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CAN YOU HELP??
I am a 29 year old
mother of 3 children...One month ago, I also was diagnosed with ADD...I did
horrible in school, quit, and cannot keep my house up. People say, well
you have 3 children, but I cannot do it. Can you give me any organization
tips? I already ordered products from "GET ORGANIZED NOW".
i hope it will help. I have never been able to keep our checkbook, I took
accounting in college-I know how to, but can not finish. PLEASE HELP ME.
ADD/AHDD Is a Language of It’s Own
By Cherlyn Curtis
My husband and son were diagnosed with AHDD about eight years ago. We have been married over 34 years. For 25 of those years we raised four boys and operated two very demanding businesses simultaneously. We had no idea ADD/AHDD was a factor in our lives. We knew that our personal and professional lives seemed to be in constant chaos. We thought most of our problems were due to lack of good organizational procedures. We tried a myriad of organizational techniques. Then we tended to focus on those techniques rather than to the demands of our businesses.
The following example shows how chaotic our business day could become. My husband would put a phone customer on hold, start a different conversation with me, turn and start talking to an employee and without completing any of these conversations, walk out into the shop and within seconds be in a car with another customer on a test drive. All the while the phone customer, the employee and I were all waiting for him to finish our conversations. By this time, my husband had forgotten us all! He was focused on the car he was test driving. When any of us called the shop and he answered, we knew if he put us on hold, we would probably soon be forgotten. It left us all frustrated, including him. He knew he had poor communication skills, but nothing he did seemed to stop the constant commotion that engulfed him.
When my husband was diagnosed, we learned what ADD/AHDD was and why it often causes havoc in interpersonal communications--at work and at home. Many marriages and families are split apart by this malady. We were determined not to let that happen to us. Our goal was to find a better way to communicate.
Our research showed that whether an ADD/AHDD person was a small business owner or executive in a corporation, their communications can be as complicated as trying to converse when you don't know the language. ADD/AHDD has a language all its own.
A SET OF TOOLS
We have discovered a set of communication tools to help. For the non-ADD/AHDD person, they have a better understanding of the brain processes of those afflicted with it. It is equally important to the ADD/AHDD person to understand how their loved ones, co-workers, employees, etc. process information. To effectively communicate, we must first understand and respect how we are different.
By using these simple tools, the ADD/AHDD person's feelings of being emotionally attacked and needing to fight back are virtually eliminated. Productive communication as well as emotional bonding is now possible. When chaos starts to take over, the non-ADD/AHDD person has a greater influence in a shorter time to restore order and harmony. This allows the ADD/AHDD individual to become more productive and calmer.
It is our conviction that the ADD/AHDD person processes all incoming information (conversation, colors, shapes, noises, temperature, etc.) with the same impact. It's comparable to a computer processing information from multiple data sources simultaneously. The computer lacks an emotional component and simply processes the data. However, the ADD/AHDD person often feels emotionally attacked and anxious when interacting with others. Their brain patterns seem to run at warp speed. Those of us without this condition often fail to jump from topic to topic as quickly as they do. Frustration builds up, and communication breakdown is always the result.
When I interpret between the two sectors--ADD/AHDD and those not afflicted--, I have people visualize a committee meeting. Committees follow Robert's Rules of Order. They have an agenda that covers the issues to be discussed and voted on at the meeting. The Committee Chairperson is responsible for following the agenda and keeping order during the meeting. Each committee member can "take the floor", when recognized by the Chairperson, to give their opinions on the various issues. This is done in an orderly way so that all may hear and consider each position. Then a vote on each issue is taken.
A person with ADD/AHDD often feels they have an entire committee functioning in their brain at all times. I must emphasize that I am not describing a schizophrenic condition or multiple personalities. Rather, each member of this visual committee is simply a part of the complete personality of the ADD/AHDD individual. I believe we all have similar committees inside our brains. The difference is in the rules of behavior that our committee functions under.
To an ADD/AHDD person there is no such thing as Robert's Rules of Order. Their committee flat-out refuses to consider following a planned agenda. Each committee member constantly tries to shout down the others for control. For some reason, (probably out of sheer frustration) the ADD/AHDD's Chairperson often gets up and leaves, which, of course, results in pandemonium. When this happens, the ADD/AHDD person appears to be like a pinball bouncing from one topic to another at lightening speed.
To go back to our computer analogy: A computer can run one program in the foreground and several others in the background. The ADD/AHDD person has trouble running programs in the background. Everything wants to run in the forefront at all times. All committee members want to be heard about the others. There's a constant battle for control. The ADD/AHDD individual probably has about 8-10 committee members. A description of 3 of those members is given below.
THE PARENT ROLE:
Responsible for overseeing the rest of the family's needs. This committee member handles everything from financial support to laundry and shopping. They give counsel, teach and encourage family members to function in a stable manner with the world around them. All information is processed through this parental lens. They have rules and behavior guidelines they expect all family members to obey.
This committee member has compassion, understanding and acceptance for all people everywhere. He/She often stays in the background and only speaks up on issues of conscience. During Christmas holidays this is the committee member who tries to remind the rest of the committee of their need to love their fellow man. They provide the spiritual balance on all issues.
This member fights for Truth, Justice, the American Way. Their general attitude is to let the world know unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated without a response. If He/She is provoked by anyone honking their horn, flinging gestures or insults, the Superhero will demand justice and try to force the body of the ADD/AHDD person into physical altercation. This committee member yells a lot as He/She tries to force their opinion upon the rest of the committee. They can easily be filled with anger, rage and/or justification.
These are only three examples of an entire ADD/AHDD "committee". It is crucial for those of us not afflicted to understand the constant turmoil going on inside the head of an ADD/AHDD person. Each member is constantly yelling louder and they each want to debate and vote on every issue as soon as it comes into the brain. With lots of work and fine tuning, and in many cases medication, the ADD/AHDD person can learn to control their "committee" much of the time, and keep the Chairperson in charge of the meeting.
I would never recommend that anyone yell in anger at another person. However, it is imperative for everyone's safety not to get in the face of an ADD/AHDD person and yell. They simply cannot process your words. Members of their "committee" will demand a vote immediately. If The Minister is slow to act and if The Superhero has his/her way, there will be a physical altercation, especially if the Chairperson is out of the room!
From studies we know that ADD/AHDD has to do with the chemical make-up of the brain impulses and how they process information. It is my contention that these individuals have a brain processing speed that runs much faster than the rest of us. It would be like having a super computer with DSL linked in, always on and always processing information and data.
This new “communication” tool allows the non-ADD/AHDD person to move a conversation, that is headed for impasse, to a successful conclusion. The following is an example of such a conversation my husband and I recently had:
My husband paused, agreed that there was such a “committee” member and said, “Ok, you can “take the floor”. What this allowed him to do was listen differently. He could now listened from a different point of view (a point of view that was more compassionate towards my feelings). A compromise was met. The shift was slight, the “communication” tool worked, an argument was avoided
There is a great deal that is positive about ADD/AHDD. You cannot ask for a better problem solver, if you can gain control of the communication issues. The challenge is to implement communication tools that allow for their unique talents to be shared with the rest of us. If I were stranded on a dessert island with one other person, I would want that person to have ADD/AHDD. Why? Because their brain would never stop exploring possibilities for rescue. If they had to go to the ocean to get the seeds to plant and harvest and then dry the leaves to weave into a raft, they would. The creativity of an ADD/AHDD person is limitless.
It is my sincere hope that the concepts I've presented help both groups, ADD/AHDD and non-ADD/AHDD individuals, to communicate more effectively.
ã 2001-Cherlyn Curtis