About the BellaOnline Attention Deficit Disorder Editor
Connie Mistler Davidson
ADD is a large part of my life. Many of the folks in my family live with this condition. We have the primarily "inattentive" variety. To greater or lesser degrees, we?ve learned to live, and even thrive with this challenge in our lives. I?ll be sharing some strategies that we?ve found helpful. Would you please share your strategies with me, so I can learn from you, too?
My informal introduction to ADD came when I was growing up. Of course, when I was growing up, the term ADD was unknown. The terms that were used then were "distracted," "lazy" and "unmotivated." These were not symptoms of a condition, but rather a matter of will power. If I had a dollar for each time that a teacher told me that, "You can do it, if you will just try," I could retire!
When my son came along, he was in many ways, a little version of me. He had a lot of curiosity about the world around him. This child loved art, music, and books. Walking and going to the park were always things he looked forward to. A low frustration tolerance and a tendency to flit from activity to activity were also apparent. When he went to Mother?s Day Out, things started changing.
His teachers would talk to us about how he was different from the other kids. During circle time, when stories and ideas were being discussed, our son would wander aimlessly around, seeming not to listen or attend. When questioned, he would always give the correct answer, then, continue to wander. In my college child development class, I first heard of ADD, and I started to put this knowledge together with our guy?s actions. Reading books helped. Do you have any good books that have helped you make sense of ADD? Let me know, so that we can share our resources!
Those early child development courses helped, but as our son progressed through the school system, I needed more information. Teacher training seemed to be the answer, so I became certified as an elementary school teacher. This allowed me to have a level playing field when talking to his teachers. He had a few wonderful teachers, but many of them were not willing to make an effort to meet his needs. After I became a certified teacher, they seemed to give more credence to my ideas about his needs.
My formal training with ADHD came with my teaching courses. After several years, I started working with students who were at high risk for school failure. Many of them had ADD. It became clear that I needed to know the techniques that special education teachers use. I enrolled in a Master?s level program in Special Education at the University of Kansas. This led to several classes that were specific to ADD. In addition to earning many certifications in general education, I am certified to work with students from K-12 in the areas of Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders. Before I retired, I was working in a special day school in the urban core.
Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of students with ADD/ADHD. Sometimes one person who listens, doesn?t judge, and is willing to keep trying to find what works, can make a difference in the life of a child.
A small body of research over the past few years has shown that lifestyle can affect the severity of the negative symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. Getting enough sleep, exercise, relaxation, and eating healthy meals helps all people, but especially those with ADD. The category "Nutrition and ADD" has recipes that are filled with wonderful ingredients and taste good, too!
Recently, I compiled a collection of my articles, together with additional information, to create an e-book. The book is Building School Success with ADD. It is available on BellaOnline in our e-book section. My book is filled with information to help your child be more successful in school. If you want to see which topics are covered, here is a link to the book: Building School Success with ADD
Thursday will be my day to post new articles, however I do post on other days, too. Let me know which you find most useful. If you have suggestions for articles, just post your ideas in the forum.
It is my strong hope that we can build an online community of caring where we share our joys, challenges, and information.
Live Well with ADD
Striving to harness
our creative energy
and calm the chaos.
~Connie Mistler Davidson
Here are some questions that people frequently ask about ADD/ADHD.
Q-What is the correct name for Attention Deficits?
A-It depends on who you ask! ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD, or AD/HD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are all used more or less interchangeably. Most of the time I will use the term ADD, since it reflects the name of our site.
Q-Do boys or girls get ADD?
A-Both boys and girls can have ADD. The condition affects more boys than girls.
Q-Is ADD a kid?s disease?
A-Both children and adults can have ADD. People used to think that children would always ?outgrow? their ADD. There are many of us who can tell you that it doesn?t always happen that way.
Q-What kind of test do they have for ADD?
A-There is not a single test for ADD. Physical factors have to be ruled out. Some of those include vision problems, hearing loss, seizures, and head injury. One girl?s teachers were convinced that she had ADD. She was always moving in her seat. A consultant was called in and noticed that the girl?s feet did not touch the floor. The girl got a smaller desk, and her ADD vanished! Once physical factors are ruled out by your pediatrician or family doctor, get a referral to a psychologist or other mental health provider who understands ADD. Getting a diagnosis, and possibly medication, can be a long process.
A mistake is just another name for a learning opportunity.
~Connie Mistler Davidson
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