The time is past when we need to take control of the sinking ship of how the majority of medicine and society treats people ADD/ADHD. Almost everyone that I’ve communicated with who has ADD/ADHD; or someone in their life – doesn’t want to be medicated. Prescribing of ADHD medications has consistently risen enormously in the last 5 -10 years. Homeschooling has become a boom industry in that same time. There is obviously an underground movement growing in momentum that is going to crest soon. Parents, adults, kids, and insightful educators are realizing that the ADD brain is an incredibly powerful asset. There are negative aspects to the traits of being impulsive, distractible, and hyperactive. The yin and yang of the situation is that those same negative traits have positive creativity, curiosity and enormous energy as their counterparts. Here are the questions that need to be addressed:
1. Has ADHD has been labeled a disorder syndrome, problem creator in society?
Yes. There are several reasons for this, aside from any conspiracy theories, the simple fact that ADHD doesn’t think linearly, but more tangentially – abstract. The ADD brain can perform like a 3D floating Rubik’s cube. Most teachers, adults, and parents haven’t received training in how to cope and handle that type of thinking. This certainly makes the square peg not fit the round hole.
Imagine a future where there are training seminars and conferences to edify and augment the inherent creativity, curiosity, and energy that comes with the ADD Brain. A strength based approach to helping handle the negative aspects and improving the positive traits.
2. Can people with ADHD leave a wake of destruction & exasperated people around them?
Yes. Ask anyone who is in the vicinity of ADHD. More stories abound than you could ever count regarding this question. The homework battles, ruined relationships, the drugs and alcohol, the countless forgetting experiences, unacceptable behavior, and distracted consciousness. It’s hard to keep up with a brain that moves as quickly as the ADD brain.
In the same breath we can talk about the amazing things that have come from being involved with someone with ADHD. The genius moments, the inspirational work, the passionate determination, the incredible solutions to seemingly impossible problems. During our live presentations, when I bring this statement to the audience, I get hands up and people love talking about these experiences. They know that there is an inherent awesomeness that comes with having ADHD.
3. How many people have been labeled as problems, nuisance, disturbed, special needs?
Dr. Hallowell, New York Times best-selling author of 18 ADHD books told me personally, “Eric what people don’t see is that getting a diagnosis of ADHD is the best thing that could happen to them, for it is the one that has the highest rate of improvement in all the psychological textbooks – but they’ve been told it’s a disorder, so they see it negatively.” This questions raises a similar but deeper discussion than the other 2 questions because it drives to the heart of the issue where people have been programmed to see ADHD as a ‘bad’ thing; so they treat is as such. It is one of the most disheartening aspects of my job. I have a dent in my forehead from banging it into a wall about this subject.
4. How many people have been abused & mistreated because they have the traits of ADHD (misunderstood)?
Bringing this question to light has caused stunned looks on many peoples’ faces. It’s almost as if they are a deer in the headlights. Many people don’t realize that ADHD is a clinical diagnosis, not a behavioral diagnosis. Can you imagine a child with autism being punished/beaten/scolded or told he was ‘stupid’, ‘bad’, ‘retarded’ for acting inappropriately in a social situation?
The time has come for society to realize exactly what we’re dealing with regarding the ADHD brain. It’s been often said that ‘what you focus on the most becomes the most powerful force’. The ADHD Society is focused on the entire person with ADHD from a strength based approach.
Constantly evolving The ADHD Society programs to include new research findings, alternative care models, and a genuine loving compassion for the client, that is unmatched by anyone I’ve heard of besides Dr. Hallowell himself. In 2012, in Baltimore, MD, I told him directly, in a face to face conversation; that I would be the champion for his cause. He smiled shaking his head, “Thank you, we need more people like you.” As he wrote in Driven to Distraction – “ADHD is a gift, and it can be unwrapped given the proper approach and understanding.” When I read that in 1994, I finally knew why my life had been such an incredible mystery to so many people. Back then though, I had no idea I would be the one leading the charge to bring freedom to an entire group of brilliant misunderstood section of society.