Sunday, December 29, 2002

Square peg finds success

Caught a nice bit of reassurance for those of us raising kids with learning and behavioral differences this morning in Slate's Today's Papers:
The financial section of the NYT honors a dozen people who had wildly successful years in 2002. At the top of the list is David Neeleman, founder and CEO of JetBlue. ... Neeleman doubled his company's profits in the nine months ending on Sept. 30—some of the worst months in airline history. He's a father of nine, he never finished college, and he suffers from attention-deficit disorder.
A google search on Neeleman turned up this USA Today article from October in which the CEO talks about his ADD and shares details from his life that will sound familiar to anyone with a child whose train of thought often seems to be running on a track in a different dimension. I was particularly interested to note that Neeleman, who diagnosed himself with ADD, refuses to take medication for it out of fear of losing all the magical things that seem to be working for him. I've often thought exactly the same thing about my own flighty son; but however you feel about medication, in a time when there's so much pressure to "fix" what's "wrong" with our kids, when we hear that they'll be failures if we don't get them under control or make them succeed in school or sand down their bad habits, it's helpful to hear stories of those whose high-flying success may have been a result of those very rough edges. Nice news for a Sunday morning, anyway.

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