I’m tired of the ADHD label. Hyperactivity just means you have an active brain. It’s not a sickness. I’m fed up with being called sick when I know I’m extraordinary. I say ADHD is a myth that bad parents use to excuse themselves from trying harder to provide their children with enough stimulation.
Editor’s note: Responding this month is our Executive Director, Robert Tudisco. As you probably already know, Robert is quite extraordinary. In addition to being our Executive Director, he also maintains a law practice specializing in disability rights, runs marathons, and also just happens to have ADHD.
In response to your comment about hyperactivity, I don’t necessarily disagree with you. Hyperactivity in and of itself is not a bad thing. In fact many individuals with ADHD, like myself, are kinesthetic processors, which means we need to move in order to think. I, myself, fall into this category and I use running as a means to process information. The problem lies in the chronic nature of the condition and its severity. While many students need to move in order to think, in some settings it can be disruptive, depending on how and where it manifests.
Hyperactivity is only one symptom of this neuro-biological condition and is not present in all people diagnosed with ADHD. (The diagnosis for the condition without hyperactivity is often referred to as ADD, or AD/HD inattentive type.) And in many cases some of the hyperactivity decreases after puberty. ADHD is a very real medical condition, not a sickness, that affects the portion of the brain that regulates executive functioning which controls prioritization, time perception, impulse control, organization etc. While I agree that those with ADHD have many talents, they also have very real challenges that they face on a daily basis.
From personal experience, I can tell you that the diagnosis is not a label, but a relief to understand that there is a reason for the difficulties and challenges we face on a daily basis and ways to develop our talents and learn to navigate around our weaknesses.
It is also important to understand that ADHD is an inherited genetic condition and is not caused by bad parenting. However the way that someone parents a child with ADHD matters a great deal. It is important for parents to educate themselves, not just on the term, but to understand what it means and more importantly, how it manifests itself in their child in order to provide the type of structure, support and accountability that their child needs.
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