Tuesday, August 23, 2005

ADD, ADHD, and other loads of crap

I was watching a news article on the Today Show in which they were interviewing a doctor with a "startling new breakthrough" in the study of ADHD. People who have ADHD symptoms as children have a high risk of having symptoms in adulthood. Thank you for that oh master of the freaking obvious. As a child I was diagnosed with ADD (I pre-dated the ADHD diagnosis a bit). I was put on cocaine, oops, I mean Ritalin (they are molecularly very similar, hence the confusion). I did well in school but noticed some side effects like stunted growth and a bit of a dependency on it. At the age of 10 my parents decided to take me off this narcotic and in the span of a summer I grew nearly a foot. I began to study ADD and noticed a trend. Not one person I met with this "disorder" had an I.Q. below 145 (140 is the generally accepted line for genius). I myself hit the mark of 160. I began to notice a trend. ADD students did better on tests and in pressure situations. Non-ADD students tend to perform better on homework situations where extended time was allotted. In my own experience, if it did not challenge me, I didn't bother with it. The only reason I made it through school was that I found teachers who understood my study habits and despite my disdain for homework passed me.

So how do we help ADD kids? Find teachers who are smart enough to challenge these students and teach them in the way they learn. Stop teaching ADD students the way less intelligent students are taught. Don't drug them, challenge them. The thrill of conquering a challenge is all the drug they need.

1 comment:

Brock Neilson said...

Michael,

This post is perfect. I too was diagnosed with ADD and put on Ritalin when I was very young...I wish other people weren't going through the same thing right now.

It is too bad people can't get the teachers that they need.