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ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

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Read The ADD/ADHD People's Resolution as presented to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families, May 30, 2000

exclaimation point!Possible Problem with DepakoteMore and more kids are being prescribed Depakote as a mood stabilizer to go along with Ritalin, Adderall or other medications. Read this article if your child is using this combination of meds.exclaimation point!

This site was the Living With ADD Site Of The Month Sept99 for September, 1999!

This is a *dis*-ability?!?!?

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A quote from a friend: "Perhaps it should be called "Attention Divergency Dilemma" or "Attention Dynamics Digression."

ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder, is a common diagnosis for many children who have trouble in the public school system. How the diagnosis is come to, and how it is dealt with are the sparks for some real fireworks. Certainly, the over-diagnosis of this "disease" is a problem, and "mis"-diagnosis has left out many who could benefit from treatment, as well as many with other problems treated ineffectively. ADD does not always travel alone, either, and the "little terror" may not turn out to be a "sweet little lamb" just because the ADD/ADHD symptoms are treated. Sometimes behavior problems are simply behavior problems, and need to be addressed as such. If you feel that ADD may be significant in your life, please see a good professional psychologist and get a true diagnosis. Self diagnosis and especially self medication can be dangerous. Medication is not always necessary, and gaining a good understanding of the condition can be of immense benefit. Many people are finding that removing the child from the school system and allowing them to pursue their education in the freedom and loving atmosphere of their own home can be very helpful. Sitting for hours and studying assigned topics that don't grab our interest is almost torture, so having permission to stand up and change focus when we need to is a real stress reliever.

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First, let me say that, as an adult with ADD, I find it very hard to see this uniqueness we have as a true disability. In the first place, it is hardly a deficit of attention, but more of an overabundance of it. The problem is actually more with the inability to avoid distraction - to ignore the many things that demand our attention while we are trying to focus on one. This is particularly troublsome in the classroom setting, where any disruption is met with stern condemnation, or else becomes too much accepted, leading to the child being ignored. Second, although some of the traits (such as hyper-activity) that can accompany ADD can be troublesome, especially in the schoolroom, and may even require medication to offset the chemical imbalances, I believe most of the differences/difficulties faced with ADD are simply differences in viewpoint. I don't mean opinion, but the basic way we look at the world. I tend to subscribe to the idea that we are "Hunters in a Farmer's World"*. While others are good at organization and maintaining routine (and sitting still in desks), seeing to it that those things that must be done get done, seeing to the details of the everyday needs, we notice details that they may not, see ways to combine things in new ways, find new uses for old things, think of new ways to get through old difficulties, etc., etc. We are complements to each other.

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ADDs tend to be very intelligent, creative, inventive and ...well...flakey, forgetful, distracted, and seemingly very disorganized. We may have a dozen different wonderful projects underway, but get distracted so easily that they usually remain unfinished. We invariably forget to do assignments til the last minute, leave important things at home, and are notorious for losing our keys. We are great "idea" people, but somehow can't seem to maintain the routine necessary to get through the dull work to the exciting end-product. We do not fare very well in repetative tasks, and get bored quickly. We would rather work on something that is seemingly impossible to accomplish, and can get absolutely lost in our work when we are truly interested (but getting through a day at school can be an indomitable challenge). If you have seen the movie "Apollo 13", remember the part where they had to come up with a way to build a replacement air filtration system utilizing only the expendable parts on the craft? That is where we would excell. I remember turning to my friend who was with me in the theater and saying, with great glee, "There, see? I could have done that!" Unfortunately, nowhere in my public school history had anyone seen fit to recognize my abilities with anything other than dissapointment in my "not working to capacity". (Sigh) Needless to say, the basic set up of the public school system is not ADD friendly, even with "gifted" programs, and many people suffer a great deal from the square peg in a round hole method of dealing (or not) with the situation. Is it any wonder that homeschooling ranks are swelling?
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When we look at children who do, learn or see things differently, we have long make the mistake of viewing them as 'less than able', 'sub', or 'ab'-normal, when in fact, it is we adults who usually do not fully understand how they learn or how to work with them in a more helpful, effective way - the disability is ours, and it can be overcome. Not all children can, or even should, follow the same patterns. That doesn't mean they cannot contribute. 'Dis'-abilities are different abilities.
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The traits associated with ADD are considered to be hereditary. I can look back at my heritage and see just where they come from. I prefer to look at these as attributes with a positive connotation. The talents we have are worth far more than any difficulty we may have in fitting the "norm". I pride myself on being an individual. It took me a long time to come to that conclusion, through low self worth, self abusive behaviors and choices, many different relationships, many, many different jobs (resulting in a vast wealth of experience, I might add) and years of trying to figure out why I could not seem to function up to expectations. The reason, of course, was that the expectations were someone else's. When I finally realized this, I was more able to practice my strengths, and set up saftey nets for my weaknesses. The tendancies are still there, and powerful, but I know where I stand now. I am in control. I still have piles of things everywhere, and cannot remember someone's name till I have met them six times, but I know who I am and that I have a lot to give. Much of an improvement over 15 -20 years ago.

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Now, I face children with these same traits. There's that heredity thing again. At least I have a better understanding of what they are experiencing. I know how to help them. I know that they will do much better schooling at home than in the public school system.

To learn more about how and why we choose to let our children get their education from their own home base, visit the main page: HomeSchool Help at Sassafrass Grove.

Common symptoms of ADD:
(NOTE: many of these are also common to giftedness - think about it!)

Try the Overstimulation Simulation

Read what I get in the mail

What about ADD and DIET?

Some Helpful Links:

Homeschool Information Library - Special Situations - ADD NOTE: Some jerks with nothing better to do usurped the previous addy from the fine folks at Home Education Magazine, and used it to link to a porn site. I have tried to update all links to the new, safe addy, but if you find any links that still go someplace questionable, please let me know immediately!
Homeschooling Kids With Disabilities
Special Needs Forum - Message Index
Homeschooling Special Challenges - ADD, Learning Disabled
Homeschooling the ADHD Child
LD OnLine: Homeschooling LD/ADD Children Great Idea or Big Mistake?
Homeschooling Your Add/Adhd Child
Homeschooling ADD and ADHD - Attention Deficit Disorder
Homeschooling with ADD
NACD Articles - Your ADD/ADHD Child and Homeschooling
Special Children
Chores and Schedules for ADD/ADHD Children
Homeschool Information Library - Attention Deficit Disorder
Home Schooling the gifted
VegSource Special Needs Board for homeschoolers and others facing ADD/ADHD and/or other challenges
ADHD Search Engine
Humorous ADDults Intriguing Themselves have you HADD IT yet?
ADD and the Gifted Child see how the two compare -"Might ADD simply be Superior Intelligence coupled with an Inferior Self Esteem?"
Dyslexia/ADD The Dyslexia Research Institute - "Approximately 60% of individuals diagnosed with attention deficit disorders are also dyslexic, however, their learning and language differences are often unrecognized because only the behavioral aspects of ADD are addressed."
Inside the Brain of a Hyperactive Homeschooler by Israel Wayne for "ADHD of the Christian Kind"
How Are We Different? How Different Are We? part of "Bob's Little Corner"
ADDvance Women and Girls with ADD
ADD Society
ADHD - Myth or Reality A Drum Heard Differently
Born To Explore The Other Side of ADD
Positively ADD Homeschooling & ADD, Giftedness, and General Educational Resources
NFGCC - The National Foundation for Gifted and Creative Children
ADHD/ADD on the Web
Attention Deficit Disorder Beyond the Myths
ADHD and Children Who Are Gifted
Questions To Ask When Selecting a Professional To Assess or Treat ADHD
Parenting Difficult Children
ADDed Thoughts Reaching the child with ADD - from ""
Bob' Little Corner Everything you always wanted to know about ADD but could never remember to ask - and "The Mind of a Pentium; the memory of a 286 - living on the edge of distraction" - DON'T miss this! ADD in kids discussion board - PP also has an alternative treatments board! ADD in adults discussion board
One ADD Place
Student Paper on ADD
Stanford Page
Families of the Talented and Gifted
Famous People with ADD
The Council for Exceptional Children
Helping your Highly Gifted Child
Gifted and Talented Resources Homepage
Eccentricity, Creativity and Giftedness
Home Schooling Gifted Children
Gifted Development Center
ERIC EC Digests on Gifted Education
Homeschool Zone
TAG Project
NACD - National Academy for Child Development A family centered approach to child developemnt and education

Suggested Reading:

The ADD Clinic Videos to help understand and deal with ADD/ADHD and other learning disorders
Balance Check Great Listing of books and tapes on ADD/ADHD
ParentBooks More listings of books and tapes on ADD/ADHD

Right Brained Children in a Left-Brained World by Jeffrey Freed - Unlocking the Potential of Your Add Child

The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

Any Child Can Succeed by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

Unicorns Are Real by Barbara Meiser Vitale - The two sides of your brain

"SCATTERED: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It" by Gabor Maté - !This book is excellent! I strongly suggest that all those who are, or have a significant relationship with someone who is ADD, read this. It can help you see your own life in a whole new light, and shine some brightness into the future. Dr. Maté gets Three thumbs up! (Hey, I may be a clumsy typist, but I'm not *all* thumbs)"

*"Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception" by Thom Hartmann
New ways to work with Attention Deficit Disorder at Home, Work and School

Also by Thom Hartmann:
Focus Your Energy: Hunting for Success in Business with ADD
"ADD Success Stories: A Guide to Fulfillment for Families with ADD"
"Think Fast! The ADD Experience"
"Beyond ADD: Hunting for Reasons in the Past and Present"
"Healing ADD: Using NLP and other methods to heal from growing up a Hunter in a Farmer's World"

"Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults" by Dr. Lynn Weiss

Driven to Distraction by Edw. M. Hallowell, MD and John J. Ratey, MD
Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood

"Brainstorms" by H. Joseph Horacek
see the review at the Mining Company under features

"Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kureinka

"The Edison Trait: Saving the Spirit of Your Nonconforming Child" (NOTE: this is "Dreamers, Discoverers, and Dynamos" in paperback) by Lucy Jo Palladino.

"The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses; The Truth about Ritalin, Adhd, and Other Distruptive Behavior Disorders" by John Breeding

"Living With the Active Alert Child : Groundbreaking Strategies for Parents" by Linda S. Budd

"The Myth of the A.D.D Child:50 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion" by Thomas Armstrong

"Nurture by Nature : Understanding Your Child's Personality Type - And Become a Better Parent" by Barbara Barron-Tieger(Contributor), et al

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