Comments on
Can I Have ADHD If…

An ADHD diagnosis can bring a flood of different feelings, from relief at finally having an explanation for your symptoms (“now things are starting to make sense”) to a sadness over lost time (“what if I’d been diagnosed earlier?”).

2 thoughts on “Can I Have ADHD If…

  • June 2, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    To quote a psychiatrist I consulted when mentoring a student with supposed ADHD/ADD (I say supposed due to the student then not having been through the process of diagnosis):

    “Just give him amfetamine. If he’s normal, he’ll be speeded, and if he’s got ADHD he’ll calm down.”

    He was of course joking, though there is a kernel of truth in there: a clinical test would simplify matters enormously. A person with ADHD must train to live with both up and downsides, as per the indivdual as you point out; a person with ADHD-like behavioural problems needs behavioural modification training (or simply stricter discipline, consequences and firm structure and guidelines – it sounds a lot harsher than what I’m talking about, I mention that due to frequent misunderstandings).

    I’ve dealt with, tutored and mentored pupils and students, as well as adults, with one or other “alphabet-diagnosis” for the past 20+ years and just as in a famous scene in “Life of Brian”, they’re all individuals. Some were the stererotypical wall-climbing hell-raiser of internet fame, some were introverted and quiet due to massive sensory overload, and some Went up and down from hyperactive to hypoactive like a yo-yo.

    Solution? Today’s schedule and lessons will be about “What’s on your mind today?” and working from the students answer trying to make sure we learn a little grammar, some spelling, some math and so on and so forth. I’d like to think that aproach works better with these kids than trying to force them to focus on sixteenth century literature; that’s tough enough to get teens (not to mention most adults…) to focus on as it is.

    Just thought I’d share my two Euro-cents worth. Oh, and hiking and similar out-door fram from the teeming hordes of modern sociaty tends to work wonders with teens/young adults eith ADHD. All of the tension sort of washes off them, like water on a goose, after the first day. Pet theory of mine is that the part of the brain regulating social in/output is the one suffering from the most clutter and overload, which stresses out all the other functions and degrades overall performance – haven’t a shred of scientific proof unfortunately, just anecdotal experience.

    “Gnothi seauton”,
    Rikard, teacher, ret.

    • June 4, 2020 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Rikard, thanks for sharing your experiences on this topic! I think it’s great that in your teaching/tutoring you’ve gone out of your way to work with students as individuals rather than trying to take a one-size-fits-all approach. I mean, I guess it sounds like an obvious thing to do when I put it that way, but it’s not necessarily easy and it’s something that I think is often missing in the current educational system.


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