Just a bit different

Those people familiar with early history of white settlement in Australia will be familiar with the concept of King Plates. A metal (usually brass) crescent about the size of a slice of cantaloupe, that was presented to compliant Aboriginals by white settlers in a bid to raise that individual’s status. The plate was worn on a chain around their neck. It was seldom if ever presented as a pure gesture of good will, but rather as a way of upsetting the status quo in a ‘divide and conquer’ type of thing. It was almost always divisive and often quite destructive as history shows. King plates are now quite collectible, in a bizarre twist of fate.

Whenever I hear of children being labelled as dysfunctional for whatever reason, my mind immediately flicks back to these brass king plates. Often young people will live up, or down to any label thrust upon them. I think most of us have seen that. While it is absolutely undeniable that some or quite possibly most of us, need more time to do some things or get to some levels, and therefore need those around us to be more patient. For some of us that is all that is required. The love and patience of people that surround us can often be all that is required. The notional ‘king plate’ does not help.

Quality research that has been replicated in Canada, Taiwan, USA and in Australia has shown that there is a clear correlation to ADHD diagnoses and your relative age in a classroom. The younger you are, the more likely you will be to be diagnosed with ADHD. That is pretty scary I reckon. Additionally we know that the less physical activity that children receive, (but boys in particular) the less likely they are to learn appropriately.

I am not blaming teachers by the way. They can only do what they can do within a flawed system. But those are two scary pieces of information right? So if you know someone tainted or labeled with ADHD or something similar, I’m going to suggest that you figuratively remove the king plate from around their neck and just give them a little more love and use your patience. Most of the time that is all that is needed to make a real difference.

I don’t want to sound too woo-woo about this but I have seen it in action and have experienced it myself. I was a late bloomer that I’m sure would have been labeled as something or other, but for the generation I was born into. I have also worked with people who have lived within the confines of their ‘label’ for years but with a little patience and a little love, grow immeasurably to the point of having no distinguishable learning difficulty. Sure they are still quirky, but aren’t we all? Gee I hope so. Wouldn’t it be dreadful to be described as “oh I don’t know, just like everybody else.”

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