Going by how ADHD is sometimes represented in the media, a reasonable person could end up with the impression that people with ADHD simply did not exist until about 1990. Of course, that's not the case, and the condition we now call "ADHD" has been around since long before modern medicine, begging the question: what was it like having ADHD in centuries past, and how did society view people with ADHD?
Patience is a virtue, but not when it comes to seeking treatment for mental health issues. Before I was diagnosed, I had some idea I might have ADHD. I knew it ran in my family, and I knew a lot of the symptoms applied to me. I knew there were some things I struggled with that other people seemed handle much better. Nonetheless, seeking treatment for ADHD didn't seem urgent. I didn't realize what a big difference dealing with my ADHD could make in my life, and I didn't see that the stress of living with undiagnosed ADHD was getting a little worse every day.
We ADHDers are big on starting projects and not finishing them. That's why I never pass up the chance to make a New Year's resolution, even though I've only ever stuck to one of them. This year, rather than adding some healthy habit or imposing some new rule on my life, I'm going to go with something more general: I'm resolving to follow my intuition more.
I have ADHD, but I wouldn't exactly say I have an attention deficit. Rather, I spend more time than most people paying attention to things I'm not supposed to pay attention to and less time than most people paying attention to things I am supposed to pay attention to. One of the things I've been prone to paying too much attention to is TV. Things like TV and the internet are dangerous because they provide constant novelty and stimulation, exactly what the ADHD brain is hungry for.
Happy holidays! I'm pleased to announce that I got almost all my gift buying done before Christmas Eve this year, but I'd be lying if I told you I was that on top of things every year. The truth is that waking up on Christmas Eve and thinking "why did I put things off so long? I'm going to do my shopping earlier next year" borders on an annual tradition for me. And I'm guessing a lot of people who have ADHD or for whatever reason simply haven't done a great job planning ahead will be finding themselves in a similar place right about now.
Over my last year of college, a growing cognitive dissonance took hold of my life. On one hand, I'd been accepted to grad school and figured more school was the next step to the career I wanted to have. On the other hand, I felt in my gut that I was temperamentally not very well suited to being in school, despite the fact that I enjoy learning.
While everyone was freaking out last week about a study showing a 43% increase in ADHD diagnoses, the results of another ADHD study were also released. The second study didn't receive media attention, but as far as I'm concerned it's a lot more interesting than the reports about rising diagnosis rates.
Students with ADHD are up against some ugly odds when it comes to getting a college degree. The exact number depends on what methodology you use, but what doesn't depend on methodology is the conclusion that ADHD students are much more likely to drop out of both high school and college than their non-ADHD peers. One graduation rate you'll hear quoted a lot is 5%. Now, as someone with ADHD who did finish college, I'd like to tell you that I beat the odds through hard work, a killer organization system or even accommodations my school offered that mitigated the effect my ADHD symptoms had on my schoolwork. However, that wouldn't be true.
Ever feel like your life becomes a little easier every day? Yeah, me neither. But as an ADHD millennial, I'm starting to think maybe I should feel this way. We're living in possibly the best time in history to have ADHD, and it's getting better every day. Now, OK, you could argue that it's an even better time to not have ADHD, and I'd grant you that point, but I think the future is looking up for people with ADHD. Here's why.
Having ADHD puts students at high risk for being disengaged in school. When students with ADHD aren't engaged, a sort of lose-lose-lose situation can develop: teachers don't know how to get through to students, students feel like they're being blamed for things beyond their control and parents stand helplessly by. But things don't have to be this way! Here are some techniques I've found are helpful for keeping students with ADHD engaged, based on my experience first as a student with ADHD and later tutoring kids with ADHD. Give these a try because if you're able to keep a student with ADHD engaged, you've already won most of the battle!