compassion for others who also are struggling. For more positive non-pharmaceutical strategies on ADHD, depression or other mental health problems, see www.wimentalhealth.com

Author's Bio: 

John Samuels, who wrote this experience, received the story firsthand from J.M. in Paterson, NJ, and was formerly a substitute teacher there. He presently is a social sciences major at Thomas Edison College in Trenton, NJ and resides in Newark, NJ, where he has been teaching.