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Dear Learning Success™ Coaches

by Victoria Kindle Hodson & Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis

Dear Coaches,

A friend of mine told me to write to you. She said you would give me a different point of view about my son. He was just diagnosed with ADD, and at times I feel sad to think that he has a disability. At other times I feel relieved to have the mystery about his spacey, dreamy behavior solved. I’m not sure what you can tell me; I’m just taking my friend’s advice. -- Theresa

Dear Theresa,

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is a medical diagnosis that technically applies to very few people. ADD is a term that is used to describe the distracted, spacey behavior some children (and adults) demonstrate when they are asked to perform boring, repetitive tasks in distracting settings. This is a diagnosis that puts the emphasis on what a person isn’t able to do. It identifies a weakness and attempts to remediate it by using medicinal drugs.
At the LearningSuccess™ Institute we call ADD, Attention to Dreams and Desires. We see this as a positive disposition trait, specifically, of Thinking/Creating and/or Inventing learners. Rather than medicating them, we place the emphasis on meeting the needs of these learners for stimulating, creative activities that allow them to stretch their imaginations, to wonder, to think deeply, to question, and to hypothesize.
It is likely that your son is a Thinking/Creating and/or Inventing learner, and we suggest that you read more about these dispositions in our book Discover Your Child’s Learning Style.

Dear Coaches,

My children took the learning style profile in your book about a year ago, and I’ve learned so many new ways of working with them that I wish I had had this information a long time ago. In fact, I wish I had had this information about myself when I was growing up. When I was in school I got in trouble a lot for what you call my Performing disposition, and I spent a lot of time feeling sad, bad, and wrong. It has taken me over 20 years to feel even a little bit comfortable with my sense of humor, playfulness, and desire to have fun and to make people laugh. From taking your profile I realize that these things I got in trouble for in school are actually gifts I was born with. Do you work with adults, and what would you recommend to me to allow out more of the Performing part of myself? -- Kathi

Dear Kathi,

Yes, we do work with adults. In fact, we have written Part I of a book called Mid-life Crisis Begins in Kindergarten. It is a book for adults and explains how, at very early ages, young people are encouraged to doubt and dismiss their natural dispositions, strengths, talents, interests, and passions and the effects this denial of important parts of oneself has on adult life. We have also developed a workshop called The Power of You Now to give adults tools to translate old, false, negative, self-defeating messages about themselves into true, positive, success-supporting messages. This workshop will be the basis for Part 2 of the Mid-life Crisis Begins in Kindergarten book when we have time to write it.
To help you take back a missing part of yourself and unlock your “true identity”:

1) Do the learning style profile. Look at the results and list the positive things about yourself that you find there. (For example, Performing disposition: Spontaneous, fun, playful, good sense of humor, active, would rather do things than talk about doing things. Visual-picture modality: I learn best when I use colorful highlighters, pictures, charts, and graphs. Auditory-verbal modality: Explaining and discussing help me understand and learn, etc.)

2) List the negative labels and negative messages you heard about yourself when you were growing up. (For example, people with a Performing disposition are often called irresponsible, loud, untrustworthy, frivolous, etc.) Sad or upset feelings may come up, however, they are a natural response. Just allow those feelings to be there. Notice them without any criticism, judgment, or attempt to make them go away.

3) Place the list of positives on top of the negatives and put both lists in a place where you will see them every day. (The refrigerator door would work well.)

4) Every day, find ways and opportunities to allow, support, and develop what you see on the positive list. Make a date with yourself once a week to do something spontaneous, to have fun, and to be playful. Find friends who enjoy discussing things that interest you. Color-code your recipes to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. As you focus more of your attention on what is positive about you, the stronger and more familiar those traits will become. Have fun getting to know YOU!

The LearningSuccess™ Coaches, Victoria Kindle Hodson, MA and Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis, MS, can be reached at the following: Victoria: Ph: 805-653-0261;; · Mariaemma: Ph: 805/648-1739 or Their website is