Monday, October 14, 2013

The down and the up

So for a while I was posting on ADDitude's message boards, seeking other moms/kids/etc. dealing with ADHD, looking for the same answers we were, maybe looking for fellowship and a place to vent. And it worked -- that's how I and the other ADHD moms in our little informal group found each other. They're awesome women and all our respective kids are doing pretty well in school right now.

The thread I was posting on is still up there, and that's how another poster found me, an adult with ADHD. They asked about our group, I explained that we're all moms of ADHD kids, but that certainly we're available for anyone to vent or commiserate. The person wrote back explaining that what they really needed was a support group, because their professional and personal lives were in shambles, and they didn't know what to do anymore. (Note I'm leaving most details out, to respect the person's privacy.) I felt awful. Advise a fellow mom about the benefits of a 504 plan? That I can do. Help an adult who's got way more hand-on experience with ADHD than I will ever have? There I'm out of my depth. The person wasn't really interested in talking further, but I offered the name of my old therapist, who deals with a lot of ADHD adults, and I wished them luck. Which I think was about the limit of my usefulness.

My therapist had always said that adults with ADHD, the more severe cases, can't handle money, can't hold down a job, can't maintain relationships. What are they supposed to do? Who helps them? And what if that's my son in 30 years?

On the other hand, I was poking around the Interwebs and I found this, written by a TV documentary filmmaker in the U.K. He realized late in life that he probably had ADHD, but decided it was a gift, not a curse, because it gave him endless energy and the ability to mega-multitask.

He says:

By the age of 26, I had directed 26 plays, two operas and two TV dramas.
Then I switched to being a documentary film-maker and have made more than 130 films and studio dramas as director, producer, series producer and now executive producer.
Last year I executive-produced 13 films, and am responsible for nine so far this year.
In my 50s, I also became a writer - three books and hundreds of articles so far.

(I'm tired just reading that.)

He adds:

So I hope the parents and teachers of children with these problems, and those who have suffered from ADHD, will see beyond its drawbacks to a future of excitement and creativity if sufferers are given the chance to learn how to use their energy positively.

Well, thank you, Mr. Graef. I hope you're right. I hope we figure out how to channel kiddo's energy and hyperfocus in the right way. I hope we all don't fail this generation of ADHD kids. And I hope my ADDitude correspondent finds whatever they need to get through. 

1 comment:

  1. I SWEAR to you that my best and most productive and most loved employees all had ADD/ADHD. Training them was different but it's like having two employees for the price of one.