Friday, April 22, 2011


I know ADHD is a real disorder, I know that it is overdiagnosed, underdiagnosed, misdiagnosed and really poorly misunderstood. I know we have come a long way in understanding it and getting "better" and "worse" recognizing it. But do people truly know what it means to be a kid anymore? Most kids are rambunctious when they are young. Why is school set up so that kids can't move or wiggle? I am 32 years old and I still can't sit still in class or totally shut up. How many adults do you know can truly sit still let alone kids? I mean if you think about it, wiggling keeps your blood moving and pumping more than when you sit still. If we have to sit still all the time except when we exercise, do we wonder why people have trouble transitioning? Those kids and adults who fidget tend to be more alert and seem to transition to exercise and other activities better? I am in college and I still wiggle, fidget, talk in class, get distracted and what not. While I like to sit directly in front in class, I find that I wiggle to much and tend to sprawl my stuff out on multiple desks and chairs. my area in class looks like a tornado, but I take all my stuff with me 99.9999% of the time. I take notes in class in color, I have my digital recorder out, I have my books, I have my pens, paper, backpack. I used to get frustrated with this until I realized I am always going to make a mess in class. At least I clean it all up when I am done. I guess I channel my need to fidget into my note taking and reading textbooks and doing my homework. I channel my incessant talking into participating in class and/or interact with the instructor on some level.

Not everyone with ADHD is externally rambunctious. Some of the daydreamers are rambunctious internally, but outwardly never bother anyone. Or they might be fidgeting with a pencil or their hair, but not running around the classroom driving everyone nuts. And some of us are eternally rambunctious or at least it seems that way to me. Albeit, the manifestation of that rambunctiousness might change it's expression. but it is almost always their. Never hold still, keep moving and keep fidgeting. It is good for the brain and good for the kid in you.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's never too late to imagine

In the book The Disorganized Mind, Nancy Ratey talks about "when we begin to imagine" isn't what matters, but that we finally do imagine what our lives can be like. She starts off on page one going into a question a friend of hers posed to her. Here's an excerpt from page one:
            ""Who are you, and what do you love?" a close friend once asked me. I'm outgoing and talkative   by nature, and I'm rarely at a loss for words, but I was stunned into silence by my friend's question. I had no idea how to respond.
               "Don't Worry," she said, sensing my discomfort. "I didn't expect you to answer. I only wanted you to imagine the possibilities of who you might be."
              It's hard to know what different roads any of us might have traveled had we early on imagined our lives shaped by our loves, by our bone-deep passions and beliefs. But I don't think that when we begin to imagine is what matters. What matters is it happens finally, that we come to believe such a life is possible, and that we determine, at last, to live it."(p.1)

I dare you to begin to imagining what could be. Imagine the possibilities and maybe even the impossibilities. Whether you are 10 years old, 60 years old, or 90 years old; what are you going to imagine today. I believe that late bloomers are as awesome as early bloomers. I think that we all have something to love and something to contribute. Let's start dreaming again and enjoying life again.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

ADHD and broke?

It's hard enough to manage ADHD when you are rich or if you are making a decent living right? It must be impossible to do so if you gave little or no money, right? If you are have money you can afford to eat, buy clothes, buy organizational supplies, hire a professional organizer, hire an ADHD coach. You might have credit problems, but at least you can hire some one to help you get a handle on your finances. If you need space to work you might be able to rent office space or have an extra room in your house you can use as an office. What do you do when you can't hire those you need or buy the supplies you need?

A lot of the strategies offered by most books and ADHD coaches require you do one of three things. One, they require you to have money, so you can apply these strategies. Two, do without. This sucks because it might be the ticket to improving your situation. Three, think outside the "ADHD-Box", which is already outside the "non-ADHD Box". I have had to develop my creativity in order to make what is inside the "ADHD Box" work for me. I learned where to get basic essentials when I have to. What are those basic essentials? Food, shelter, and clothes. 

Today in order for me to be able to do laundry and still be able to afford a few essential items, I had to machine wash my clothes and then hang them out to dry. Also I had to clean a neighbors yard for $5 and recycling. Things are super tight right now. I haven't been able to afford bus fare in order to get out of the house. But I am thankful I have my own room, to have plenty to eat, clean water, and clean clothes.

I am thankful I know what it is like to not have enough money to do the simplest things and yet know that I can have it worse. I have learned to make the best of what I have and used my creativity to adapt things so that I can make something possible even when it seems impossible. I keep thinking about what I can do to make a difference in the lives of others. 

The reason I volunteer to do all the stuff I do online is because it doesn't cost me anything to help out in those areas. I started a facebook group called ADHD Support and Information, I help Bryan Hutchinson on, I write a weekly digest/summary of the topics discussed during each week, I have my own blog, I started a facebook page and I am currently training to be an ADHD coach. I don't have a lot of treasure, but I do have time and talents. So I donate my time and talents to the efforts to raise awareness of ADHD and to advocate where I can. Also, I am a college student with ADHD and I am majoring in difficult classes. I take classes in physics, biology, math, computer science and chemistry. I will major in biophysics as soon as I can transfer to the university of Arizona or Iowa state university.

In short, it doesn't matter if you are rich or poor, ADHD is a challenge. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor because ADHD can still be managed and it can still be a gift. Don't let your treasures, talents, and time go to waste because you don't have money. We are creative human beings, we are intelligent, and there are resources out there whether or not you have money. Yes you can succeed whether you have a lot of money or not.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Veteran ADD/ADHDers: those diagnosed 4-5 years or longer

I started a conversation on ADDer World, the social network, back in December. I asked 4 basic questions of these "veteran ADDers":

  • what have you learned along the way?
  • what helped you develop a positive ADDitude?
  • what strategies, skills, etc have you developed?
  • what morsels of wisdom would you pass along to a newbie; that is someone just diagnosed?

I have enjoyed reading the contributions of many members. The main pieces of advice have been learning about ADHD, personally and generally and developing a positive ADDitude. This is a comment I shared with the thread:

"I love what everyone has shared on this thread, I think they all say something wonderful and provide others with inspiration and hope. Please get out there and use your stories to help other ADDers, both kids and newly diagnosed ADDults. We've all been through the same struggles as those newly diagnosed are going through right now. We can demonstrate with our stories, how you can get beyond the struggles and start thriving with ADHD. I think it's also good for us to look back and see our progress. We shouldn't ever forget our journey, they represent the hard work, the perseverance and the success we've had in our lives."

If you have been diagnosed for a long time and are successful, how can you help with awareness efforts? How can you use your experience to mentor others with ADD/ADHD? We all need positive role models? We need role models, who haven't become "non-ADD" but have continued to be ADD/ADHD and are successful. We can all learn from people, who have overcome their challenges. You can't become a truly successful ADD/ADHDer without having gained some valuable morsels of hard earned wisdom.