The face of ADHD

@TheHorse (72326)
Walnut Creek, California
July 16, 2016 1:11pm CST
Do you have experience with children (or adults) with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)? It's one of those diagnoses that I think is overused. But some kids really do have it: they can't sit still, interrupt when a thought comes to mind, and can't focus on a task for any length of time. Or can they? When I work with ADHD kids, I tend to start with stuff like hiking and sports, but as we're hiking and playing sports, we're getting to know each other. Once I know what they like or are interested in, I can introduce them to activities that require focus and attention, and they often become remarkably focused, with great attention to detail. The kid in this photo has ADHD, but he likes making model airplanes with me. When I first told him I knew of an "old school" model airplane store in Berkeley, he was really excited. We've made three models so far and are working on a fourth. Sometimes he has to get up and go make a pretend military base and farm on the floor (I let him and continue to "model" focus on the project), but he always returns to the "safety" of our project together. Right now, we're working on a rather difficult helicopter, and I'm no longer surprised by how well he's doing. What's your experience with ADHD kids? Do you think it's sometimes used as an excuse for inattentive parenting (I do)? Have you figured out things that "work" with "true" ADHD kids?
13 people like this
16 responses
@boiboing (12881)
• Northampton, England
16 Jul 16
I always smile to myself and think of the American humourist David Sedaris who, when confronted with a school teacher who said she specialised in kids with ADHD, asked her "Isn't that just another term for bad parenting?"
4 people like this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
It can be. One of the kids whose photo I use now and then was diagnosed with ADHD and put on meds. She did not have ADHD. Her mom just paid more attention to her little brother, and ignored her, because she was hoping the little brother's father would stick around. He didn't.
2 people like this
@sharon6345 (138052)
• United States
16 Jul 16
my daughter struggled with this for years. She has a hard time working due to this and other disorders shcool was hard for a while till the school signed her out. They could not help her any more.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
What were some of her other issues?
1 person likes this
@skysnap (18037)
16 Jul 16
My nephew has partial ADHD along with hyperactive mind. It's not easy to be around him.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
What works best with him?
@skysnap (18037)
17 Jul 16
@TheHorse computer games. he can listen only when you tempt him for tablet or something.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
17 Jul 16
@skysnap Oh, you reinforce him for good behavior by letting him use some kind of device?
• Calgary, Alberta
16 Jul 16
I have adhd as a kid and as an adult I have ADD. You can imagine all the rejection and discrimination I experienced growing up.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
Do you do OK now?
• Calgary, Alberta
16 Jul 16
@TheHorse I am doing fine but many people still find me weird with my mannerisms and behavior beyond my control.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
@CaptAlbertWhisker Heh. Some people find me weird too, I am sure.
@rebelann (42804)
• El Paso, Texas
16 Jul 16
Ever since the early 1980s doctors have been coming up with mental illnesses to cover the problems so many kids had when I was young, in my case (1961) the solution for hyperactivity was to give me tranquilizers .... yeah, they did make me slow down but unfortunately sleeping in class wasn't what they intended, I flunked 6th grade that year.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
I wonder when the paradoxical idea of giving hyperactive kids speed came along. It seems to work for some.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (42804)
• El Paso, Texas
16 Jul 16
I heard about giving coffee to hyperactive kids back in the mid 1970s @TheHorse it seemed it would calm them down.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
@rebelann I've had ADHD kid clients tell me that. "It calms me down!" I won't buy them coffee unless their parents say it OK.
1 person likes this
@Jessicalynnt (47880)
• Centralia, Missouri
17 Jul 16
I know they can focus, the key is finding what helps them do so, or what they are interested in
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
17 Jul 16
Finding what they're interested in is really imprtant to me.
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
18 Jul 16
@TheHorse it is the key to getting them to be able to focus on other things for sure
@teamfreak16 (41388)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Jul 16
My girlfriend has ADD.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
How does it show itself?
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41388)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Jul 16
@TheHorse - She is hard to follow during conversion because she has like six things going on in her head so she is all over the place.
@dodo19 (33590)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
16 Jul 16
I have ADD. I have a problem with attention mostly. I don't think it's as bad as it was, but it's still something I struggle with.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
Do you get off subject, or easily distracted, during a conversation?
1 person likes this
@dodo19 (33590)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
16 Jul 16
@TheHorse definitely. That's something else I do quite a bit. I lose my train of thought.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
17 Jul 16
no experience of ADHD kids though I see lots of lousy parenting - the model making activity sounds a great way to reach and interact with the boy you are looking after
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
17 Jul 16
I'm glad we discovered this thing we both enjoy. He gets distracted, but overall, he does well at focusing on the task at hand.
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (22175)
• India
16 Jul 16
You are talking about a diagnosis which is overused and over here there is no diagnosis at all.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
What do they call hyperactive kids in India? Kids?
• Jacksonville, Florida
16 Jul 16
I do think it is overused for parents who lack in disciplining their children. Maybe some children do have it-but not most...
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
Yep. It would be interesting to see (from my perspective) what percentage of cases are "real."
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (115816)
• United States
16 Jul 16
When I taught, I had ADHD kids mainstreamed into my regular-education classrooms, and I also worked with ADHD kids as a special education teacher. When something is of deep interest, kids with ADHD, or ADD, have hyper-focus and incredible attention to detail. Finding the right activity is the key to allowing students with ADHD, or ADD, to attend to the task at hand and settle themselves, if necessary. All my ADHD and ADD kids were given the gift of creativity, along with a host of other valuable gifts in a variety of areas. Our son had ADD, no hyperactivity, and he has superior auditory memory and superior spatial analysis. Our son started sculpting with wire and metal at age 5, and his work was amazing. In the Chicago Tribune, an article about a successful CEO stated, "If I did not have ADD, I would go out and find where I could buy it." Those with ADHD or ADD can think up ideas few others can.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (72326)
• Walnut Creek, California
16 Jul 16
I enjoy working with these kids for the reasons you suggest!
1 person likes this
@jeanena (1616)
• Bucklin, Kansas
26 Jul 16
My youngest daughter ADHD OMGosh she was out there sometimes..bless her heart she would sit still in her chair most of the time her head was in the seat of it.As she got older there was some depression with the ADHD , we only used medication for a short period of time. Now my oldest grandson has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD.
@Drosophila (16699)
• Ireland
18 Jul 16
Yes it is way over used, like OCD. I don't think people really understand it, it's just convenient to say
@koopharper (6722)
• Canada
17 Jul 16
I have been around people who definitely had ADHD and I don't argue with the concept of giving them a little medical help. On the other hand I lived in a neighbourhood in Quebec where all the kids in our neighbourhood were diagnosed ADHD by the school and put on medication. None of them needed it. Our kids were home-schooled and that was a factor in our decision to do so.
@jaboUK (55053)
• United Kingdom
16 Jul 16
I've had no experience of this at all, but you must br a real help to kids that do have it.