Teens with labels- ODD, ADD, ADHD, and anger management problems. Are they really powerless over the label?

One of the first days I served as an administrator for a school for violent, expelled, uncontrollable teens, I met a 17 year old who approached me and said he had ODD, and several other disorders. He was warning me , in his own way that he has no control, when he “goes off” he just loses control. Throws desks, hits anybody around, and would not be able to adhere to our guidelines of mutual respect and no physical contact with other students.

He left my office, and I thought about what he said, and made a plan. A plan to show him what he did have control over. The plan would call for me to catch him when he was in an irritated state. I waited a few days, and sure enough, I got a call that he was saying he was about to go off on everyone. At about 6 foot 6 and about 230lbs, he posed a real threat to others. I headed straight for his area, and asked him to come with me. He followed me to my office, wondering what was going on, when I grabbed my truck keys and asked him to go for a ride with me.

Ten minutes later we were walking through a Wal-Mart, discussing how angry he was, I asked him to tell me what set him off. We then went to a library, and he looked me and whispered “why did you take me here”? I leaned in, and whispered back, saying “to show you that you are in total control of your behavior. If you were not, you would have hit the check out guy at Wal-Mart and maybe tipped over a book shelf at the library”. After a few seconds he whispered back ” but you can’t do that kind of stuff in a library”. We talked for a little bit, and it did not take him long to figure out what the point of all this was. We got back to the school, we got out of my truck, and he glanced over at me ad said ” So this is my library, huh?

That student never had one episode again of even a verbal threat to anyone, because he himself realized that for many years he had just been living up to the labels assigned to him. Now, he was free to exercise control he had been told by many that he did not have. A trip to the library. That is what it took for one student to climb out of an old label and into a new way of life. The point is, people will usually believe what they are told about them repeatedly year after year, and in many cases begin to live and act according the labels they were given. If you know anybody stuck in the label trap, please contact me for personal help and support on how to shake labels that were assigned to you or the people you love.               http://www.gofundme.com/HipTim

 

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