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November 25, 2007


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Both my brother and my husband have ADD (neither are quite hyperactive). My brother is severely affected, my husband moderately. My brother was the first kid in the school district diagnosed. My husband wasn't diagnosed until he was an adult.

My brother was "conditioned" in a way that was perhaps similar to you, in his case by my father. Unlike you, it didn't take. And I cannot believe that there was ever any object so valuable, or household chore so important, that it was worth what that conditioning did to him.

My husband breaks and loses stuff all the time. Expensive stuff, and irreplaceable heirlooms. Drives me batty sometimes, and frustrates him. But in the end, it's just stuff.


My elder son has a relatively mild case of ADD, diagnosed at age 5. At that time, we did a lot of reading, and my husband kept saying things like "boy does this sound familiar". We're sure he's also ADD.

Neither is particular bad at breaking things, although my husband does go through PDAs like a hot knife through butter! I'm on my second in 10 years. He's probably on his 5th or so in about 12 years, maybe more.

But putting things down and forgetting them, oh yes. Keys. Reading glasses. Cell phone. And tripping over things on the floor. Oh yes.

Mind you, the ADD can also be a positive. It often provides the ability to hyper-focus. I've watched Andrew (my husband) do this while reading and coding. The rest of the world is gone, and he is completely somewhere else. Can juggle hundreds of thousands of lines of code mentally and figure out where the problem has to be. I've no clue how to do this, myself!


this balance between "oh, god I am productive because of it" and "but, wait, I can't really do it; my partner's not into it; it's culturally unfashionable," etc is totally the tough-stuff mind-fuck of parenting that no one ever talks about on those shows where they talk about how, yk, "oh, it's just really so great and you're so lucky, lalalala, and the answers are so simple and everyone sleeps perfectly through the night at 3 hours old," etc. I will v frankly admit to a lot of handwringing at our house about these v issues and most of my girlfriends' houses as well.

on the bright side, you & yours have domestic help; have her lay down the laws while you go see a movie. then later, you can pretend to have known nothing! "whaaa-aaaat???" you can say.

The New York City Math Teacher

Ah, loca - the Mrs. Keeler solution... Of course, the 'rents themselves were closer to the beginning of the last century than they care to admit, when it comes to the, ah, physical culture aspect of parenthood. As in, the glory of having a broomstick broken over one's back, instead of the miserable, pitiable brutal ignominy - not that it was repeated in the decades of the '70s and '80s, but, still.

Regarding the clumsiness - not clumsy with things personally valued - no, not ever. And taekwondo at the age of ten and eleven did wonders for the sense of poise and place.

But there is a Lladro figurine, uh this one, which, upon decephalonization, precipitated battery with a leather strap. And there was this incident with a helium-filled balloon near the bookcase on which my grandfather displayed his German pewter, and a cushion I used to knock the balloon down. Well, I knocked other things down, too.


Bernard Guerrero

"But there is a Lladro figurine"

I hear ya, bro. Those f*ing figurines were the bane of my existence. Them and the Murano glass. Though the "not clumsy with things personally valued - no, not ever" also rings true, which makes me wonder about the mechanics of the whole thing.

Andrew R.

This question is going to come off as naive, but don't they have drugs for that sort of thing these days?

Susan (the Neon Nurse) Crites

Whether you are a poster child for the cure being worse than the disease, only you can say.

You are on the right track with the retraining. Did you know that both the military and martial arts schools have a significantly higher percentage of ADD people in them than that found in the general population? One theory is that this is because ADD people instinctively seek a structured social/learning environment where they also find ways to deal with their ADD-type difficulties. Your dancing and juggling is the same response.

You might not be able to, or inclined to, find a martial arts class for Alan. But if you can find something he likes that teaches him eye/hand co-ordination in incremental steps, you'll have a tool for the good kind of brain therapy, minus the bad and ugly.


this was a terrific blog! thank you!!!

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