You Are Not Alone!
It's amazing to me how many people flash me a familiar smile or nod when I mention I'm ADD. There are some people who laugh and say it's an excuse (usually in nicer words), or those who try to convince me that everyone struggles with the same issues. Some of these I'm convinced are ADD as well. Others nod in agreement as if to say, "Yeah, you are!" Then there are those who I know know all about it because they're ADD too. I don't think people truly know the affects of ADD unless they or someone they're close to has ADD.
Occasionally, I'll run into a parent or family member who has a child with ADD or ADHD and they're not quite sure how to take the news or what it all entails. I'm more than happy to explain that having ADD is not a bad thing. That children with ADD are very bright and creative individuals. They are usually several steps ahead of their peers and therefore bore easily. It's hard to keep their attention not because something is wrong with them or that they're defiant but because there are so many things going on in their minds at any given time. While they're peers process one thought at a time an ADD child processes several thoughts at a time. They take in so much information that it is hard to tune out noises or other conversations in order to focus on what their parents or teachers are telling them. Then there is the opposite end of the pendulum--the ability to hyperfocus. I say ability in order to try and alleviate negative connotations that are associated with ADD/ADHD, but hyperfocusing can also be a weakness. Ever notice you or your child or someone you know seems to "zone out" and it's hard to "bring them back"? Or they seem so focused on a TV show or project that they can't seem to stop without a lot of prodding? That is called hyperfocusing. All that person sees at the moment is the project they are trying to finish, the TV show that has captured their interest, the video game they just have to get to the next level before quitting, even getting lost in their own thoughts or daydreams.
One problem I had in school was that I would develop these "fantasy worlds". My creativity was off the charts and I was bored very easily. It was an extremely bad environment for me to learn in because I was in a private school that placed us in desks away from our peers and told to work in our workbooks on our own. We were self taught through workbooks. I started this school at about age 8. I never could get my work done at school except for the subjects that could hold my interest. Everything around my little cubicle of a desk was too much of a temptation to play with. My school supplies became a kingdom full of kings and queens and horsemen and fairies. That was much more entertaining then multiplication and division.
If you or a family member, especially a spouse or child, has ADD just remember, it's not a bad thing. I hate that it is even considered a disorder. I believe ADD is a gift from God just as our personalities are God given. It gives us the tools we need for the jobs God specifically has for us. I learned recently that a large number of ministers are ADD. It's not just God who recruits those with ADD either! The CIA, the technical industry, the military, all embrace the strengths that ADD gives to a person. I'm hoping soon we can all embrace the strengths, learn to conquer the weaknesses (who doesn't have weaknesses?) and stop labeling our children. They don't need labels, they need tools. Let's teach them to overcome their weaknesses and reach their full potential.
Blessed with Grace