guest post by the hubby!
From outset of Isreal Wayne’s seminar at HEAV, he provides the disclaimer that is not a psychiatrist, a medical doctor or even a lawyer. Wayne’s view on the mind of the hyperactive homeschooler comes primarily from his personal homeschool journey and what he has used with his family as a homeschooling father of seven children. His seminar is also a return to his days as a homeschool participant at HEAV. He was one of 6 homeschoolers in High School and the only one representing Maryland in the early years of HEAV.
It was refreshing to see a presentation without the standard PowerPoint presentation. What you get is Wayne providing intimate storytelling of his journey as hyperactive child to global speaker. Through humor, he tells tales of the hyperactive Isreal starting from the early age of 3, where he explores electricity and burning the family carpet, consuming cleaning liquids, pulling fire alarms at church buildings, and secretly changing the tuning of musical instruments at the church. Wayne went to public education (even at one point mandated by courts) and Christian private education but neither helped. As a child he was discouraged, even as hard as he tried in school and felt he was compared at school with his studious and well-mannered sister. His faith in Christ was well rooted at an early age, but his lack of a mental filter, had him blurting out the first thing on his mind, which at times was Hell and brimstone to an unsuspected unbeliever.
What to do with this child? His mother saw his gift of speaking and told him “Isreal, God has a plan, God is going to use that mouth of yours, until then shut it.” Like Wayne, today’s hyperactive children are labeled and diagnosed ADHD. Through his story admits although the difficulty in early education and some discouragement he didn’t “suffer from ADHD, I had fun with it.” Wayne finds the hyperactive activity as a gift not a problem.
He explores the 4 causes or contributions in current society where parents, educators, psychologist and medical professionals tend to camp themselves and entrench their beliefs on ADHD. One is the DNA side, where one is hardwire and there is nothing one can do for a cure but only use medication, the second is psychological where one is conditioned by the environment, third physical where the cause falls on vision, hearing or diet issues (allergies, caffeine) and lastly a spiritual issue, where this involves character and discipline development, even to the extent of “casting out demons.” Wayne acknowledges that this is a touchy subject for parents and professionals dealing with this issue. Instead of camping himself in one, dismissing all of them, he gives a broader perspective to a complex issue. He references Jesus words in Luke 10:27 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” He sees the causes of DNA, psychology, physical, and spiritual as the complete hyperactive child. He is not advocating medication, nor questioning potential real physical issues but looking at this issue from a human perspective in relating to God. The mind, body, and spirit make the complete person.
So what to do? In acknowledging this as a broader issue, he asks us to give hyperactive children grace and not letting them by defined by others. He believes a vast majority of people are labeled ADHD. For children he sees worship being essential for hyperactive kids. He talks about studies that show a majority of worship leaders are or have been labeled ADHD. He asks that parents not have a hyperactive child play video gaming systems, that make their ADHD worse, although it may seem to keep them quiet, it is providing hyper focus with adrenaline rushes from games that provide a virtual world of fight or flight responses. This also includes reducing aggressive music, movies and television.
Wayne looks at the most important part to help hyperactive children besides grace is their emotional support. Hyperactive children need to see a good Godly marriage, because they can sense parent disconnection and it can cause them to act out. They need to know they are loved and liked. He emphasizes like. Hyperactive children need to know they are liked for who they are. In the Spiritual side, the hyperactive child needs discipline, boundaries, consistency, and predictability. Discipline a hyperactive child the same way you would discipline the other children that are not hyperactive. Ensure that you follow through with discipline and stay consistent as best as you can. Wayne shares that this is an opportunity to be honest with them when you make mistakes in discipline and be open with them. He emphasizes this all be done in grace and love, being very careful that it is not in anger.
Isreal Wayne’s articles, speaking information, and material can be found at isrealwayne.com.