…hyperactivity, but she could also see what was inside.”
Sidney also credits his parents for always supporting him, and advises other parents to believe in their kids: “Just love them and support them,” Sidney urges.
“Advocate for them,” he encourages. “It is so easy for children with disabilities to feel like no one believes in them, but it just takes that one person who will never give up on you, that can help you turn your life around.”
Sidney says that he kept busy in college. He used hyperactivity to his advantage – getting involved in a variety of activities. He also says that while he started out majoring in business, he switched to human services, wanting to do something with more heart.
“Money wasn’t the motivating force for me,” he says. “I wanted to do something that I was passionate about.”
“I always enjoyed working with disadvantaged youth – those that had everything going against them, those kids that everyone else had given up on. I could see the value in them, like my special education teacher could see in me.”
“Don’t even look at it as a disability,” Sidney advises. “ADHD for me has been a source of strength in some ways that has actually helped me get my book written and out into the marketplace.”
Sidney also founded a healing workshop called “Creative Medicine: Healing Through Words,” a therapeutic writing program he developed with a mentor of his. The program uses expressive writing, bibliotherapy, positive psychology, dialogue and self-reflection to help those incarcerated learn how to share their stories.
He also does a similar program out into the community and schools and uses pieces of it in the therapeutic workshops he leads. Sidney emphasizes the importance of addressing our vulnerabilities and shame.
“You can learn how to use your challenges as a strength,” he says. “There is just no other way.”