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Disability vs. Difference
by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
As a coaching pioneer, founder of
the world’s first ADD-specific coaching curriculum
(alone in that training endeavor for YEARS),
a founder of the ADD Coaching field itself,
the self-professed ADD Poster Girl . . .
I can and will assure you that
there are many gifts that come
with an ADD/ADHD brain.
There are ALSO more than a few CHALLENGES that are rarely understood by those outside the diagnostic population (along with the rare few who live with them and love them — AND spend a ton of time researching and reading and asking and observing and listening from belief!)
AS I SEE IT, there are far too many posts sprinkled around the internet quibbling over the extent to which ADD is what kind of a disability (affecting “major life activities” negatively), extolling the supposed benefits of an ADD/ADHD brain, or reminding everyone reading that ADD is not all bad, right?
No matter how well-intended, I believe those posts are
short-sighted and wonder if they aren’t potentially harmful as well.
It certainly is appropriate — and accurate — to note that *all* disabilities have their silver linings. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that we ALSO need to take care that we do not ignore the disadvantages in our eagerness to slap a friendly face on it all, singing out ONLY with “the benefits.”
Presenting an honest, balanced picture of advantages and challenges – to ourselves and to others – is important for any number of good reasons — especially with the “invisible” disabilities.
THREE of those good reasons follow below.
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