May 9, 2010

When I was a child I had ADHD (Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder). Of course there was no medical name for it at that time. I couldn’t sit still. When I was told to sit still I could not think. I think best when I was moving. They punished me because I did not follow the rules. I hate mathematics. Although famous speaker and author Marcus Buckingham said that there is no such thing as “bad mathematics students,” only “bad mathematics teachers” there is however a situation wherein some people are dyslexic when it comes to numbers. This is of course another deficiency. And this explains the reason why multi-Billionaire in British Pound currency Richard Branson of the famous Virgin brands is deficient. He is dyslexic.

Well let’s go back to my story. Today I will be the object of our study. There is no person in the world apart from God who knows me as well as I do.

I talked a lot. I wanted conversation all the time. But I was told to stay quiet or else I would be disturbing others. This is why they punished me. But when it came to class recitations, I refused to participate. I hate speaking in public. But I wanted to move a lot. This is why I could never stay still. And so they made me stand in a corner in order to stay still. I stood on a corner so often they practically named that corner after me. I am absolutely certain I had ADHD. But they still have not discovered it yet. And the medication for that has not yet been invented.

I joined the basketball team. I made it to varsity. I would practice 3 times a day all 3 hours each. And on weekends compete against other teams for a few more games. My grades were low; I was branded as dumb and to prove them right I flunked high school a couple of times. I earned me a PhD in High School. In case you’re wondering what it is, PhD means “Passing High-School with Difficulty.” I went to college only after spending endless summers in remedial classes. I hate memorization. And because I hated it I performed poorly in subjects that required a lot of it. When I got bored because I hated memory work I would move around and do other things. Oh I am sure I had ADHD.

This is why when I discovered the story of Gillian Barbara Lynne I got excited. Gillian was an underachiever. She could not pass many subjects and she was constantly moving and could not hold her attention and concentration.

She also had ADHD. But this deficiency was not discovered yet. Lynne had been underperforming at school, so her mother took her to the doctor and explained about her fidgeting and lack of focus. After hearing everything her mother said, the doctor told Lynne that he needed to talk to her mother privately for a moment. He turned on the radio and walked out. Both the doctor and the mother looked at Lynne. When she was left alone and the music came out of the radio Lynne began dancing. The doctor told the mom, there is nothing wrong with Lynne. Lynne is a dancer. And so the doctor encouraged the mother to take her to dance school. Mercifully the mother agreed to the advice. The moment she hit the school she felt right at home. She became an excellent dancer. Even at age 13 she was reaping awards. And when she grew older she became a choreographer and director working with names like the Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company and English National Opera as well as many West End and Broadway shows.

She became a prolific TV choreographer and director for The Muppet Show series. Today she is known best for her work with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber as she choreographed Webber’s musicals like Cats, The Phantom of the Opera. She is a multi-millionaire in US Dollars. Had Gillian Lynne been a child today she would have been given medication and told to calm down. This is why I am sure today that just like Lynne, I had ADHD when I was a child. Good thing they had no medication then.

I may have ADHD but I know that God has a plan for me. You should know that Scriptures say that you are wonderfully and beautifully made. So please calm down… without medication.

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Randy

    I had Polio sir.

    Doctors told me i couldnt walk when i was 6 months old. They had to do electro therapy on me while my mom cried incessantly and wished she would absorb the pain i went through.

    Now at 34 i still play competitive basketball and continuing to pusrue my dream.

  2. rose gangoso


  3. Brian

    Wow, this made me think. Today, we have too many “medications” for too many “ailments”. This story is a wonderful example of how just to let kids grow up and develop. I’m going to share this with friends and family.

  4. Cookie

    I also have ADD.

    unlike ADHD, i can stay still but my focus and concentration is erratic. I only knew it lately, when I started working. I find myself overwhelmed with work, that I tend to procrastinate and multi task even if the work does not require so, therefore I tire myself readily. And then I came upon books / magazines about ADHD & ADD and compared them to what my family relates to me on how I was when I was a child and to my working habits now.

    knowing I have ADD does not stop me to achieve better. In fact, it helps now to adjust my career (find a better job that will relate to my outgoing and energetic personality), other activities and hobbies that I can relate to what I am. Than treating it as a disease, I made it as a gift.

    Thank you Sir Francis, for encouraging me to move forward. God Bless!

  5. Joy

    Hi Francis! Here in the US it seems there is a need to label everything. The new trend now is Autism. It is the new ADHD. A lot of children are thrown into the autism spectrum especially those kids who are late in talking, and are not developing as typically as other kids. A lot of them have been mislabeled and misdiagnosed. You were right when you said had you been labeled ADHD today, you will surely get medication, be placed in special classes, labeled and treated as such. It would have made you feel less than you are as a person.

  6. Maria Celeste J. Miciano

    Dear Mr. Kong,

    Finally, I have found an ally for my son. He is seven years old and was diagnosed to have ADHD last July 2009. He was given medicine to take for the said disorder. However, my husband was adamant in his refusal for our son to take the medicine. On hindsight mabuti na rin at di ko sya pinainom nung gamot because I have friends who related that their children had involuntary twitching of the head when they took the medicine. Sometimes, i get frustrated when my son becomes unmanageable. He also tends to be aggressive and violent towards his classmates. I just pray hard to Mama Mary para bumait na sya.
    More power to you and God Bless!

  7. Lyle

    Sir Francis, Thank You for sharing your wonderful story…I love it so much.
    In fact I also suspect that I do have ADHD like you I have phD and pcD (passing College with Difficulty…I am a varsity player for Basketball, Table Tennis and Track and Field, that I excel too much had medals and trophy, but it was also the reason why I flunked most of my subjects on my Engineering Course…I know for myself that I was not damn and or stupid because I have made it through college and that for a particular subject or field that I like…I excel too much. But with God’s grace and thanks to my diligent research to the internet, books and helpful videos…Ihave learn to managed it well. Thank you Sir Francis for the good and beneficial insights.Thank You, God Bless and more power po.


    This is worth sharing to my Graduate School Students specializing in SPED… Thanks… Mr. Kong.

  9. Mommy Marie

    I’m glad I discovered your website. I am a worried mom of a 4 year old daughter who just entered nursery school. She’s been there for less than a month and already, she has been disrupting classes because of her need to constantly talk and move around. Her teacher advised us to bring her to a developmental pedia to see if she has a developmental problem. I’m scared as hell of medications that will be prescribed in case she is diagnosed to have a problem. I wish the doctor we are about to meet is just like Gillian Barbara Lynne’s.

  10. Anthony Wilson

    dyslexia is not that debiliating but it is somewhat limiting to the kind of job that you can get*–

  11. sally

    I have a 7yr old son seems like have ADHD His teacher often said that he is so hyper than others in the classroom. cant sit still and never get tired but know in my heart he’s not different than others. I seek for an answer if really has a ADHD symptoms he had few of those.I search and I find you. God has many ways of answering our question and your one of it.The way you share your story is very inspiring to me and give me hope thank you may God Bless you more…

  12. Sherry Ann Bautista Crisostomo

    Thank you for this wonderful story Mr. Francis!
    When I was studying Psychology in College, I told my then boyfriend, now my husband, Mark, he has all the symptoms of ADHD. He told me, “maybe, that’s why I did not excel in school.”

    I became a teacher and had a student who has a moderate case of ADHD. We became close especially when i started tutoring her when I resigned from the school. She was very good with puzzles and has a passion for reading. Yet she was labeled as a “troublemaker” in school because she would always interrupt teachers and fight with classmates but hug them after. She couldn’t keep still and would always gone ballistic every time she sees chocolates because she was deprived to eat them.

    Now, I’m a stay at home mom to my two kids and my son who is almost two years old is hyperactive and inattentive. The doctor told me that it is still too early to tell if he has ADHD but he is already showing all the symptoms of it. Yet, he loves music just like Gillian Lynne. He could hum any kind of song even if he just heard it once. He would dance and dance every time he hears the music of Mozart and Vivaldi.

    He is an energizer bunny. He couldn’t keep still. My daughter read at the age of two because she loves reading books since she was a baby but my son would just look at the pictures on the book, say a few words about them and throw the book as he lose interest on it. He loves to pinch and slap us every time he becomes excited. Yet he was already potty trained by the age of one year and 5 months and do not drink from milk bottles anymore.

    I used to ask myself what my purpose here on earth and now i know the answer. Nothing happens by accident. I studied Psychology instead of Theater Arts in college because I wanted to be a doctor to find cure for dementia since my grandmother whom I loved dearly suffered from it. I became a teacher too so weekends would be free for me to take care of her.

    Now, I have a son whom I understand deeply and whom I will give unconditional love, care, and support. My husband who was not diagnosed when he was a kid, who found school boring and not a place for him is understanding himself better and is ready to educate people and free them from ignorance about this disorder.

    My son will see his full potential and develop his gifts that God gave Him because we will support and love him always.

    Thank you again Mr. Kong for sharing. I will share your story to many people until we reach awareness on this. God bless! 🙂

  13. Leo King

    my sister has dyslexia but she can live a very normal life eventhough she can’t read that much,*.

  14. NPN Transistor :

    dyslexia can affect anyone of use but this disease is not very debilitating anyway:”

  15. che sison

    Dear Mr. Kong,
    My son was diagnosed with ADHD 2 years ago when he was 18, after being ‘passed out’ of Ateneo on his 3rd year in high school in 2008, and after having been ‘passed out’ again from Waldorf in Grade 11 in 2009. He became very depressed during this time and had suicidal attempts. We tried to have him go thru home study at Angelicum so he could finish high school, but he only finished Trigo and incompleted all other subjects. He has then refused to acknowledge God (he says he is an atheist), and stays at home all the time. He did take the DepEd PEP test last September and has passed it and so now is qualified for admission to college.
    My dilemma is where to have him go to College. He is very good in Math. His UPCAT math score is 92, but did not pass UP. He wanted to take Actuarial Science in UST but he passed UST BS Commerce (by the way he took the UST entrance exams for schoolyear 2010-11).
    I am looking at a college/university that would understand that bec he has ADHD, he most probably will take much longer than most others to finish his course, or at the very least, not finish at all. He will most likely finish those subjects he is very good at (Math), but will tend not to mind those he is not good at (reading).
    Would you have a college in mind? I know it is already February and admissions are usually set in January for schoolyear 2011-12, but I am out of my wits’ end trying to think this one out. I dont want my son to feel that he is useless or that he cant fit in. I know he is intelligent, but his coping mechanism with regards to failures has yet to be nourished.
    Please help me.
    I hope you could treat this confidentially. I dont want my son to know I wrote someone about this. Thanks.

  16. Joy

    my son also has difficulty to sit still and inattentive he has not been diagnosed but i suspects him to have adhd he was into school for almost 3 months last year but stopped because of his running around and now we enrolled him in a “intervention” class with a SPED teacher I hope he can make it.. it will be frustrating for us if he still can’t make it he’s our only child and we want him to make it….my husband doesn’t want him to be check by a developmental pedia as it is very expensive I can’t convince him though… I felt so helpless..

  17. BOYET

    thank you bro…

  18. Mom Nielle

    You have always been a great inspiration to me Mr Kong. I think I am on the verge of insanity right now after my beloved daughter was diagnosed with ADD. Yes, I will seek her strength and focus on it.

    Thank you.

    1. Francis Kong

      Thank you for taking the time to write me. You are very kind.

  19. Gina ramos-espiritu

    Mr.Francis Kong,thanks for sharing this inspirational story. My son also diagnosed w/ADHD, 2 yrs ago and he has occupational theraphy 2x a week.after reading your story i feel so good. Thank god at na search kita. I always pray that i could live longer for him because i am his strength. God bless and more power to you….

    1. Francis Kong

      thank you for taking the time to write me a note. God bless you.

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