I've read a lot about it over the last few years because my son was born
incredibly active, and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.
During my reading I discovered that I also very much fit the description
of ADD. In fact, I have always been very aware of a difference I have
which I had always referred to as "it." Or sometimes "crossed wires."
Out of curiosity, I went to Yale and, after four hours of testing, was
pronounced "clearly ADHD" (ADD with hyperactivity). Very interesting,
since I got straight A's in grad school and have a career in the
sciences (grad school is interesting, right?). Clearly, it's not as
hopeless as they say it is.
I think back on my school days (k- undergraduate studies) and I really,
really hated school. I wish I could have gone to a Sudbury type school.
I'm sure I would have done well, because I like to teach myself things,
I just didn't like classrooms and have trouble taking in information "by
ear." (Many ADDers have verbal difficulties/dyslexia). I was the student
who failed math while winning awards in music and art.
There is a sort of underground shift going on with how ADD is viewed.
The old school says it is a brain defect which requires meds. This is
made up primarily of psychiatrists, psychologists and especially drug
companies. There is an opposing camp, composed of researchers, parents,
and a few authors, who believe ADD is an alternative mode of thinking,
latteral thinking perhaps, or creative thinking. I say underground
because the press hasn't caught onto it yet.
My Born to Explore site represents the latter view. It's at
http://www.connix.com/~hypercog/add.htm if anyone is interested in the
> In a message dated 98-03-25 16:56:12 EST, you write:
> << I've been thinking of ordering the book, "The Myth of the ADD Child" from
> Associates (The Growing Without Schooling people). As a staff member at LVS
> get a lot of questions from parents with children diagnosed with ADD, and I
> was wondering if this was a worthwhile read. Has anyone out there read this
> book, and if so, what did you think? >>
> I haven't read the entire book, but I have heard of it, read reviews of it,
> and have heard the author interviewed. I agreed with what I read and heard so
> I tentatively give the book a "Third-hand Thumb Up".
> My bias is that ADD, ADHD, etc. are, except in the most extreme cases,
> school/parenting derived "ailments". They basically strive to make the case
> that, instead of creating an environment capable of accommodating the wide
> range of human behavior and emotions that kids exhibit, we should force the
> kid to mold to the environment (which is set up to reward quiet, subservient,
> regurgitive behavior.)
> I am reminded of a Smith Family cartoon of a while back. One of the Smith
> boys is talking to another boy. The other boy looks all bleary eyed and
> slack-jawed. The other boy says, "I run around all the time, can't sit still,
> yell a lot, and make a nuisance of myself. They call it 'hyperactivity' and
> make me take a pill."
> The Smith boy responds, "Oh, I do that too, only they call it 'being a kid'
> and make me take a powder!" (Although I am hesitant to explain a joke, I have
> heard from some folks that the expression "take a powder" isn't as widely
> known as I thought. For those who haven't come across it, it roughly means
> "get out and don't bother me".)
> I know that some parents struggle mightily to help their kids get a handle on
> their lives. Some describe the despair that the kids feel being out of
> control. There may be a (very) small minority of cases of truly pathological
> ADHD/ADD and I suppose that medication may be appropriate in those (very few)
> cases. My strong belief is that in the vast majority of cases, the kid is
> being medicated for the sake of convenience - the convenience of a rigid
> school system, a rigid home system, or both, which are unwilling to make
> necessary changes that would allow kids to be kids and to grow up in their own
> time and manner.