Archive for the ‘ADD/ADHD’ Category

Hand Movements May Give Clues to ADHD Severity – MedNews

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 recently posted an article about ADHD that – wait – you don’t get news from How else are you going to find out about new drug approvals by the FDA, breaking information about recalls & lots of other useful stuff? Where else are you going to get articles like the one about which I’m commenting?

OK. So they posted this article about studies involving hand movements and ADHD which had some interesting points. One study found that children with ADHD weren’t able to perform the finger-tapping exercise without extraneous movements that weren’t as apparent in “typical children.” Another demonstrated that magnetic pulses caused movements in ADHD children to a greater degree than “typical children.” They said something about myelination of the left/right brain connective nerve tissue, the brain’s “braking mechanism” on movements, and a demonstration of why ADDers have a problem with keyboards and fine hand movement tasks.  The article also said that there wasn’t a clear “clinical” application for the outcomes of this study or these tests.

Whoa! That’s a lot of stuff there, compadre! First of all, does anyone other than me have a problem with comparing ADDers to “typical” children? Typical? What are they saying? Who are they stigmatizing? How about calling those “typical children” as having “Attention Surplus Disorder” (thank you Thom Hartman.) Typical indeed. Read Harte’s anthropological & historical view of ADD in “Think Fast: The ADD Experience,” T. Hartman & J. Bowman, 1996, Underwood Books,(link to Amazon page for the book,) a book of excerpts from the Compuserve (remember that) ADD forums. Typical! Poppycock!

Next: What do you think of a parent that allows his/her child to be subjected to “magnetic pulses” as a form of testing without knowing the outcome? Even with knowing the short-term outcome.  I realize that it’s hard to test pediatric effects and dosages but, really…. “God said, ‘Abraham, kill me a son.'” (“Highway 61,” B. Dylan, as if you didn’t know) but Abraham was spared from having to do that by the substitution of a ram at the last minute (insert computer and RAM joke here.) How do you feel about parents submitting children to experiments in the name of science? Me, I believe in things between consenting adults being permissible (within limits) but how does a parent consent for his/her child to be subjected to “trans-cranial magnetic pulses” – zapping the kids brain with magnetic charges – to observe if his/her arm jerks in response.

Finally, and this is the big one for me, and the whole point of this post: No clinical application? Are you ferreal? How about the simple “clinical” value of a piece of psychoeducation? Being able to tell a frustrated parent that the fidgeting child doesn’t have anything wrong with him, that it’s just the way his brain works and let’s find things that will help him learn instead of beating him down for not being able to sit still. How about being able to tell the child who doesn’t have the same fine motor skill as some of his buddies that, believe it or not, that will develop with time but, in the mean while, what can you do that they can’t because that’s what makes you special. How about using the information to educate teachers so they can learn that the kid who gets up from his seat to watch the squirrels running in the ivy on the side of the school building is also learning something, probably already finished the assignment, and is preventing himself from being bored (and getting in trouble for fidgeting.)

How about forgetting this ADHD vs “Typical.” Treat a child like he’s defective and you get a problem child. Treat a child like he’s a member of the family and you get a member of the family who can use his gifts.  ADDers aren’t defective. Just different. If  you think they frustrate you, you have no idea how frustrated the ADDer is – but that’s for another post.

6 Ways to Cure Foot-In-Mouth Disease

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Watching Family Feud years ago I saw one of the funniest examples of Foot-In-Mouth that I’ve ever seen in my life. Funny to me, funny to Dickie Dawson who was doubled over with laughter so bad he had to sit down on the stage and try to stop. It was the “lightning round.” He started to ask the mother of the family a question: “In what month…” At the word “month” she blurted out “March!” That got ol’ Dickie going. What was so funny about “March” says you? Because the full question was “In what month of pregnancy does a woman start to show?” It wasn’t the name of a month, it was a number he was looking for. Her answer was so out of whack with the question that he just couldn’t stop himself from laughing. Hard. She, of course, was somewhat mortified but got over it quickly. It’s a game show, after all.

Not so funny when Foot-In_Mouth happened to someone I know. He was having a conversation with a woman. It was going well right up to the end. She said she had to leave to go to work. He said he had the day off. She said “Enjoy your day off.” He said, “You too.” She said, somewhat less that elatedly (to say the least) “Thanks.” He felt flattened. No, he felt like he made a total jerk of himself. She’ll get over it, probably did in about 2 seconds, but it stayed with him all day. What did he do wrong?

How to avoid Foot-In-Mouth Disease:

1. Listen to what the other person is saying.  I know you want to speak. Especially when things are going well and you want to show someone that you’re being attentive to her but wait. Let her speak. Listen to what she’s saying. If you don’t hear what is being said how can you even think of responding?

2. Wait to answer. Yeah, time is of the essence. Take to long to answer & somebody’s going to think you’re a dimwit, right? The “wrong” answer also makes you look like a dimwit. Even dimmer. It can turn a great exchange into a “goodbye.” Is that what you want?

3. Pay attention. It’s not enough to “listen” and wait until the other person’s finished. Those are rules for using the sink in a public washroom. Is that what’s going on? If so, then all I can say is Insert foot  in mouth and chew vigorously. You gotta pay attention to what’s being said & not just wait until the other person’s finished. It’s not about “It’s my turn to talk.” You’re trying to respond.

4. It’s a dialog, not a duologue. What’s a “duologue?” Something someone I knew made up or stole from someone else (just like I stole it from him) to describe two people talking at each other. Two monologues that look like a conversation from the outside. Neither is listening to the other except to hear when to start speaking. Like when one pauses for a moment. This doesn’t make for conversation. It just makes for making noise at each other. You got something important to say? So does your partner in the conversation.

5. Relax! This is the big one. Even if you do make a faux pas you can recover from it unless you just screwed the pooch, in which case you’re dead meat anyway. Most of the time your partner in conversation will accept your acknowledgment that you have just started chewing on your foot, especially if you spit it out immediately. Embarrassing? Sure. Can you laugh at yourself? Important to learn. If your partner in conversation laughs with you as you spit toenails, you’re in. If not, apologize for not hearing correctly. Apology not accepted? How bad was what you said? Probably not so bad as you think, it was just the wrong moment. Give it time. Relax because you can

6. Make a good second impression. Really. Try applying the steps above next time. No next time? Maybe not with that person. How about someone else? You are going to speak with someone sometime, aren’t you?

That’s it. Oh, yeah. One more thing. The cure for Foot-In-Mouth is like the way to get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice. Learn to listen – listen to learn. Fish & whistle – oh wait: wrong song. OK. Listen, wait, pay attention, etc. Courage! Faint heart never won fair whatever.

ADD & Taxes Pt. II: The Folly of Working Hard: Completeness is the enemy of sense

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

My last post was a bit of a disappointment to me. My “voice” was missing (what, you couldn’t hear me because it’s written, not spoken? Shirley, you jest.) I was missing a simple ingredient. Simple. That’s what I was missing.

See, I was trying to do too much in one shot. There’s only so much stuff I can cram in a 5-pound sack & I was looking at about 2o pounds. Then tried to tie it closed with a string. In the middle. The result? An overflowing, non-flowing pile of stuff that wasn’t satisfying to me, I don’t know about you.

The “simple” answer to the issue of ADD/ADHD and taxes is that there’s no “simple” answer that I can give. I can make suggestions but that’s already me imposing my thoughts. The simplest answer I know is to try things, no matter how logical, illogical, whimsical or insane they may seem until you find the method that works. If it works for you and Uncle Sugar it’s a bingo.

As for the other “simple” answer: I forgot the simple rule: Don’t work hard. Work smart. I was working too hard to try to get all my thoughts into one post. Phaugh! What a headache. It was a bad idea even if I could have done it. It was too much to organize (especially doing it inside that crowded melon between my hat & my neck.) Hard work never helped. Look at John Henry. He “…was a steel-drivin’ man (lord lord”) and, yeah, he beat that steam drill, but he died and his wife had to finish the job for him. He wasn’t even bustin’ up the mountain, he was just drilling pilot holes for the blasters (if you’ve never heard them, you gotta give them a listen. They’ll knock yer socks off) so they could bust up the mountain. The guy with the steam drill? He got to go home & have his soup. John Henry “…laid down his hammer an’ he died (lord lord.”) Where’s the percentage in that? He got a folk song written about him, but so did the guy with the steam drill. Don’t think so? Listen to the song again. It’s all about John Henry vs the Steam Drill.

What’s my point?  Zeit nicht meshugeh! There’s no “right” way to do your taxes (or anything else) as long as your in compliance with the codes, but working harder isn’t necessarily better. Working smarter, thinking about what you’re doing before you do it is often better. If someone accuses you of being lazy, go ahead and agree. Tell him (or her) that sure, you’re being lazy, but not unproductive. Remind him (or her) about John Henry. “He laid down his hammer and he died (lord lord.”) Does that sound good to you? Not me, cousins. I’ll use the steam drill any day rather than swing that sledge and go home, have my soup and, if necessary, come back tomorrow and finish up. The opposite of hard work isn’t “hardly workin.'” It’s workin’ smart.

Next up: Credit cards & psychotherapy fees.

Taxes & ADD/ADHD

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

TAXES? Is he kidding? I don’t have to think about that until next April. How about something useful like relationships, school, relationships at school, stress from relationships & school. How about fishing or hiking? Exercise? Why this now?

Why this now? Because now is the time to catch up on getting taxes for this tax year organized. We’re already halfway through it and you don’t know where all your receipts are, haven’t kept the checkbook balanced and/or haven’t entered everything into your accounting program that you haven’t updated, etc.

The simple fact is that taxes are a year-round reality, not just something that happens in April and, as Inspector Harry Callahan said, “Man’s got to know his limitations.” Sure, you’ve been downloading all your credit/debit transactions into your accounting program, but what about the cash purchases that you can’t download? Does your accounting program properly itemize or hasn’t it been set up to do that properly? What about the receipts for the donations of clothing, etc. to your favorite thrift store? Do you know where they all are?

ADD/ADHD comes in different “flavors:” Disorderly/energetic, distracted/daydreamy & highly structured. These aren’t distinct categories and hardly anyone is all one “flavor,” but knowing or recognizing what type you are can lead to different strategies for dealing with taxes (and money in general.)

The highly structured kind has the easiest time with taxes, right? Everything is in its place and everything is OK. But is that true? I did ask about “all” the receipts for expenditures, tracking of income, donations, etc. All means just that: ALL. One missing receipt can throw the highly organized person into a frenzy of activity, holding up everything until that one missing piece of paper is found, often just before April 15th, with all the resultant anxiety and recriminations that go with not having everything under control and in place.

The disorganized and distracted types often have the opposite problem. Instead of everything being in “its place” everything’s place is everywhere and anywhere. Receipts were put away to keep them together only now that location is forgotten and so others get put in another place or nothing was really “put away” but was left to sit where ever a wallet or something got emptied. Stuff is all over and the end of March/beginning of April is a frantic search to assemble a year’s worth of documentation, enter it somewhere, and get the taxes completed in time.

Any of this sound familiar? Many people go through this same scenario, whether they are diagnosed with ADD or just not thinking about money & taxes until the subject is shoved in their faces. It’s stressful, can lead to problems in relationships, takes time away from other things and can take over your life for a while. So what can be done?