Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An Interview with My Son About ADD

ADHD Awareness Month is coming to an end.  What to blog about?  Should I create a list of my favorite links?  Should I list some of my favorite quotes from S regarding his ADD?  What to do? As I was talking to S about my dilemma, I asked him if I could interview him. He thought that would be just fine.  We had an enjoyable conversation.

Here you are.  You are getting my interview along with some of my favorite quotes and a handful of links.  Enjoy!

What is it like to live with ADD?
Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad.  My ADD can get me in trouble because I end up thinking about other things instead of my school work.  I end up thinking about many different things, and you [my parents] say that I’m able to put things together and link things that other people might not be able to link together; however, the drawback is I can link things together. 

When it comes to certain day-to-day tasks, my mind is so busy doing other things that it prohibits me from putting the important things together in that moment.

Do you remember what life was like before you were diagnosed with ADD in the 4th grade?
Other than you [my parents] telling me that the teachers said I wasn’t paying attention in class, no.  

What do you remember about being diagnosed?
I do remember the appointment with the pediatric neurologist.  He struck me as someone who might have had ADD himself.  He told us to try the medicine.  It was a low dosage of Concerta. After I started it, the teacher noticed I was paying attention better.

Do you wish you didn’t have to take ADD medicine?
I wish I didn’t have to take the medicine.  It’s another task that needs to get done.  

You are almost 18.  Why don’t you tell your doctor you want to stop the medication?
I know it helps me, and I know if I don’t take it I end up having a dysfunctional day which causes me to get in trouble.  If I don’t have my medicine, my mind races all the time, and I do things just to do them.

Can you be specific?  What kind of things?
One time I didn’t take my medicine.  I sat on the floor for a long time doing nothing.  

If I don’t take my medicine, I am hungry all the time.

Quote:   “I was sitting in the chair trying to get ready, and my ADD kicked in and here I am.”

What are the benefits to you of your medication?
I, generally, stay focused.  Not only do I stay focused but I am able to reason better about my actions.

Do you take your medication every day or do you take medication breaks?
I take it every day.  My pediatric neurologist told me that I have ADD every day not just on school days.  

I know kids who take medication breaks.  The signs of this are very visible and noticeable. Seeing that, I know I don’t want to take a break.

Do you think you will stay on medication as you journey into adulthood?
I really don’t know.  From the looks of it right now, yes.  Unless someone comes up with a way to get the brain to regulate itself without the use of medication that is highly proven and has an 80% or more success rate.

What are 3 negative things about having ADD?
  1. My mind is always thinking.
  2. I am always thinking.
  3. Sometimes it’s hard for my parents to understand my train of thought, and they end up saying, “Only you would think of it that way.”

Quote:  “It’s like I have 10,000 things running through my head.”

What are 3 positive things about having ADD?
  1. I’m able to put historical events in order, connect them to each other, and explain relationships between the events.
  2. I like to look at alternate scenarios for historical events.
  3. There might be scholarships available to me because I have ADD.

You are planning on attending college.  What are some challenges you might encounter?
  1. I need to make sure I am in class on time.
  2. I need to get all my work done - not just focusing on one thing and excluding everything else.
  3. There will be some days that my mind will be too busy thinking about other things.  This makes it difficult for me to do things that are normally easy.

Can you explain what it’s like to hyperfocus?
I’m primarily thinking about one thing only.  It’s helpful in trying to get that one thing done; however, the drawback is that until I have completed that one task I don’t want to do anything else.

When it’s crunch time, I can, miraculously, finish an assignment that I should have started a while ago.

What are some strategies you use to help you stay focused and get your work done?
  1. Listen to Classical music.  
  2. Create an ADD Journal.

What would you like to tell someone who was just diagnosed with ADD?
  1. You are not the only one who has been diagnosed with ADD.  In actuality, the world itself, as a result of all of our gadgets and fast-paced society, has developed ADD but has refused to recognize that.
  2. You can be successful!  You will have to work harder to stay focused.  
  3. Your friends and family will look a lot of things up and figure out how to help you and how to understand you; however, they will not succeed.

What would you want the parents of a child who has ADD to know/do?
  1. You can get through this.
  2. Even though when you try to get the kids to do something or correct a behavior and it seems like they are not listening, most likely they are listening.  Sometimes, they will even show you that they are listening.
  3. Know that the timeline that you want to do things most likely will not line up with the child’s sense of time.  Sometimes time is considered irrelevant.
  4. Some days they just need free time to think and process everything going through their minds.
  5. Don’t try to fix your kid.  Be patient, and everything will work out.

This wraps up the interview with S on ADD from his perspective.  Who knows?  Maybe he will allow me to interview him again on various topics.

When all else fails, S likes to use this tactic, “You know I have ADD.”  Sorry dude.  You still have to get your stuff done! At times like this, it helps to read articles like 20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD.

Since S made my writing easier today, you will find me on the couch with chocolate.


  1. Thanks for sharing - I think a lot of people will get a lot out of this post because it is from him - not someone writing about him.

    1. Thanks! I told him it would be helpful to others. It's nice for him to hear that from someone who isn't mom.

  2. Thank S for sharing with us. I love when people with special needs help us to understand them better. It's a great way to foster empathy and understanding!

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words. I shared them with S.