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JrFFKacy
10-26-2009, 03:17 AM
I'm interested in any info you have about ADD. Especially how it affects adults.

I've worked with ADD and ADHD kids at various community events and I find it an interesting disease (or is it a disease? A condition maybe?), I just don't know much about it.

I do know a girl with food affected ADHD who was almost completely average until she ate something she was allergic too. Then she had a terrible time focusing on things.

I know I could do google research, but I'm looking for some first-hand accounts so I can understand the kids I'm working with better.

Vespertilion
10-26-2009, 03:54 AM
One type of ADD that doesn't get a lot of press is the Inattentive Subtype. Lethargy instead of hyperactivity means that people with this subtype generally aren't diagnosed until adulthood. More girls have it than boys, so they get ignored a lot, because it doesn't include acting out. Hard to concentrate, hard to "hold onto" some types of information.

For me, there were certain subjects I had to start over at the beginning with every day because I couldn't keep what I learned all together in the meaningful structure. I would understand it, and have an "aha, I get it!" moment, only to completely lose it by the test or the next class. Bits and pieces are still accessible--like random trivia--but aren't useful anymore. It helps a lot if it's something I can manually do to understand how all the bits and pieces fit together--then I can remember it. Math, for example--geometry, I was okay at, even if I couldn't explain it, because I could see what I needed to do,and work it out my own way. Other types of math that have no tangible product? Nope.

In many cases, it's hard to figure out what's the ADD, and what's another disorder, like dysthymia. Are you constantly depressed because your mom thinks you're stupid or lazy, or are you lethargic and achy because you're depressed?

Sometime around college, it got really difficult for me to read for pleasure. I have to sit down with sticky notes and a pencil if the plot is really complex. It's exhausting if the work is too densely written and there's a lot of fine detail. If I just want to relax and enjoy, I go for fun escapist stuff--fantasy, romance--because I can enjoy it. Before that, I read whatever was lying around, regardless of genre or dificulty level.

I wasn't diagnosed until just recently, because I just figured I had some weird learning disability. Not so weird. Just...sneaky.

mommyjo2
10-26-2009, 09:15 AM
My son has a food related neuro disorder and if gets into contraband... kiss peace goodbye.

A lot of people expect medication to cure bad behaviors caused by ADD, but medication simply makes resources available to a person. It makes them ABLE to focus, but doesn't mean they WILL focus.

ADD/ADHD in kids... lots of impulsiveness, and not caring or thinking about consequences. Some kids I know KNOW they will get in trouble for something or other, but do it anyway because they really lose a sense of time - "trouble later" has no meaning for them.

Other kids are inattentive, spacey.

Oddly, many kids with ADHD ARE able to hyperfocus sometimes.

WistfulWriter7
10-26-2009, 10:05 AM
I just wanted to pop in and be annoying. ADD no longer exists. There is only ADHD hyperactive-Impulsive subtype and ADHD inattentive subtype. I just thought you guys might like to know.

I'll actually come back and talk some more about it when I'm not totally drained. I have worked with a lot of kids who have ADHD. They are my favorite kids! I also study ADHD among other psychological disorders. So yeah, I will definitely be back!!

trocadero
10-26-2009, 12:28 PM
What wistfulwriter said. My son was diagnosed a couple of years ago (he's thirteen). He also has dysgraphia. It's true the inattentive but not hyperactive kids often go unnoticed. We had moved to a new country, and in the new school system, he was way behind and really suffering, so we paid a fortune to have him assessed. It turned out he had a high IQ and scored very high in some areas but scored very low in some areas. We opted to try medication. It was like the start of a new life for him. As the prescribing psychiatrist predicted, he is able to say when the med strength no longer works - it changes as they gain weight with growth, but the idea is to use the lowest strength that works. He forgot it on a school day (he doesn't take it on weekends) about a month ago, and when I dropped it in to him and quietly explained what had happened to the teacher, she said he had been really off all morning.

As a young child, he was always in trouble, at home and school. He was the kid you had to tell forty times to put his shoes on, and he was a little impulsive, but not run up the walls hyperactive. After a year of being on the medication, he is achieving well in most of his classes, and his confidence has risen greatly. Funny story - after he'd been on the medication for about a month, he came into my room one night and said he'd 'had a side effect'. He said that at Macdonalds he couldn't finish his burger.

"Wow," I said. "Maybe I should go on it."

"Don't be stupid, Mom. You can't go on it."

"Why not?"

"You don't have schizophrenia."

We had a little talk about the fact that he didn't have schizophrenia, either.

The psychologist we went to said that her own son had ADHD, but she didn't give him meds til he was 15. After he started the meds, he said to her, "Is this what life is like for everybody else in the world?" She said that for most kids, additives and preservatives in the foods they eat have little impact on the condition. We're very fortunate that he's at a great school and the learning specialist has him a few times a week for 'learning strategies'. She has really helped him with organization, which is a great problem for many kids with any kind of ADHD. That has also made a big difference to his success.

My son adores the Percy Jackson series, in which the demigod kids always have ADHD. In the book the condition is really the sense of being hyper-aware of all the stimulus around you, so you have the edge in a battle. Fun - he loved that.

DrZoidberg
10-26-2009, 12:39 PM
http://gingercampbell.vox.com/library/post/brain-science-podcast-45-dr-john-ratey-explains-add.html

Here's a great interview on the Brain Science podcast with a researcher in ADD. He gives plenty of examples of coping strategies of adults with ADD employ. I suspect there's plenty in that interview you can use.

pink lily
10-26-2009, 02:44 PM
Whatever you do, make sure your character's condition has been diagnosed by a real doctor, and not by a lazy parent who just assumes her poorly-behaved child has ADD/ADHD when in fact all he's missing is a father.

sommemi
10-29-2009, 07:43 PM
Whatever you do, make sure your character's condition has been diagnosed by a real doctor, and not by a lazy parent who just assumes her poorly-behaved child has ADD/ADHD when in fact all he's missing is a father.


Yes, and the main difference between an energetic kid and a true diagnosis is that it "has significant impairment on daily life in two or more areas of life", in other words, it causes problems not just at school, but at home or daycare or sports, etc ALSO.


I can tell my son definately gets his ADHD from me... Before I ever asked him to take medication, I took it for myself. We are one in the same, really. It made a huge difference.

For an adult, I can tell you that it means my mind is constantly running. If I stop, even for a minute, I start to fall asleep. My attention can be pulled away in a heart beat.... oh look, I have email... oh, sorry. Anyhow, I find myself finding many ways to adjust my life throughout my workday. I have checks and balances to make sure I stay on task and tons and tons of to-do lists. My memory sucks (mainly short term) and if I stop 'doing' stuff, I get kind of stuck and it's hard to get motivated to get back up and do something else...

From what I've learned, people with ADHD (mostly attentive disorder) have a naturally LOW activity level so that's why they are so constantly active in order to stay awake and stimulate their brain to stay awake. That's also why things like stimulants and caffeine work to help them be more focused and appear 'calm'.

JrFFKacy
10-30-2009, 06:04 AM
Interesting...

Thanks guys! This made a lot of sense to me. I did end up doing some google research as well and found a lot of great info.

Skyraven
10-30-2009, 06:24 AM
You can also check out the apa website for definitions and symptoms of add/adhd and the subtypes. :)

lauraannwilliams
10-30-2009, 07:39 AM
Thought I'd toss in a few words as someone who grew up with ADHD.

I'm Canadian, we have two school systems - Catholic and Public. I was diagnosed with ADHD in second grade, sometime, I assume, around the time I got kicked out of the -entire- Catholic school system in my city. Apparently I had tantrums so extreme no school would take me. I had to switch to public school for the rest of the year. By the next year, third grade, I was medicated, in a new catholic school, and seeing the first signs of the joint problems that plague me now.

I remember those years in vignettes, mostly, stories I've recounted to myself often enough that I remember the retelling as much as the memory. First days of school, punishments, rewards, birthdays, and the endless repetition of the after school afternoon.

I don't remember feeling any change, or school getting any harder or easier, or feeling like I was made any different from the medicine. The tough things were being the only new kid in my class, or having legs that randomly weren't supporting me.

I've always been obsessive and strong willed, where as ADHD makes me think of being distractable. I could pay attention to the same thing for hours - it just wasn't what I was supposed to be attending to. I know I must have fidgeted a lot - some phrase with 'minor motor system' was bandied about at lot. But now when my hands are restless I put them to keyboard or pen and paper. I don't remember having much of a temper either, but I know I got wrestled to the floor a few times when throwing a fit about not wanting to take that little white pill. My report cards for those years are filled with comments about applying myself and writing legibly and "Laura really needs to stop reading in class". The reading in class comments I was still seeing in high school, actually.

In fifth or sixth grade or so, I think, I was taken off ritalin. I don't actually remember the medication being stopped - it wasn't a big deal to me.

What my mother remembers is quite different. She describes those years as watching me rebuild my personality from the inside out. For her, the medication made an absolutely drastic change, and it's something she's never regretted.

As an adult, I find it hard to look at myself in the light of ADHD. I don't think of myself as a person with a learning disability, or say 'I only do X because of ADHD'. I have days where I'm less able to concentrate, less productive - and days where I can block out everything and get an amazing amount of work done. But to me that's my personality, not something I was diagnosed with as a kid.

I would recommend you check out a great (if somewhat old ) book on Adult ADD called You mean I'm not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy? (http://www.amazon.com/Stupid-Self-Help-Attention-Deficit-Disorder/dp/0684815311). For both myself and my brother - who had a milder case and was never medicated - it really hit home and described the experience accuratly.

veinglory
10-30-2009, 06:39 PM
I just wanted to pop in and be annoying. ADD no longer exists. There is only ADHD hyperactive-Impulsive subtype and ADHD inattentive subtype. I just thought you guys might like to know.

Apparently my psychiatrist also doesn't know this. : /
Personally I would agree with it unless you have an authorative source. It would be replacing a more accurate name with a less accurate one.

pink lily
10-30-2009, 08:53 PM
Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (also referred to as Adult ADHD, Adult ADD, or AADD) is the common term used to describe the neuropsychiatric condition attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when it is present in adults. Current convention refers to this condition as adult ADHD, according to the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), 2000 revision. It has been estimated that 5% of the global population has ADHD (including cases not yet diagnosed).[1]
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adult_attention-deficit_disorder


ADD is officially called Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or AD/HD (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), although most lay people, and even some professionals, still call it ADD or A.D.D. (the names given in 1980) or ADHD . The disorder's name has changed as a result of scientific advances and the findings of careful field trials; researchers now have strong evidence to support the position that AD/HD [ A.D.D. or ADHD ] [as we will refer to the disorder throughout the remainder of this Briefing Paper] is not one specific disorder with different variations. In keeping with this evidence, AD/HD [ A.D.D. OR ADHD ] is now divided into three subtypes, according to the main features associated with the disorder: inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The three subtypes are:

* AD/HD [ A.D.D. OR ADHD ] Predominantly Combined Type,
* AD/HD [ A.D.D. OR ADHD ] Predominantly Inattentive Type, and
* AD/HD [ A.D.D. OR ADHD ] Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type.

http://www.add-adhd.org/ADHD_attention-deficit.html

icerose
10-30-2009, 09:45 PM
I have realatively mild A.D.D as in I can still do all the things I need to do. I can't classify which I am in the new kinds because I couldn't really say, I haven't been to a psychologist in years.

I'm jittery. I figet bad. I'm always moving something. I can hyper focus as in when I am focused on something I can't pay attention to anything else. If something isn't holding my rapt attention my mind wanders bad. Like I'll be playing a game and if it comes to a slow part, I'll be looking at other web browsers, chatting on here, or even opening a second game and playing it. It's very difficult to keep my attention. I learn very quickly.

I am terrible at names. I do not retain names. It takes me hearing a name on a frequent basis dozens of times before I actually remember the name. If I don't hear the name for a while I will forget it. Faces, however, I remember faces. I retain stories in scary clarity but ironically enough I will forget all the names inside the story after a short period of time. The story, however, will be forged into my brain for years.

I was always a good student but they went too freakin slow for me and as such I doodled on everything.

I have never been very impulsive but I am also fairly reclusive. Drawing attention to myself is bad therefore I don't do things that draw attention to myself. Unless I'm in a bad mood.

Repetitive noises when other people make them annoy the heck out of me, but I find myself making them like tapping my pencil, the keys, whatever.

Oh and I rarely ever think one single thought. There are usually a dozen or more running through my head at any given time. When my husband asks what I'm thinking about when I'm staring off into space I've started to ask him "Do you want the short list?"

Oddly enough they are often not even related to each other. Maybe that's why I'm always working on half a dozen stories at any given time.

Tsu Dho Nimh
10-31-2009, 05:13 PM
I'm interested in any info you have about ADD. Especially how it affects adults.

Pretty much the way it affects kids, except they get fired for not keeping track of what they are supposed to be doing. They zone out and forget to pay the rent or the electric.

Many ADD adults self-medicate with stimulants such as coffee, stress, cocaine or amphetamines. They have learned they function better that way, but may be undiagnosed.

There are plenty of books and websites about Adult ADD (just Google it.)

JrFFKacy
11-03-2009, 03:05 AM
I'm jittery. I figet bad. I'm always moving something. I can hyper focus as in when I am focused on something I can't pay attention to anything else. If something isn't holding my rapt attention my mind wanders bad. Like I'll be playing a game and if it comes to a slow part, I'll be looking at other web browsers, chatting on here, or even opening a second game and playing it. It's very difficult to keep my attention. I learn very quickly.

The more I read about this, the more I think I might have a little bit of it...

Though I'm much worse now, than I was when I was a little kid. My mom is getting totally fed up with me, she keeps telling me to do stuff, and I say 'Sure' and truly plan to do it in a minute, but then the next day comes around, and the three things she asked me to do are still not done. And I have a recollection of her asking, but no recollection of why I forgot. I'm always fidgiting with stuff and go crazy when I have to sit somewhere for a long time and there's nothing going on. And I can't work on a computer without having at least three windows open.

My mind just never wants to shut off.

Oh well.

icerose
11-03-2009, 03:08 AM
My mind just never wants to shut off.

Oh well.

Yeah, that's a pretty good description of my brain. I have to actually walk through a shut down checklist to go to sleep every night.

"Stop thinking about that."

"Deal with that in the morning."

"Nope, shut up."

"Nope, not going to go there."

JrFFKacy
11-03-2009, 05:30 AM
I just imagine scenes in my stories, as if I'm watching a movie in my head. It helps me describe my scenes better in writing, and always focuses my mind enough that I fall asleep.