Made with a Purpose–Living with ADD and other learning challenges

–by Delana H Stewart

I am always looking for ways to encourage my children and others’ children who daily deal with learning challenges such as ADD/ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, dyslexia, mood disorders, and even those dealing with physical handicaps.

As I’ve shared before, my daughter has ADD, but I haven’t shared that as a baby she had cancer and lost her eye. She often asks me why she can’t have two eyes like mine. Just before taking her dose of Concerta this morning, she told me that she was smart and did not need to take this. We had told her before that it helps her brain, but did not give more of an explanation, so she thought she was taking it to be smart. This morning I told her that I know she is very smart. I gave her a more detailed (child friendly) version of why her brain needed the Concerta to help her show how smart she really is. I assured her that the medicine does not make her smart, but it helps her brain to work at its best. I reminded her that some people can see, but need glasses to see their very best.

A colleague of mine told me about Mark Lowry’s story of growing up with A.D.D. I googled his site this morning and was blessed by reading his testimony. Mark Lowry is a christian comedian who has brought much laughter into people’s lives.

Read Mark’s testimony by clicking here.  I’ll include a few inspirational quotes from his testimony to give you a sample:

I was hyperactive, had a short attention span and acted on impulse. I thought I would never amount to anything. When I was a kid, my hyperactivity was always getting me into trouble. Most people figured I would grow up to be a criminal. A little voice inside me convinced me I was a failure, that I would never amount to anything. I had what’s known today as A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder). Back then, they called it B.R.A.T.”


For most of my childhood, I was on Ritalin. I could have been the poster boy for hyperactivity. Every day, I came home from school with notes hanging on my lapel, from teachers, telling about all the messes I had managed to get myself into. But, at night, Mama and Daddy always tucked me into bed and reassured me: “There are not enough trees and there’s not enough paper for us to stop loving you. And, God is even better than that. One day, God’s going to use you, Mark. But, until he does, take this pill.”


I left that exhilarating standing ovation behind to go back to camp, at last I understood. God had designed me a little differently to fill the place in his plan reserved just for me. My hyperactivity, short attention span and impulsiveness weren’t defects at all. Rather, they were God’s gifts in disguise. When I turned them over to Him, He channeled them into a package of skills just perfect for a comedian: high energy, enthusiasm, creativity, spontaneity, the ability to read an audience quickly. It’s like that verse in the Bible says: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (II Corinthians 12:9, NIV). Mama and Daddy were right. God was going to use me. And, wherever that might be, I would do it joyfully.

Click on the link above to read his full story.


Struggling with whether or not to medicate? Please read this post by a fellow blogger:

Making the Choice to Medicate Your Child – The Chaos and the Clutter


See also:


Education, Homeschool, Gap Year


6 thoughts on “Made with a Purpose–Living with ADD and other learning challenges

  1. Pingback: Just Five More Minutes: Earning TV Time | Delana's World

  2. Pingback: ADD and Things Kids Say | The Education Cafe

  3. Pingback: ADD and Things Kids Say | The Education Cafe

  4. This post resonates with me! Not only did I grow up w/ ADD, but my daughter has it too. We’ve had many similar conversations as mentioned in the post. I love how Mark Lowry puts ADD into perspective. God’s plan is best, no mistakes. Thanks for this encouraging post. Blessings!

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