My Grade 7 year at Salmo Elementary School was a year of great highs and profound lows. I discovered music for the first time, real popularity, great embarrassment, and of course, girls. Well actually I discovered girls in Kindergarten. That was also the first year that I was involved in any kind of athletic endeavour. I was tall for my age, as were a few of my friends and so when the school formed a basketball team and we played against other elementary schools we dominated. When you have three kids who are almost 6 feet tall in grade 7 and the hoops are only 8 feet tall, it is a recipe for disaster for the other teams. I tried all sports that year as they came up on the calendar, too naïve to realize that most people aren’t good at everything. The sport that was probably the worst match for me physically and mentally was cross-country running. This didn’t stop me from joining the team, of course; any excuse to get out of school or do anything extracurricular was something I would gladly sign up for, even if it meant limping along, drenched in sweat, wanting to puke, while […]
A little ADHD journal entry I found on my computer: I wonder if all of the birds in this neighbourhood know each other. Is it always the same ones screaming their lungs out just beyond my bedroom window at sunrise? I don’t think birds even live in families but if not, do they at least hang out and have best friends or birds that are cool? What would a cool robin look like? I have a really hard time picturing a cool robin. They seem kind of prim and proper and boring. We’ve got these blue jays that live in the trees in our backyard but they are just a bit too screechy to be considered cool. I think blue jays are like bird hipsters. They dress outlandishly but try to play it off like it’s no big deal. Well it is a big deal. I think the ultimate cool must be a hawk. Don’t make much noise but everybody knows when they’re around. Crows are like the kids who want all the other birds to think they run the show. They make a bunch of noise, bully the other birds, and even look pretty sweet, all in black, shiny […]
Non-linear people in a linear world I used to teach a class called “Understanding Anger and Anxiety”. The class was quite lengthy, taking an entire day. While the class could be summed up in one simple sentence, “Anger is anxiety”, I invested several more hours so that that point would be fully understood and appreciated. I warned the class at the beginning that when I am trying to teach something important, I speak in concentric circles, working my way around the perimeter of the concept, introducing several threads that may at first appear to be unrelated, and then gradually narrowing in on the main point. In this way, they have the proper context for the final, parsimonious concept that I want them to walk away with. Despite this warning, it was obvious to me as the class proceeded that there were people who were having a hard time hanging in there with me as I wandered through philosophy, psychology, sociology, and neurophysiology. As we went around and around in circles talking about so many seemingly unrelated points, their eyes would glaze over. After the class, I sent out e-mails asking for feedback and there were a few people who gave […]
Dr. Gabor Mate expresses it very well. If you have questions, drop me a line.
Here are the answers to some common questions: What’s the difference between ADHD and ADD There is no difference. ADHD is divided into three types: Inattentive, Hyperactive/Impulsive, and Combined. ADD is the Inattentive type. When it comes to diagnosis, the official label is ADHD. This confusion is probably responsible for many missed cases of ADHD. How do I know if I have it? Psychiatrists or psychologists are the only mental health professionals qualified to diagnose ADHD. If you have concerns, make arrangements to see one of these individuals. The diagnostic criteria for ADHD are as follows: A. Either (1) or (2) 1) Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with the developmental level: Inattention often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behaviour or failure of comprehension) often has difficulty organizing […]