My Brother’s Journey

My childhood memories from my brother has always been bitter since all I remember was him being punished because he was perceived by the majority of the people around him to be annoying and ill mannered.

I clearly remember when we were growing up how people around us were treating him because he was very hyperactive. Numerous times I heard the words “stupid’ and “reckless” when they were referring to him.

Fast-forward 30 years later, my brother is married with 4 beautiful children. He has become one of the most prominent authorities in the community, not only because of his financial success but mainly because of his caring personality and open handedness.

It was a beautiful summer day in 2007. It was the big day, the opening day of my brother’s new industry. I was standing amongst a crowd of more than 500 guests listening to Governor Brown of California praising my brother. He was speaking to the magnificent idea that my brother had put into action and how proud he should feel to be a pioneer in the world for founding the only industry of its kind which was going to impact the American economy and the global environment in a positive way!

As I was listening to the Governor tears were running down my face since I was fast-reversing more than 30 years and reminiscing how he was mistreated, misunderstood, bullied and punished almost daily. I was wondering how this change took place?

The change process started from the time he came to the
United States. people around him realized that he is an “out of the box” thinker and has many ideas and can see the big picture. He started hearing positive comments from different people for the first time in his life. He was starting to feel that he really is smart and he paid attention to that and his self-esteem started growing from then onwards. He was able to compensate for his Executive function challenges by hiring a good professional Executive secretary and started working with his strengths and putting his ideas into action. The more successful he became the more motivated he also became and from the never ending circle of bad, worse and worst he entered the circle of good, better and best. Not only did he become an extremely successful entrepreneur but more importantly, he became known for his generosity and helping a lot of disadvantaged people in the community.

It is known that genetic factors play a big role in ADHD. However, the environmental and social factors, I believe, are the ones that could make or break an individual with ADHD. An individual with “Executive Function Challenges” could easily end up in jail or become highly successful depending on whether she/he feels broken or whole.

My brother had been living all his childhood and some years of his adulthood in an environment that was only paying attention to what he was NOT good at rather than valuing his gifts. He lived in a culture that has lots of great virtues but unfortunately it is also very punitive, judgmental and full of criticism and hypocrisy. When he moved to the US he was able to absorb all the great virtues from both cultures and combine them together.

Furthermore, he was able to come to the realization that he was indeed very bright and a good person. He started taking advantage of his “out of the box” ways of thinking. Slowly but surely as he gained SELF-CONFIDENCE, he started breaking the downward spiral and started an upward one. He could
always see the big picture but because of the lack of SELF- ESTEEM he did not believe in himself when he was younger. Subconsciously after his move he started converting all the negatives of ADHD into positives:

  • His stubbornness became perseverance which was one of the most important keys to his success.
  • His impulsivity transformed into creativity
  • His hyperactivity helped him be able to travel thousands and thousands of miles each month which was one of the prerequisites for his success.

I believe that the main reason behind any individual’s success, whether ADHD or not, is high SELF-ESTEEM which is influenced by many socio-cultural factors.

My hope is that by educating the parents, teachers and other professionals who work with our children we will see these bright but misunderstood individuals flourish day by day!

About the Author

Roya Kravetz is a Professional Credentialed Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF), a Board-Certified Coach (BCC) with the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE), a Certified Mentor Coach (CMC) with Mentor Coach LLC, and Certified Parent Educator (CPE) with the International Network for Children and Families (INCAF). While there are many life coaches out there, very few are accredited and board certified through the ICF and CCE. Roya specializes in educating and coaching individuals and families with ADHD and Executive Function challenges. She also has experience working with adoptive families who have children with ADHD. Roya has combined her professional skills with her broad cultural background to build a highly specialized national and international coaching practice based in Carmel Valley (San Diego), California. She is multi-lingual and coaches in English and Spanish.

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