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Zebra Stripes for ADHD
A monthly newsletter of stories tips and news for those concerned with ADHD, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
Sarah Jane Keyser : ADHD Coach
How Joey learned that he had no stripes and what that means for a little zebra, an ADHD Fairy Tale
Once upon a time, Dearly Beloved, out on the wide wide Savannah where the sun shines brightly, a baby zebra was born, one among many others of course. His mother was very proud of him as all mothers are. She nuzzled and fussed him as do all mothers.
But when friends and neighbors came to view the new baby, they didn't say "Ooh, what a pretty baby", they all exclaimed "But he has no stripes!".
Joey was a very active little zebra. He loved to run and jump with the other baby zebras, but the other zebras avoided him when they could, and as time went by he often found himself alone.
At school, when the teacher talked about how to watch for lions and how to stay out of sight when the hyenas were prowling around, Joey was busy watching a lizard scurrying around over the rocks.
One bright day, when Joey was all by himself out on the open plain, the others had moved into the shadows of the forest as the teacher had taught them, he found himself face to face with a lion. For an instant they stared et each other both surprised. As the lion leapt, Joey ran as fast even faster than he could. The lion was about to spring when Joey ran smack into some tree trunks and collapsed in a heap.
The lion did a quick reverse in mid jump because the "tree" trunks were the legs of a giraffe who lashed out with her hind legs. For you know, My Dear, or perhaps you don't, the kick of a giraffe can break a lion's jaw.
Mama Giraffe stretched her long neck down to look at Joey. "Are you alright then, Joey? That was a close encounter."
Joey sitting in a heap sobbing, "Why does this always happen to me?"
"Well, Joey, you see, people think you are dangerous."
"Dangerous! Me? What do you mean?"
"You have no stripes. You don't blend into the shadows. The lion sees you and anyone near you is also in danger of being eaten by the lion."
"Is that why nobody wants to play with me?"
"I'm afraid so Dear."
Joey sat and thought for a moment "How can I get stripes?", he asked.
What do Zebra stripes have to do with ADHD?
People with ADHD often have difficulty fitting in to their environment. Like Joey they are unaware of how other people see them, and their view of the world is often out of line with what's out there.
Stories are a way of distilling out the essence of a message.
Follow the adventures of Joey in future issues of this newsletter and learn more about earning your stripes.
Zebra Tip: Smile!
The body and mind are linked in both directions. If you are mad, your shoulders are probably tight and lifted. If you are sad, your shoulders are probably slumped. But the body also affects the mind. Try a relaxed smile (not a taut grimace), notice how the muscles of the jaw and the neck, and shoulders soften. This is a physical exercise; you don't need to be listening to a joke to smile. Try it when you are waiting in a long supermarket line.
For more about me, Sarah Jane Keyser, About Sarah Jane
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