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Old 01-01-09, 06:40 PM
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RedHairedWitch RedHairedWitch is offline
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Re: Dos and Don't with an AD/HDer

Alrighty folks, this is what Ive got so far:

Things the person with ADD or ADHD in your life needs you to understand

AD/HD may not be "real" to you, but it is to me, so either give me the benefit of the doubt or keep your opinion to yourself.

My brain works differently than yours, please either accept that or go away.

I am NOT making it up, using a brain disorder as a copout, or trying to excuse my laziness.

Yes, there are people who have never been to doctor who claim to have AD/HD, this may be to use it as an excuse for laziness or because they are looking to get their hands on our meds. Please do not assume that real AD/HDers are like this.

AD/HD affects roughly 5% of the population, that’s about 330,111,208 people worldwide. We are many and many = normal.

The media image of the little boy bouncing off the walls and screaming his head off ala Bart Simpson is a stereotype.

I am trying to do the best I can with the tools nature gave me. Nature gave me different tools than you received. (You got a hammer and I got a paintbrush)

Kids do not just magically grow out of AD/HD. As we mature we may learn to work with the tools nature gave us better, but it is not going to just go away someday.

All the meds, therapy, diet changes and exercise etc will not make me “normal” it will only help me to cope better.

Meds do not cure AD/HD. Nothing cures AD/HD.

AD/HD is hereditary, exasperated by trauma, abuse, diet, allergies, environment and many other factors.

Please do not tell people about my AD/HD or hint that I have a disorder or mental illness that is my personal information to give to whom I choose. You do not have that right, so please ask permission first. I ask you respect this wish for anyone over the age of 12.

I am neither stupid nor slow; please do not treat me as such. AD/HD does not affect intelligence, though it does affect how we use that intelligence.

AD/HD often goes hand in hand with other problems, such as learning disabilities, but not always. These are called co-morbids. Please do not assume everything I do is totally related to AD/HD and please do not assume I have a co-morbid unless I say I do.

AD/HD comes in varying degrees and subtypes. Also different people will have more experience with dealing with their disorder than others. If you have seen one AD/HDer, you have not seen them all.

Understand that my memory works differently than yours. There may be times where you can't believe I forgot (or remembered) something, well that’s a two way street!

Please try to patient if I ask you the same question 3 times (oh, and sorry about that)

Please don't ask me "Well where did you last see ____?" If I knew that, I wouldn't be tearing my house apart looking for it!

Don’t ask me to remind you about something important.

Don’t ask me where you parked the car.

Don’t ask me 'did you remember to bring' such and such when you didn't remember either.

Shouting, “pay attention!” at me is not effective in the slightest.

Do not drop by my home unexpectedly, please phone first or better yet, give me 24 hours notice. I panic when I see a car pull up in my driveway and I realise the kitchen is a mess and its 3pm and I'm still in my PJs

Do not bring a friend, especially a stranger, unexpectedly when you are visiting (see above) AD/HDers often suffer from some form of social anxiety and this will put that anxiety through the roof.

Many AD/HDers are terrific parents.

If you are audacious enough to tell me that I shouldn’t “breed” because AD/HD is hereditary, I suggest you stay well out of reach. Then check your own family history.

AD/HD medication is a very serious and controlled substance, not to be taken lightly. If I say I need to take my meds at a certain time of day, or with a meal etc please respect that.

AD/HD medication is known as SPEED on the street, it is a felony for me to give or sell you any and you are not worth going to prison for.

AD/HD does not mean I am not capable of being successful in life, work, school etc. But please do understand that I work twice as hard as you do for the same results. That deserves respect does it not?

Unless you live with me, please refrain from commenting on my messy house.

I will never have a show quality home; Martha Stewart does not live here.

Please spare me your Dr. Phil gleaned advice.

I have a lack of a concept of time. 3 minutes, 30 minutes, 3 hours, 3 days all kind of feel the same, or feel like nothing. Please refrain from such comments as “You’ve been at this for three hours!” three hours is meaningless to me. Please do not expect me to be able to “feel” when it has been 15 minutes, I will not, I cannot.

Most AD/HDers are inattentive to the past and the future, especially the future. Do not be surprised if future consequences for past or current actions are difficult to grasp.

Unless you are my significant other, I am a child and you're my parent, or you are a concerned employer, please do not comment on my wrinkled blouse or messy hair.

If you do feel the need to comment on something as trivial as my appearance, please give me the respect to do so in privacy.

Unless you live with me, please do not offer to help me clean my house, or organize my cupboards or fix my life for me. Thanks.

Please do not expect me to friend the straight "A" students or hang out with the popular crowd, at school, work, or in adult social society. It’s just to hard, and when folk like that find out a person has a disorder, or goes to the Special Ed class, it is like wearing a scarlet letter.

If I am a teen and I am hanging out with the “bad crowd” please understand that it likely because no other social group will accept me. I need your empathy, guidance and help in this not condemnation and a judgmental attitude.

Don't comment on my socks not matching my outfit. Your brain is designed to worry about such things, mine is not.

I have a short attention span. If at all possible, please get straight to the point and spare me all the background information, the whys and wherefores, unless they are absolutely necessary.

Understand that a hyperactive literally ca NOT sit still, ever.

Understand that Neuro Typical people designed this world for Neuro Typical people. I am at a significant disadvantage, and will often suffer from much frustration, anxiety, anger and hopelessness at trying to function is a NT world.

Conversations about the weather, the sports game, and such are painful for me. If I occasionally can't restrain frustration with the unoriginal banality of your conversation, I apologize.

If you aren't my significant other or my financial planner, I don't really care how you think finances / bill paying should be organized. Thanks for the advice, but seriously, I'll manage on my own.

If you had any idea how hard I'm trying, maybe you wouldn't get so annoyed.

Please do not assume or expect that I will do, understand, or remember something that is obvious to you.

Do not assume that I am doing, or not doing, certain things simply to upset you or **** you off.

If I am not paying “proper” attention to you, please do not assume it is because I lack love, respect or care for you. I simply cannot help it. Please redirect me in a kind and loving manner.

Please do not assume I am on meds or drugs or a junkie.

Please don't make fun of my many lists, day timers and notes that don't seem to keep me organized.

Understand I communicate very differently than you. I am trying to understand you, and I am trying to articulate in a way you will understand.
The absurdity of working so hard to continue doing something you don't like can be overwhelming. And the longer it takes to feel different, the more it starts to seem like everything might actually be hopeless bull. ~ Hyperbole and a Half
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