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U.S. Survey: 1 in 10 Kids Has ADHD
Posted: 24 December 2010 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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ExMachina - 24 December 2010 04:45 AM

That I can agree with. This coming from an ADD monster. (not you btw)

My oldest was very fidgety as a child, and would have probably been diagnosed as ADD today. He is not, he is just active. I have a nephew who was diagnosed with ADD and is on medication, but I believe his problems have to do with poor parenting skills. His parents will not go in for parenting classes, they are not abusing him, so social services can’t do anything, but medication is the most convenient route for his parents, who do not want to alter their behavior. I have a niece who does have ADD is being properly medicated with adjunct behavior modification therapy, her brother is autistic and also getting treatment.

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Posted: 24 December 2010 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Back when I was diagnosed some 30+ years ago, it wasn’t being handed out like wafers at a communion. I have to say that it sure landed me in some of the most whacked out classes. Elementary school consisted of a child who wore mittens on her hands so she’d stop picking her nose, and the rest of us in the class probably should have been chained up to the wall. It only got worse from there. My problems though haunted me through my whole life to this day. Forgetfulness. Inability to absorb information though either verbally, or written. Worst yet, I’d make small mistakes. I’d miss something like putting my answers on the Scranton on the wrong line, but the biggest problem was my inability to adapt socially in this world and spending a life as an outcast. It’s why I consider myself a freak in sheeps clothing. I’ve been able to fix some of my social issues, but things still come up. Maybe if I was doped up on drugs throughout my life I’d have done better. Who knows?

[ Edited: 24 December 2010 05:50 AM by ExMachina ]
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Posted: 24 December 2010 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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My youngest stepson was diagnoded as ADD also 30+ years ago, and the school recommended ritalin.  We tried it for a very short time but his mother and I saw a problem in the late afternoon with the letdown.  We switched to giving him a cup of coffee before school and it seemed to help. 

This was in the early days of home computers, and the teacher heard I had an Apple II.  She asked if I’d like to demonstrate it to the kids in the special class.  I did so and was fascinated at how quickly and attentively they responded to the way it worked.  I had written a short program in basic that first asked the kid’s name, then asked a few simple questions.  When they typed in an answer it would respond using their names.  They loved it and I could see that it could be used as a great learning tool that would bypass the symptoms they had which had been diagnosed as ADD.

I also recall sitting on the family room couch talking with his mother while he sat at the desk playing a computer game.  When I bought it for him, I tried it and got up to 600 points.  He suddenly, while continuing playing the game, commented quite intelligently on the conversation we adults were having behind him.  I looked up and his present score was well over 9,000 points.  That was about the time that I realized that ADD wasn’t a defect, just that the kid happened to have a different way of looking at the world and had different priorities for his attention.

One of the problems with saddling a child with that diagnosis is that it sets him/her up to have a low opinion of him/herself.  For example, my stepson, who was considered the least of his four siblings is obviously, by my present evaluation, the brightest and most empathetic of them. 

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Posted: 24 December 2010 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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ExMachina - 24 December 2010 05:46 AM

Back when I was diagnosed some 30+ years ago, it wasn’t being handed out like wafers at a communion. I have to say that it sure landed me in some of the most whacked out classes. Elementary school consisted of a child who wore mittens on her hands so she’d stop picking her nose, and the rest of us in the class probably should have been chained up to the wall. It only got worse from there. My problems though haunted me through my whole life to this day. Forgetfulness. Inability to absorb information though either verbally, or written. Worst yet, I’d make small mistakes. I’d miss something like putting my answers on the Scranton on the wrong line, but the biggest problem was my inability to adapt socially in this world and spending a life as an outcast. It’s why I consider myself a freak in sheeps clothing. I’ve been able to fix some of my social issues, but things still come up. Maybe if I was doped up on drugs throughout my life I’d have done better. Who knows?

I think that they did not know how to treat ADD 30 years ago. It is unfortunate that you were placed so obviously inappropriately. My older son is your age and is dyslexic, another condition they were just beginning to recognize. He was fortunate to land a teacher who specialized in special education,  recognized and help me put together a plan to treat his problem. Children who do not get early intervention tend to be illiterate and drop out of school. My son was able to excel and go on to college, but for a long time he thought of himself as ‘stupid’. I’m sorry that you were not as fortunate. You are obviously very intelligent and knowledgeable, so obviously you seek out and have found a way to retain information. Perhaps it is time to learn to re-imagine your image of yourself. It is a difficult job, but well worth it. smile

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Posted: 25 December 2010 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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I’ve really tried to look at it as objectively as possible and not assume anything about the condition. Ego would make me think there was something about it that would allow me to understand things in a better way than most. But I know that’s not so much the case. The reality of it is that for all the problems it’s caused, I haven’t seen much in the benefits department. Most of my understanding of the world had to come from an obsessive amount of personal introspection. I knew that by learning in the conventional method such as reading, writing, remembering, etc. that I’d ultimately fail. Not only do I lack good memory, but I also lack the patients to remember. It seems to me that many teachers don’t understand one thing about a kid who’s not doing in school. That kid has been confronted by so much failure in his life that even if he does try, the best he could ever be is below average. When any person studies hard for a test and only gets a C grade on it, it gets very frustrating, so much to the point that you give up. Then you grow up wondering if you really did all you could to succeed.

Occam I agree that everyone learns differently, but in this world there’s only one set of rules for success in academics. Read and understand the information, remember what you’ve read, and recite the information you’ve been given. Unfortunately, if you can’t do all these things, then you’ll fail. I’m not saying the system is wrong, because honestly it’s the best they can do with the circumstances they have. Schools can’t model each child to a specific system of learning. I always entertained the thought that, what if in the future they discover that people with ADD have an incredible ability to perceive things in ways that no normal person could because of the disorder. These people would spend their entire lives never realizing an untapped potential. Like Vincent Van Gogh. All his art was considered worthless when he was alive. His brother was an art dealer and had trouble selling his artwork. The irony is that Van Gogh, though highly successful after his death, had spent his entire life not knowing that his works would be considered masterpieces. But the reality is that it’s a hindrance and you spend your life having a Pinocchio Syndrome. Instead of wanting to be real, you’re really just wishing you were normal like everyone else. (btw I just made up that Syndrome as a visual explanation) Hey can I coin that term or do I have to get a PhD first?  LOL

Edit

Forget it. Pinocchio Syndrome has already been taken and means something totally different. How does Pinocchio Dilemma sound?

[ Edited: 25 December 2010 06:31 AM by ExMachina ]
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Posted: 24 April 2011 12:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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This has actually been on my mind for a while and I was meaning to write this out but never got around to it. Occam and Asanta, I don’t want you to think that I haven’t appreciated my life as it has gone. It’s just that let’s say that there were any benefits to having ADD. Even with whatever good it may have, it would be hardly noticeable to the absolute misery that it causes. At least for me that is. I can’t speak for everyone who has it (which seems to be on the rise for some reason), but for me I wish that I grew up with and average brain with an average life. Then I wouldn’t feel so much like my life is always one beat off from the rest of the worlds.

Back to my main point though. My life has been great lately. I’ve been though a lot of emotional trials due to it, but I’ve done everything to improve my situation and look on the positive side of life. There are things that I will regret, but I’ve been able to overlook those problem and make the best of things. So I hope that at least brings a little more positive light on how I view my life with ADD.

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Posted: 24 April 2011 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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ExMachina - 24 April 2011 12:41 AM

This has actually been on my mind for a while and I was meaning to write this out but never got around to it. Occam and Asanta, I don’t want you to think that I haven’t appreciated my life as it has gone. It’s just that let’s say that there were any benefits to having ADD. Even with whatever good it may have, it would be hardly noticeable to the absolute misery that it causes. At least for me that is. I can’t speak for everyone who has it (which seems to be on the rise for some reason), but for me I wish that I grew up with and average brain with an average life. Then I wouldn’t feel so much like my life is always one beat off from the rest of the worlds.

Back to my main point though. My life has been great lately. I’ve been though a lot of emotional trials due to it, but I’ve done everything to improve my situation and look on the positive side of life. There are things that I will regret, but I’ve been able to overlook those problem and make the best of things. So I hope that at least brings a little more positive light on how I view my life with ADD.

You need to get over that. There is no such thing as an ‘average brain’ and an ‘average life’ outside of books and film. Everyone has trials and tribulations, weaknesses and strengths. Anyone who tells you that they can’t look back at their life and say “I screwed up” at point in their lives, is just a liar. Everyone has peculiar brain glitches, if not now, you will acquire them with time.  smile ...and I have always felt like I was one beat off the rhythm of the rest of the world. I’m sure it is much more common than you realize… Sure, ADD put you back behind the start line in the beginning, but you have to look at what is going on with the rest of your world. I am dyslexic, my oldest is dyslexic, while I learned to read at four, it affected my right left perception (you should have seen me try to learn to drive). I once had a classmate who was a straight A student, but one quarter she received a ‘B’ and was afraid to go home. Her parent beat her for ‘B’s. I don’t know what happened to her, but her adult life can’t have been very happy…and so I ramble.. smirk ..but my point is, ‘normal’ is a myth.

[ Edited: 24 April 2011 02:53 AM by asanta ]
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Posted: 24 April 2011 02:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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That’s an interesting point that maybe I have never really considered. Normal could just be my perception of anything but who I am, but just to be fair. Let me list the things that made me come to this conclusion.

First, I was held back twice in school. How many people can you ever say have had that happen. Crap, even finding a person held back once is hard to find. I was in elementary school when this happened, but what that meant was that everyone in my grade was always two years younger than I was.

Second, ADD. Being hyper makes you a social outcast, can’t focus in class, and can’t study to remember anything on any tests. I’ve tried to discipline myself, but eventually you end up getting so far behind everyone else, that even if you do study, the best you could get is a D. Added to this, being hyperactive as I was, I was too much for the girl whom I’d loved more than anything. I now get to watch her on Facebook as she lives a life without me as I watch her life go by with a family and children.

Third, I started out in special ed classes where some kids were having to wear mittens just because they wouldn’t stop picking their nose. I spent my way through these classes all the way through high school until I was eventually given an easy ticket to graduate. I recall going out on a field trip to a water park called Marineland (closed now), all the kids there were mentally retarded. Not that I don’t feel bad for them, but it really brought clarity on how people viewed us.

What I was trying to say is that I don’t think people fully understand how many ways ADD affects a persons life. It’s not just one thing that you deal with. It’s an array of frustrating things that it does that makes your life impossible to function normally within society, but even with all this craziness I do my best to remain as positive as possible. I’m not trying to go through a bunch of self pity here. I just every so often look back and think it would have been nice to not have had a life of such sever issues.

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Posted: 24 April 2011 03:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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ExMachina - 24 April 2011 02:50 AM

What I was trying to say is that I don’t think people fully understand how many ways ADD affects a persons life. It’s not just one thing that you deal with. It’s an array of frustrating things that it does that makes your life impossible to function normally within society, but even with all this craziness I do my best to remain as positive as possible. I’m not trying to go through a bunch of self pity here. I just every so often look back and think it would have been nice to not have had a life of such sever issues.

I’m really sorry you had to deal with that. It sounds like you were inappropriately tracked, or perhaps they had no other way of placing you. I would hope that it would not happen in these days. (The give you a personal perspective) When I was a small child, the main issues I had to deal with were racism. I was always the only black child in my classes, and did not realize what the ‘problem’ was. I had a second grade teacher who used to use me as a scapegoat. My other classmates quickly learned that if they were caught talking or doing anything else, they could point to me and I would be punished. My punishment was always the same. I had to go up to the front of the class and the teacher would pull up my dress in front of everyone and paddle me. I did not know she was wrong, and went to school every day determined to be very,very good so I would not get spanked. There was rarely a day when I was not spanked and humiliated at least once. I did not know enough to go to my parents who would have immediately put an end to it. In the fourth grade, I had a teacher who used to slap me. Frequently. For no other reason I could discern except that I was black. One day, I’d had enough and slapped her back. In front of the entire school. My father was called in from work. He was horrified when I told him my side of the story (they of course gave their version first). He told them that they were never to lay a hand on me again, and if they were having problems with me (which was not the reason I was slapped in the first place), they were to call him and let him deal with it. I moved to the USA as a teenager. I did not know the culture, the slang or the local history. I was always the odd person out, having lived in places most of my classmates never even heard of. I had few friends in HS because I was determined to be the person I was, and not try to ‘fit in’ to their idea of what I should be like. That is the story of my ‘normal’ life.

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Posted: 24 April 2011 03:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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That is absolutely insane. I’m sure these are the same people who went to church every Sunday and learned about love and tolerance. I’m glad that things have greatly changed since then, but you still unfortunately had to live in a time where racism was just accepted. I really didn’t grow up with many black friends, but I do remember having one when I was about 5 years of age. We played and never even realized that there was a difference, but eventually people do point out the differences and then point out the flaws. I see our issues as being every different though. You were the normal one in the middle of crazy people. I was just the opposite. tongue laugh

btw Sorry to hear that you had to go through that. It really pisses me off to hear how people can be so cruel.

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Posted: 24 April 2011 05:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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While I understand everything you and Asanta have said, E-M, you did say one thing that was dead wrong.

You were the normal one in the middle of crazy people. I was just the opposite.

  You may have been different, but then, in their own ways, so were each of your brothers and sisters. 

The main difficulty kids (as your and Asanta’s stories illustrate) is not the differences they have, but how the people around them react.  You mentioned a while ago that you had four siblings.  This probably means your parents didn’t have the time to focus on your needs, and they may not have even understood what those needs were.  My daughter was an adequate student and didn’t get into much trouble, but I think she could have had a far better childhood if I had realized that I should spend more time giving her the attention and affection she needed rather than being so focused on on my work and spending many, many hours away from home.  Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize what mistakes to avoid until the kids are adults. 

From what I’ve read about ADD, the kids whose parents understand and know how to help, grow up quite reasonably and without personal concerns.  One of the major problems that you seem to have had is timing.  You were diagnosed not too long after it was becoming a big thing in education, although most educators didn’t even see any difference between it and mental retardation.  Had you been born thirty years later and with parents who were aware of the needs of ADD kids, I’d guess you would have had a very different chiildhood, and therefore different personal evaluations as an adult.

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Posted: 24 April 2011 08:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Occam. - 24 April 2011 05:04 PM

While I understand everything you and Asanta have said, E-M, you did say one thing that was dead wrong.

You were the normal one in the middle of crazy people. I was just the opposite.

  You may have been different, but then, in their own ways, so were each of your brothers and sisters. 

The main difficulty kids (as your and Asanta’s stories illustrate) is not the differences they have, but how the people around them react.

Yes, and just as the treatment accorded to me would be abhorrent today, the treatment you received in elementary school be deemed inappropriate (and probably abhorrent as well).

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Posted: 25 April 2011 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Occam. - 10 November 2010 07:09 PM

Rather than overdiagnosis, I think it’s just that in the past it was severely underdiagnosed.  After all, look at the Tea Partiers and the way the vote went recently.  I figure that at least 60% of the U.S. public has ADHD.  And, I think that a fair amount of those who were diagnosed with that syndrome merely happened to think and act outside the box, which distressed the teachers, so it was a misdiagnosis.

Occam

edited to correct a typo

This. My daughter has so much going on from her stroke, and if you do not have experience as a caregiver of such a child, or as the child, then you have no idea of the intensive investigation such a diagnosis entails. GPS do not, and should not, diagnose this, only a specialist.

It also bothers me how much paranoia about the medical and scientific community this type of conversation demonstrates. Yes, some doctors abuse, mistreat, and are incompetent, but over all, the medical community is made up of good people. I’ve met a zillion of them.

I’m sure when other mental diseases were first categorised as stand alone diseases, their diagnostic rates shot up as well. And then people diagnosed with them were later rediagnosed with something else. Soon, the diagnostic rates for ADHD and Autism will drop and people will move on. That goes for those who self dianose as well.

When lay people off handedly make such criticisms, the result is that it stigmatises the doctors, parents, and kids. Life does NOT get easier after diagnosis, it is only the beginning of a long and exhausting process. Diagnosis merely gives you a place to start treating your child, and perhaps access to resources.

And to put the stats in perspective, 5 out of 10 people have Herpes and most don’t know it.

C

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Posted: 25 April 2011 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Bees Mom - 25 April 2011 12:47 AM

And to put the stats in perspective, 5 out of 10 people have Herpes and most don’t know it.

C

I am a happily married monogamist. It does have its benefits.  tongue rolleye

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Posted: 25 April 2011 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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traveler - 25 April 2011 07:30 AM
Bees Mom - 25 April 2011 12:47 AM

And to put the stats in perspective, 5 out of 10 people have Herpes and most don’t know it.

C

I am a happily married monogamist. It does have its benefits.  tongue rolleye

I mean all the Herpes types, and you don’t need to have sex to catch them.

People can get it in their fingers. And you don’t even need open sores.


C

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