What does it feel like to have ADD?
“ADHD is like a browser with 600 tabs open, each to a different website.”–adult with ADD
“No matter how clever the alien becomes at attempting to pass as an earthling, some telling awkwardness in his manner, some fatal expression of his true nature will, in unguarded moments, betray him for what he is: “different.”–Gabor Mate M.D. in Scattered
To say someone with ADD has a deficit of attention is a misnomer. People with ADD have a deficit of attention for something that does not interest them. They have an abundance of attention for many things. I think that has been called curiosity.
In his article, Secrets of the ADHD Brain, William Dodson M.D. states “ADHD is not a damaged or defective nervous system. It is a nervous system that works well using its own set of rules. Despite ADHD’s association with learning disabilities, most people with an ADHD nervous system have significantly higher-than-average IQs. They also use that IQ in different ways than neurotypical people. By the time most people with the condition reach high school, they are able to tackle problems that stump everyone else, and can jump to solutions that no one else saw.”
I don’t like calling ADD a “condition” either because that makes me think of illness. I prefer calling it a difference. I do think kids can have trouble functioning in school with ADHD if they are not helped to develop coping skills to adjust their temperaments and differences to the neurotypical, linear thinking environment. Teachers can make accommodations and modifications in the classroom and work load to help kids with ADHD engage and manage with their school work requirements.
” Far from being damaged goods, people with an ADHD nervous system are bright and clever. The main problem is that they were given a neurotypical owner’s manual at birth. It works for everyone else, not for them.” (Dodson)