Maybe It’s Not ADD/ADHD?


non-linear creative child

[I do love this photo! It's of my own non-linear child taken way back when.]


Does your child march to his or her own drum?

Is your child creative?  Color on self with markers? :)

Are you thinking of your child as having ADD or ADHD? [Or did someone suggest you might consider this diagnosis?]

Please read this and give it some thought. It may just be that you have a child who has a non-linear mind!

If you find yourself asking asking ”What is a non-linear mind?” – you are probably in that super majority of people who have a linear mind. And if you are linear – you may not really understand what it is like to not be one of the linear minded people.

But – that small percent of us who are non-linear minded do “get it.”

We non-linears even understand that you “do not get it.”

What is a non-linear mind? It's a mind that is constantly in motion – scanning, thinking, creating, jumping from point <a> to point <h> without seeming to pass through points b to g.

[We non-linear people could, at some later time, fill you in on the b through g parts – we just don’t see a need to include it in the conversation.]

Conversations between two or more non-linear minded people may sound bizarre to the linear minded. The talking may seem confused, disconnected and on several topics at the same time and many or all may be speaking simultaneously. Yet the non-linear people having the conversation understand each other very well.

Why are some of us non-linear? It’s probably genetic but, like most development, it can be influenced by one’s environment. Because we live in a linear society we are more often exposed to that type of thought. And in our culture – we also have a notion that children who display the above listed non-linear qualities are ADD/ADHD.

And so your parents and neighbors and well-meaning "others" behave toward your child in ways they think are best and try to get the non-linear child to act like "everyone else" and to not be so "unfocused."  Or it may be suggested that you just get your child on medications.

For adults, other aspects of being non-linear are that we can get lost in books and the Internet as it is ALL so interesting. We may not finish all our projects because something more interesting comes along and we may not follow a secure career path or have a major interest in retirement funds and pensions.

Some, usually the linear-minded, see the above as negative aspects of non-linearity. But the world is changing and is beginning to function in a more non-linear fashion.  We are beginning to recognize major brain/thought differences and we are no longer so quick to label one type of thinking as "good" and another as "not-so-good."

We each encompass linear and non-linear aspects – and the non-linear creativity and entrepreneurship in all of us should be encouraged!  Especially in children!

If you find yourself saying "ah…that's me" – you are most likely non-linear and you may have felt there was something "wrong" with you! Nope – you are perfectly fine – and the world is slowly catching up to you. And your child is just like you – but hasn't been in the world long enough to know his or her brain is non-linear. He or she is just doing what non-linears do!

So let your child's non-linear run free…and tell the well meaning others "thank you but we are just fine!"

And both of you – go – be creative – the world is waiting for YOUR non-linearity!

Thoughts?  Comments?  Thank you.

About the author 

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.

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