A mouse drowned in the sauce, Marilla.

Raise your hand if you loved this book in your own childhood!  It was certainly one of my favorites.

Anne Shirley didn’t have a diagnosis, and I’m certainly not trying to give her one now, except… if I did, I think ADHD would be a front-runner.  A lot of people in the internet agree: Anne’s behaviors suggest that she might be a person with ADHD.

The beauty of this–for me–is that Anne is such a lovable character with so many strengths, that it reminds me that the key to living with and loving someone with ADHD is supporting them where they need/want it, and finding a good outlet for their ADHD gifts.

A few examples of Anne’s gifts that are often found in people with ADHD:

  • Extensive creativity!  Anne is constantly making up stories, characters, and dramatic elements.  She sees fairies in the woods, romance in sinking boats, and graceful brides in trees.  Her inner life is magnificent and very, very active.
  • Passion.  She is a force to be reckoned with.  A loyal friend, and committed to her values, justice, and more.  (The shadow side of this is the reactivity, btw.)
  • Kindness & Empathy.  (youthful Gilbert Blythe aside.)  Anne is kind and generous.  She cares for others and can imagine and resonate with others’ perspectives.

Anne’s “ADHD” also meant that she sometimes needed support and a soft place to land.  She could be impulsive, forgetful, and distracted (Making a cake with liniment!  Getting Diana drunk!  The mouse in the sauce!)  She could also be quite reactive.  (Breaking the slate over Gilbert’s head!  Telling off Mrs. Lynde!)

But my point is, we do best by our ADHD kids when we focus on their positives.  Support them being themselves and appreciate them for their gifts.  Give them a place where they can be supported when they need it.   Make relationships a priority.  That’s what we want home to be–their own Green Gables of Avonlea.

photo: Natulive Canada (cc)

PS.  Check out the Parenting ADHD class if you haven’t already!  We focus on the gifts of ADHD, and how parents can be effective at supporting their ADHD kids.