View Full Version : Learning Disabilities & ADD. Anybody's experiences?
02-27-2006, 05:03 PM
My boyfriend has a son who has been getting poor grades. I don't think it occurred to him that he may have a learning disability, ADD or maybe even depression. I suggested that to him and he seems open and interested in this being a possibility and wants to know more about what to do. I know my raw vegan doctor treats people with learning disabilities and ADD so I know that he will probably recommend such a diet. I was wondering if anyone here on this board has any experiences with a learning disability or ADD and if you could share your experiences.
02-27-2006, 05:56 PM
My son was never officially diagnosed with ADD but I know he was close. He already has several tummy troubles with milk and chocolate and certain spices. He is very picky so he is all for the raw desserts buteat a fruit..he runs.
Ok my point is!! I started buying more natural ingredients, less processed definately no dyes if I could manage it. HUGE HUGE Improvement. His improvement was definately behavorial. And right now as he gets older I think it helps also. Even with conventional foods. Like cheese. No presliced or shredded only block because it is not as processed.
So for us. Going more natural,raw,organic definately has made a very noticeable difference to me..
02-27-2006, 06:20 PM
I suffererd terribly in school. I was not hyper or disruptive but did very poorly D's & F's (!) and never read, I was diagnosed dyslexsic.
I was always very very tired and now that I look back on it had an insatiable craving for grain/sugar based foods.
I TOTALLY attribute my learning difficulties to cooked grain & refined sugar based foods.
I am 1000% better now. If you are only able to get his son to not eat grains & sugar and still remain cooked he will still vastly improve. Obviously raw would be best. Both my kids are raw and are fantastic!
I recommend the book RAW KIDS as the auther got her son on raw because of learning issues.
I want to add more but the kids are calling. i will do so tonight. :o :) All the best.
Y'all know me and my story, but I'll put it out there again ;) I have 2 with autism. They are high raw, all gluten, dairy, and perservative free. They are not allowed to eat ANYTHING that has food coloring, preservatives, additives, etc. I met with a nutritionist and she said that it may take up to a year to see results. One of my boys (the more violent one) has had an 80-90% improvement. He was having somewhere around 4-10 meltdowns a day that lasted from 15 minutes to 6 hours. His eye contact was poor and he was an angry violent rude little guy. No one could touch/hug/hold him or he'd recipricate with a punch or kick. My more "classic" PDD-NOS ds really didn't start improving until this past week. They've been eating like this for 2 months now. Their skin color has always been pale and sick looking. I always thought it was because they were very preemie, but now they have bright eyes and pink cheeks. The small things don't seem to set them off hardly at all, and homework has been a breeze.
02-27-2006, 07:14 PM
My daughter is now 7. Here's some background info. on her. At birth, she was 1 oz. under average weight and longer than average. I breast fed her and she ate and ate. Had to go back into the hospital at 2 days old due to jaundice. This caused her to lose weight. And she continued to lose. Almost to the point of failure to thrive. I had a thyroid problem at the time and this was likely causing me not to produce enough milk. I tried to use a breast pump and could only manage to get 1-2 oz. at a time. So clearly there was a problem. The Dr. said I had to supplement with formula or she could die. I knew I had a milk allergy as a child, and my mom did too. So we started on a soy formula. I'd feed her, she'd wolf it right down and throw it all up again.
Her first year of life was spent changing diaper after diaper and the first 4 months or so, cleaning up puke. No formula agreed with her and all created problems. Because of the problems, I started her in on solid foods as soon as I could. This was at about the 4 month age. She hated baby foods, had plenty of teeth by then and went straight to whatever we were eating. I was on a vegetarian diet at the time. I held off on giving her the foods I considered potential allergens, such as milk, eggs and peanuts.
Other than the bowel and puking problems, and the jaundice, her first year of life went by with no real medical problems. She did have some odd rashes, but the Dr. said I was bathing her too often and drying out her skin. She remained tall for her age and skinny.
Then something happened at about a year and she began putting on weight to the point where she was a bit chubby. I had to put her on a diet. She didn't much like meat so her diet was mainly vegetarian. I never pushed meat on her because I myself was a vegetarian.
Then the medical problems began. Constant ear infections. Sinus infections. Headaches. Upset stomach. She never slept well. Never napped, even as a baby. She actually cried almost constantly for the first 4 months of life. The only time she wasn't crying was when she'd be eating. Or sleeping. But she never slept for over 5 hours a night. She was often cranky and learned to talk at an early age. So she'd argue with me over everything!
We took her from Dr. to Dr. She saw several allergists. Everyone kept telling me that her problems were stemming from allergies of the hay fever type. And indeed she does have them! But it wasn't until last June that we learned of the food allergies. And in looking back, I can see it now. Couldn't see it then because I didn't know! She was difficult to potty train because her stomach was in constant turmoil and she honestly couldn't feel that she had to go. She thought she was constantly hungry when in fact it wasn't hunger pains she was feeling but an upset stomach.
The school contacted me and said there was a problem. She was regressing in her studies. They thought she had ADD. Thought she had something called dysgraphia. This is where they tend to write letters backwards. She can read very well, but has trouble with writing. It was very sloppy, hard to read and many letters were backwards.
We tried and tried to get help for her. I didn't think it was ADD. I know people who have this and her behavior didn't seem the same as theirs. She seemed to ignore us, and yet the Drs. told us there was nothing wrong with her hearing. It was sooo frustrating! Nothing I did helped, and trying to have her do something over and over again only angered her and stressed her out.
Then finally we took her to my mom's Naturopath. He diagnosed food allergies to milk, wheat, gluten, banana, egg, soy, and peanuts. The banana allergy was severe! Her favorite foods were a whole wheat tortilla smeared with peanut butter and jelly and wrapped around a banana, and macaroni and cheese! Not a day went by that I wasn't feeding her something she was allergic to. We immediately changed her diet. She began feeling better. Lost 10 pounds right away. Her hair started growing in thick and full. She shot up in height. She was no longer cranky and argumentative. And she began doing better in school, but this change didn't take place right away.
I noticed the change at home, but the school had labeled her as needing special education and was seeing special teachers in addition to her regular one. Alas, they seemed to think she wasn't very bright and was also a slow learner so they were having her do work that was far too easy for her. She got bored and didn't want to try. She had to start proving to them that she could do the work. And now finally they are seeing. At the beginning of the year she was reading level 4 books, with 4 being the easiest and 20 the highest. Today she brought home a level 14 book. She was so proud of herself! And really, I think she could do a higher level still, but the teacher doesn't seem to want to advance her until she complains that the books are too easy. And since she is shy, she doesn't like to do this.
I am working at the school doing a reading program for kids who need extra help. She used to be one of my students. She no longer is. And really I don't think she needed to be. But since this was a new teacher to her this year and her last year's records indicated that she needed help, she was assigned to me.
So the first thing I'd do with this child is look for food allergies. This can be done with a simple blood test. If the child has food allergies, they are often in such pain and have been since birth that they consider how they feel to be normal. But the pain causes them to not be able to concentrate well. And the food allergies are not always of an instant or life threatening nature. My daughter and I both have food allergies. We've noticed that it could be 16-24 hours after eating an allergen before we get sick. Because the reaction is so delayed, we don't realize that it is the food making us sick. That is why we needed the blood test to realize this. And if this is a food we are eating every day, the reaction we get is sort of blunted. It's only when we stop eating this food totally and then accidentally eat it one day that we get a reaction violent enough for us to take notice.
A raw food diet may well be the answer for this child, but first I'd want to know if there were any food allergies. My daughter's most allergenic food is bananas. She used to have a lot of smoothies! I also made her banana ice cream. Sometimes the foods we are the most allergic to are the foods we crave the most. My daughter seems to fall into this category and so does my mom. I am the opposite. I can't have dairy. I bought some vegan cheese that has nothing in it I am allergic to. It tastes just like cheese! And because of this, I find myself being unable to eat it. I am now repulsed by anything that is too much like what I am allergic to. So find out if this kid has any food allergies and go from there. From what I have read, most kids who are thought to have ADD actually have undiagnosed food allergies.
02-27-2006, 07:16 PM
Thank you sooo much. I too had problems that I have overcome with Organic, but especially raw foods. Hopefully he will try some of your suggestions and all will be well with his son.
02-28-2006, 09:07 AM
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 5 and put on ritalin :( for 8 years (I do NOT suggest it). I hadn't thought of checking myself for food allergies, I will definately get on doing that soon... But honestly, I credit raw food to helping out a lot of problems but I haven't noticed a large difference in ADD problems.
The biggest difference I have ever noticed comes from meditation and an almost immaculate surrounding (but that only helps me if I'm the one who has cleaned and organized). If I keep an entirely clean house, write things down that I'm thinking about (it clears my mind), and meditate throughout the day (I use mindfullness meditations), I can concentrate. Unfortunately, this takes so much effort that I usually don't bother.
Anyway, I'd suggest these three things: have the boy (or help the boy) clean his room very very well, encourage him to write things down that he thinks about (it might help him use his mind for other things if he isn't holding onto something), and meditation.
Also, a book I've read as an adult that has helped me--
A Guide to Rational Living, by Albert Ellis
02-28-2006, 10:49 AM
make sure you are also tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies and try 100% organic foods. I get depression within minutes of eating or drinking anythin non-organic.
02-28-2006, 05:02 PM
i was diganosed with ADD when i was 6 years old and have struggled with it my whole life. i was on retilin (sorry spelling) for 6+ years and went off of it.. for a whole week i was goung through withdaw symptoms!!! that's pretty bad for a 12 year old. Anyway, i have been 95% raw for about 3 weeks. today i sat down to do some school work ( personal training certification) and i worked on it for 6 hours!!!!!!!!!!! really cool right???
02-28-2006, 08:27 PM
I am happy for you. When I started eating 80% raw about 2 years ago, I became interested in learning and went to the library and checked out books on math, earth science etc. and enjoyed learning. I began to do math concepts that I was never able learn before.
02-28-2006, 08:39 PM
I can sympathize with dread head with the withdrawl symptoms at 12 (that's the age I got off too). It was horrible.
karenisraw-- how do you go about getting tested for deficiencies? Can a regular doctor do that?
02-28-2006, 09:04 PM
I have an awsome, really smart raw vegan doctor that gives lectures every Tuesday night at his clinic. He talks about many problems that people have for one reason or another, and also for genetic reasons. He said some people may have a genetic tendancy to possibly increase their chances of getting a disease or problem or may have a genetic or other reason that they may be deficient in certain vitamins or minerals as well as having allergies or sensitivities. He has quite a few tests that can determine these weaknesses or deficiencies. I have set up an appointment with him for an initial consultation regarding my history and any current problems and then he will most likely recommend a test or maybe a few tests and then discuss what to do based on the results. I do not know who else to send you to but him, so I will include the link to his online resume and you can maybe either contact him or get an idea of what kind of doctor or nutritionist to contact in your area based on his resume.
Here is his online resumé:
02-28-2006, 10:03 PM
I'm ADHD and LD. Raw didn't make a big difference in this. What does help is exercise and EFA's. I must include good fats in my diet. Since I'm really broke right now, I am now experimenting with cheap fish oil and it really helps my concentration. I'm hoping that I can switch to algae when I can afford to do so and hope that will bring the same results. Although I have heard from others that Northern European decent do not have the ability to convert flaxseed oil into the EPA and DHA well. Wheat grass also helps! I've been on ritalin, concerta and stratera and used to drink coffee by the pot. I don't care to take meds any more and cannot drink coffee either. But what does help is being off of processed foods, sugars and grains. Also when my environment is organized and my time is organized, that helps too. But I'm horrible at organization! I also try to meditate, but haven't been sucessful lately. I think an even blood sugar level is key.
03-01-2006, 09:26 PM
I personally fit the profile of what the psychological community currently calls ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). I vastly prefer the term Attention Different, and I consider this characteristic one of my gifts. I subconsciously scan my environment constantly, without even being aware of the process, seeing and hearing and sensing things others miss, and I make connections others cannot begin to imagine. Literally. I am known in wildly different circles as a creative genius.
That is to say, I am whenever I can find my car keys to get out of the house. And I probably should mention my check book is in chaos and my desk is a rumpled mess. I'm the protypical brilliant and absent-minded professor. And the latter is precisely the part that our culture sees as a problem, and tries to stamp out with drugs and approbation. But criticism and chemical sedation also kill the creativity which commonly accompanies the "lack of focus" which is the public signature of this particular neurological pattern.
At least ADD is better than what they used to call it...Minimal Brain Disfunction was one of the formerly favored terms.... and the popular theories about what causes this "problem" include food allergies and overconsumption of sugar. To which I say... that's total nonsense, as recent research proves... mostly it's a function of us thinking much faster than the general population and having amplified sensory perceptions and high energy.
But in any case, it's not a disorder, it's simply a difference, and it's definitely got a big genetic component. It absolutely runs in families, and can sometimes be traced back over many generations. I've followed distinctive signs of it in my own family back to the 1600's.
Anyway, of you'd like to experience a paradigm shift in the way you look at ADD, try reading "Hunter in a Farmer's World; A new perspective on ADD," or "Think Fast!, The ADD Experience," both by Thomm Hartmann.
But I digress... of course.... that's how it works. I'll just say in closing that raw diets have the same benefits to ADDers as to non-ADDers, nothing more or less.
03-12-2006, 04:03 PM
A lady in my apartment building is a nanny to two young boys. One has bipolar and the other has learning disbilities/ADHD. One of them, I cannot remeber which, refuses to eat anything excet raw fruits and vegetables and ocassionally meat.
03-12-2006, 04:47 PM
From all of my experience, myself, my brother, my son and 5 grandkids, eating fresh fruits and veggies makes a world of difference in leaning,
I would say the number 1 thing is NO sugar, and no processed foods, then if at all possible, fresh ripe raw organic fruit and veggies, if you must transition, then please start today, don't wait, your kids will only have one chance to go throught this life, and it makes such a difference if they can stay awake in class and be alert, and enjoy the class, and their classmates.
I have never met one child with ADD or ADHD,
I truly believe that these individuals, are simply NOT interested in what the teacher is teaching, it isn't that they can't pay attention,
they can pay attention to a video game for hours, it's just that they aren't interested in what the teacher is teaching,
I say, it's because it is boring stuff, now if the teacher had a video game of history or math, then these kids might pay attention,
just a thought.
03-13-2006, 12:41 PM
I truly believe that these individuals, are simply NOT interested in what the teacher is teaching, it isn't that they can't pay attention, they can pay attention to a video game for hours, it's just that they aren't interested in what the teacher is teaching, .
Your misconception is incredibly common, and it's the reason we ADDers all take so much heat, or our teachers do. But I'm not upset, because this is probably the single hardest thing for non-ADDers to understand about those of us who have this particular gift...
The reason we don't seem to "pay attention" is really that we are very busy paying attention to a whole lot of other things. We scan the environment constantly and rapidly, picking up all kinds of signals nonADDers don't even notice, and processing a lot of information in the background about patterns we observe. This is part of why we are often considered highly intuitive. And this is why we are labeled "distractible" because it seems like everything distracts us. More accurately, everything attracts our attention... for just a moment at least. We're looking for something, looking for something, looking for something, looking for something and then WHAM! Something catches our attention and we can lock onto it for hours and tune everything else out.
This last characteristic, in my view, is actually a more accurate way to identify an ADDer than the first, because many factors can cause the mind to wander, but real ADDers have hyperfocus as well. But... and this is why we drive others crazy... we don't have any real control over the way it works... at least not without a lot of training.
So, why would we be wired this way, when the majority of people are wired another very different way? Thom Hartmann, trying to understand his daughter's ADD, did a lot of reasearch and developed a remarkable theory, which though probably unprovable, feels so completely right to me that after years of working with it, I believe to be the truth.
This new perspective, which he wrote about in his phenomenal book "Hunter in a Farmer's World," and a great followup book called "Think Fast!," is that what we call ADD was once a treasured ability in tribal communities... the gift of the Hunter/Warrior... who must constantly be on the alert for prey, or for enemies, and having once located them must lock on for what could be an extended chase, never wavering attention from that which is being pursued.
The only problem is that Hunter/Warriors don't fit in well in a culture dominated by a lot of Farmers, people whose success in life and even survival depended on their being able to plan ahead, stick to the plan no matter how tedious it was, not eat all the seeds in the middle of winter, etc. Spontaneity is not an asset for a farmer, but it is for a hunter. Hunters seem to goof around a lot, then sprint to the big win, while Farmers plod along doing the daily chores, and avoiding distractions that could cause problems. Etc. I could go on for hours, but Hartmann's books are better.
And the big takeaway for me from all this was two key points.... ADD is normal, though it doesn't fit current societal norms, and Hunters in traditional socities all got extensive training in meditation, which helped them coexist peacefully with Farmers.
And lo and behold, I've found that regular meditation practice helps me get along better in a society dominated by plodding cows.... errr... ummmm.... I mean settled and predictable Farmer types than any drug ever has. And I recommend little ADDers get meditation, not medication to help them get along.
03-13-2006, 03:25 PM
There is a beautiful book called BORN TO BE WILD about a women caring for her son with "ADHD" who realizes it's just how he is and that's he's beautiful. It's a journey from medication to acceptance that is just beautiful.
My favourite part was when her son has been running in a tight circle in the front yard for almost an hour. She watched and finally asked him what he was doing, and he said something like th ecaught a grasshopper and was hypnotising it. Sure enough when he stopped the grass hopper escaped.
I thought it was the most beautiful book and very supportive.
Our school system is definitely set up for people that learn a certain way. For people that are most physcial it can definitely be a challenge.
I love how many people share there heart felt experiences here - thank you!
03-13-2006, 05:36 PM
I agree with shivnandndnanhna,
I have not been diagnosed with any type of learning or ADHD although I did have a HUGE problem focusing on the teacher in school but seemed extremely aware of everything else around me including the basic outlines of what the teacher was saying. I probably do have ADD or ADHD but always seemed to have found a way to work around the problem. I do not know how to descibe it except to say that what shivnandhadna said about the looking for patterns. It is almost like I need a constant variation in patterns of anything (voice, content of conversation, surroundings, pictures in books (not just words), music, math problems, etc. I would be aware of all of these things at the same time, and listen to the teacher, but to take in everything at once, you listen to the basic ideas of what the teacher is saying but not the details because what you are learning about your surroundings seem as important and most significantly,sometimes more stimulating. In other words, even though I would be thinking, "I have to listen to the teacher and learn this subject because I need to get good grades, I simply noticed other things around me constantly, that took attention away from the teacher, mostly because the topic simply did not have any type of pattern. A typical class period might seem like this to me: Eveyone enters the room that is bright and there are more bright poster on the west wall than the north or east. At the same time I notice this, I can hear the buzz of converstions of the kids that enter the classroom and it is mostly low tones with a highpitched laugh here and there. At the very same time there are a variety of kids of different shapes and sizes along with the teacher that catches your attention becuase I has an aura of authority and is standing still while all the others are moving around. At the same time, I notice the gust of air that comes in the door and the birds chirping outside the window contrasting with each other, while at the same time, I like the sound of the teacher's voice guiding the students to their desks while I still hear the students chairs scraping the floor. While the teacher is lecturing, I can hear students behind me shifting in their seats while a breeze comes in the window and blows across my face, and at the same time I can feel my arm on the cool piece of paper and the desk and also I can feel the roughness of my sweater against my skin. I can hear the teacher trying to describe a math problem and I am watching trying to follow and calculate and comprehend the math concept at the same time a tree is rustling out the window and someone sneezes next to me. I am also thinking about the way the spaghetti sauce I ate last night had such a tangy bite to it and then the way my blankets felt heavy on my body before I went to bed last night. All this together creates like an orchestra of beautiful and interesting sights, sounds, informations, feelings, emotions, physical sensories. Some one without this "ability" may notice only or mostly the teacher and what he/she is saying while I would feel and sense all of these things at the same time. I notice the dynamics of the patterns and patterns of sight and sound, etc. interacting with each other. That is itself is very stimulating and feels good to your brain. Then you notice all of the pattern of all of your senses together and it sounds like a gentle and quiet and very light composition of interesting things. When I would try to focus on just the teacher, it is like trying to listen to just the oboe, or clarinet and having to notate and memorize just its role in the compostition without having the reference or the rest of the orchestra's role in the composition. I feel like I would have to purposely ignore all of my other senses and turn off most of my brain, staring at the teacher, watching his lips, listening to every word and thinking, 1+1=2. When I do this, it seems like I am only learning one single thing at a time and it is very hard to hold my thoughts so closely to one trained to follow along one single moving stream of words, even though there are some patterns in there to be interested in.
I notice that I am able to listen and learn much better to a person who is a dynamic person with an interesting voice, that looks interesting, that has something interesting to say, with interesting fluctuations in their voice, tone, range, etc. Bill Clinton is one of these because he phrases things in groups, and then stops, then recontinues, then emphasises things dynamically with emphasis on some words then others. (did you notice, that I paid so much attention to the way Bill clinton speaks? That is because it was so stimulating that I thought about it while he speaks, meaning I did not retain as much as most people would because now I retained information on his speaking patterns as much as the content of his speach.)
People with this kind of gift, which I do believe it is, are not stupid, we are just learning, evaluating, listening and feeling constantly along with the topics being taught in the classroom. Overall over the years, I believe when you get older, you have gained an intellligence that is not measured in tests. Your sense of the world and intuition about people is greater because you also do things like multiply what you sense around you times the rest of the worlds activities and then you are able to feel what is going on in othere poeple lives and minds because you have paid so much attention to their surroundings as well that you can kind of predict and foresee things and especially describe things in detail and people are amazed that they can "relate" to you so well or that you know excatly what they are trying to say, etc.
Sometimes in class, when the teacher is very loud and domintes the environment, it does hold my attention better, but sometimes, I felt the need to get out of there because I could not "hear" or sense the rest of my surroundings and I felt the need to get where I could be in a more balanced environment as to let all of your senses work together.
In a nutshell, learning is what I wanted my first priority to be, but just could not be unless there was a way to take away all of my other senses or at least desensitize them.
I did become an art director, because there is so much variety and stimulation and variation in the creative process that I found it extremely exciting and satisfying, and as well, I was successful as, winning a national design award, which I got by the way by imagining what people would find stimulating and imaginging the image that would direct their attention to it and away from their surroundings. In other words, I found a design that would take all of their attention from their surroundings and keep them focused on the design.
I would say that it is possible that the older a person with ADD or ADHD gets, the more he is able to learn and retain in class because the information from other "areas" that you have absorbed and thought about are already old hat and predictable, so the actual content of an instructor lecture is now more stimulating then as a child becuase it is now your senses are not absorbing as many new things around you and the lecture in itself is more interesting and "coming through more clearly.
If there were a test on my intelligence regarding things that I learned in class, I would have told you that about 82 percent of the children wore blue jeans, two poster on the left wall were in the top 3/4 of west wall, while 1 was in the lower third and two were in the bottom third, the east wall had a black and white poster and there was a green lunch bucket on the back right desk with a girl wearin a yellow shirt and a white skirt with black buttons, that the shadows from the trees outside moved 1 1/2 feet south since the beginning of class, that the teacher's voice squeaks at a certain pitch and he likes to pause and take a step backward at the end of the completion of each paragraph and then starts forwar again at the beginning of a new one. I can also tell you that at the same time a school administror opens the classroom door, all of the children's heads that I could see turned to the door except two girls to my left, who were talking and one boy who was looking out the window at a squirrel and that the floor squeaked three times as the teacher moved to the left making a nice silouhette of his portrait against the wall because he was no longer against a busy chalkboard. The radiator steam hissed at the same time someone behind me popped their bubblegum and someone to my right moved their right foot forward directly under the alignment of the chair in front of me. I also noticed that I was sitting in the left rear quadrant of the class and I was diagonal to the right of the chalkboard, aligned paralell with where the overhead projector is stored and directly in back of the file cabinet, directly in the path of the moving shadow of the tree outside and perpendicular to the right of the classroom door.
If we were truly given a grade based upon what we learned in class, I would have gotten an A. I just know it.
Raw diet, as well has helped quite a bit, I do not know why though.
03-13-2006, 07:33 PM
I'm an ADD Coach and have two ADD kids and an ADD husband (Yep, I'm ADD, too!) Shivanandeva is absolutely right in his summary of the ADD "Condition". Don't feel bad, Raw Priestess and all those who don't understand it, our brains just work different and we aren't DESIGNED to sit and JUST LISTEN. Our interest is in DOING.
But I digress.....I took my daughter off all additives, preservatives and artificial colors over 3 years ago and SWEAR there is a HUGE difference. People tell me they tried this and didn't have any luck, but you have to read EVERY label. Almost no packaged food and absolutely no name brand foods (there are additives not listed on their labels) are allowed. This includes bread, yogurt, things you wouldn't think about.
My 2 cents.
03-14-2006, 08:15 AM
Your post was amazing. Beautiful. Thanks you so much for sharing that. I've never seen anyone capture an ADD experience quite so well. And that was really moving to me. Ironically I couldn't read your post last night when I got in and first saw it because I was busy having my own ADD experience after a very stimulating seminar, but in the morning when I first get up I tend to naturally be more quiet, so I was able to read it all and really get it.
And yes, of course you became an art director, a creative occupation, because part of the gift in seeing things most others never notice, you also see connections and comparisons and contrasts that others find beautiful or stimulating or funny or whatever, often without exactly understanding why. Many of us go into creative work, or performing, or ironically, into sales, where we also can really excell. Or into crime, where we ALSO are known to excell. I've learned that ADDers fall into a kind of reverse bell curve, tending to become either very successful, or very unsuccessful, with few falling into the middle. In my lifetime, I have been at both ends. Several times.
For myself, traditional education was mostly a bust. My grades were mediocre, ranging from A to F depending mostly on the teaching style of the teacher. The more animated and participatory the class the better I did. The more it ran to lectures and bookwork, the worse I did. Drama and debate were two faves... and I eventually became a professional actor and a public speaker, among other things. But my physics and chemistry classes were very hands on and experimental, so I did well in those too. Though my grades were low, I was able to ace the SATs (somehow managed to focus on those) placing in the top 1 percentile, and was a National Merit finalist, so I got into a good university. And then another. And then another. I wanted to go for a degree in physics with a minor in drama, but then decided maybe philosophy and psychology was it. And then again, computers were very interesting. But I never graduated, never got a degree. The formal learning style never suited me.
In the years since then, in a continuous state of independent study, I've taught myself enough that I've been told several times I could be awarded a PhD by examination and dissertation, but I've never gotten settled long enough to actually get around to doing that. In addition to performing, I've also been a computer programmer, a graphic artist and art director (ha!), a photographer and cinematographer, a film maker, a salesman, a theater director, a bartender, a business owner, a workshop leader and corporate trainer, a chef, a web designer, a project manager, a molybdenum miner, a professional writer, and a host of other things. And today I'm broke and looking for a job. But I love what I do. :)
My point is that ADDers don't have have learning disabilities, they simply that they learn differently, primarily because of their heightened senses and higher brain frequency... and sometimes physical restlessness. They need a different style of learning, a more spontaneous style, a more interactive style, a more multi-sensory style than traditional classrooms provide. It's kind of like when it was discovered that Native American children who did poorly with book learning often did brilliantly when exposed to computer education that used a lot of visuals. Their wiring, so to speak, is much more optimized for processing visual information than people of European descent, so the European model of books and lectures doesn't suit them well.
And my point is that ADDers aren't defective... it's not really a disorder, it's a DIFFERENCE.
03-14-2006, 09:11 AM
Thank you for the compliment. I also was very good at writing, with teacher complimenting, "you are a brilliant writer" or passing a paper out to students to read as an example. I could write beautifully and correctly, but I could not tell anything about sentance structure.
I think as well, that people with my type of learning capacity learn a huge amount of "other things" and less schoolwork in early years and "normal" people learn more schoolwork earlier and less "other stuff" in their younger years. As well, "we" learn more "schoolwork" later on when we are ready to absorb that information while "normal" people learn the "other stuff" later on in life, like self awareness, awareness of their surroundings etc.
"we" simply do not get credit for the learning that we do on a day by day basis. We are not asked questions like "describe the way a sqweaky floor would look like on paper" or, If you could "compose a orchestral composition base on everything you were aware during class", or "draw a picture of everything you heard today" or "write a short story of what you were aware of in class".
Some of the careers I have thought of getting into are: creative director at and advertising agency (One of the largest agencies in the world just contacted me yesterday, probably for an interview), freelance short story writer, person on the radio that makes sounds out of ordinary things for the radio, graphic design instructor, dental hygienist, communications specialist, sustainability consultant, hair stylist for Aveda, teacher, clothes designer, ecologist, lobbyist for sustainability, environment, etc., pet babysitter. Art director is best becuase you do many things at the same time and you are allowed to space out and dream up ideas and that is where you get neat ideas. You also get to listen to people and their ideas and objectives, have fun on the computer, look at colors, get picky about typography, imagine how other people percieve things, direct photoshoots, prop and style things for photo shoots, read copy and see if it makes sense to what it is supposed to say, measure and construct things on the computer, evaluate the copy, photos, colors, design and flow of a piece to see how it "talks" to people. It is a constant everchanging variety of different senses that are being used all at the same time, everyday, all day, and I would be at the office till 3 am or all night MANY times, perfecting this beautiful piece that says so much to so many in so many different ways.
Have you ever seen an advertisement that just felt good to your eyes, or was funny or creative or touched a funny nerve in your brain? This stuff is what we see and think about all of the time and yes it is completely funny and interesting and we bring these things to your attention (art directors) because we assume you will find them funny and interesting too. "Normal" people sometime don't notice these things.
If you know anyone with these "problems", graphic design or art director would be something to talk to them about. School was easy because it is all about what I described above, with no memorizing or calculating or chemistry and such.
I agree, we just need more stimulation and a variety of things happening at once.
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