Over the years I have read countless blog entries written by family members, friends, people whose views I respect, and others. Until now I have never had the urge to create a blog of my own. Somehow I couldn’t imagine who would care to read what I may have been pondering.
So, what’s different now? Neil and I have been on a journey of discovery about ADHD since he was diagnosed in 2002. In the past year, our learning has intensified because of our studies at the ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA). There is so much to understand about ADHD and how it shows up in each affected individual that having a place to write about new learnings will be a good thing for me. Perhaps others who happen upon this space will find it useful to visit from time to time. Feedback to my posts may stimulate a virtual conversation from which we all will benefit.
My plan is to post links to sources of information I have just come upon, my reflections on things I have known about but am investigating further, and here and there a few personal experiences that may resonate with others living with ADHD.
One thought from today: I was on a call this morning with other coaches, and one coach discussed how she handles the idea that ADD (despite its name!) is a deficit. She says that when people have that view of ADD, she can’t proceed any further to talk with them until she disabuses them of the notion that it is a deficit. As I’ve learned at ADDCA, ADHD is a neurobiological condition affecting 4-7 percent of the population–a condition, not a deficit. There is no one, single manifestation of ADHD. Each individual is unique and usually manifests great strengths in addition to weaknesses that usually show up in areas of executive functioning as well as the more commonly discussed challenges of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and distractibility.
Many ADDers are well aware of the weaknesses. Not so many have taken a hard look at their many strengths which often include above average intelligence, great creativity and intuition, high energy and drive, as well as deep empathy. It’s time for those of us who know more about ADD to acknowledge those strengths in those with ADD and to speak about the strengths of ADDers to those who are ill informed about them.
There is no question that folks with ADD often need to learn about how their brains work and to develop strategies to compensate. ADD is not an excuse but rather an explanation. I don’t feel it necessary to excuse or explain the fact that I need to wear glasses to read (and increasingly to see long distances as well). It’s well accepted that some people have less acute vision than others. ADDers have challenges that may necessitate accommodations in school or at work to help them focus or stay alert to the time or organize their papers or channel their energy. As our society learns more about ADDers and appreciates the unique contributions they can make, we will have taken a big step towards accepting the uniqueness of each individual. From that awareness the lives of individuals and society as a whole will benefit immensely!