Around 7 years ago and following a long,torturous process with the commune, our eldest daughter was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficiency Disorder), the condition is similar to the more common ADHD but without the Hyperactivity. It is also comparatively rare in girls (around 1 in 5). Principal symptoms of ADD include:
· Difficulty keeping attention on work or play activities at school and at home
· Seems disorganized and doesn’t pay close attention to details
· Has trouble with tasks that require planning ahead
· Forgets things and is easily distracted
· Does not follow directions or finish tasks, often skipping from one uncompleted activity to another
· Does not appear to be listening when someone is speaking
· Becomes easily distracted by irrelevant sights and sounds
· Rarely follows instructions carefully and completely
· Throws temper tantrums
We decided to keep her in the same school as change can be particularly stressful for those with ADD. Her relationships with classmates improved a little as they gained a better understanding of the reasons for her behaviours, but the earlier years damaged possibilities of friendships and bonding so she has remained socially far less advanced than she is educationally
Shortly after the diagnosis, we enrolled her in Scenekunst. Our principle aim was to try to help her to build confidence and interact in social situations. Over the last 7 years we have watched her develop in this environment and seen how the care and patience shown by the Scenekunst team has enabled her to blossom. We would like to think that she has grown into becoming a valuable member of the group who can be trusted with significant responsibilities and major parts in productions.
Our daughter still faces many challenges related to her condition. Any change of plan, even seemingly minor ones, can significantly affect her state of mind. She can be immensely self-critical and often embraces emotional negativity (in a recent production in which she played a major role, following the performance she was deeply upset because 1/ she has mixed up one line of dialogue and 2/ she had not been good enough at prompting the younger performers when they forgot their lines. In her mind, this represented a failure on her part – but Scenekunst helpers have become experienced at helping her out of these types of mindset).
One of the key benefits that Scenekunst has offered her is an opportunity to be in a space where she can shed her concerns and inhibitions. The girl who exhibits awkwardness and a lack of self-worth in her speech and body language in life, bounds onto a stage and projects authority and confidence when she can be “in the body” of another.
Scenekunst has been a constant in her life over the last 7 years. Something to be relied upon as she sailed on the choppy waters of ADD, school, teenage issues, exams etc etc. We are in no doubt that it has played a significant part in helping her to get closer to the equilibrium that she seeks and that we wish for her.