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When Kristen Caven’s son was diagnosed with attention deficit, inattentive type, she had no doubt about where he'd gotten the gene. She writes about her creative and comedic ADHD family, being a patient mother with a brain built for speed, and her sudden enrollment in what she calls “ADD School.”

posted: Friday March 27th - 9:00am

The Mid-Year Check-in

An interview with Dr. Adelaide Robb gives great guidelines for parents dealing with teachers…but takes an awkward turn, thanks to ADHD.

This fall, I was granted an interview with Dr. Adelaide Robb, a big-time psychopharmacologist with ongoing research studies in mood disorders, schizophrenia, and post traumatic stress disorder, and Chief of the Division of Psychology and Behavioral Health of the Children's National Health System, which aims to combine psychological and psychiatric services to treat the medically ill child. It was during that busy time of my son's senior...
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posted: Thursday March 26th - 1:32pm

The Fluid of the Brain

A visit to a craniosacral therapist and an introduction to an obscure but pleasurable—and highly effective—ADHD treatment.

In the scene in Young Frankenstein just before Dr. Frankenstein (as played by the hilarious Gene Wilder) turns the monster’s life around, he strokes the bewildered face of his creation (played by the delightful Peter Boyle) and cries out, “If I could just find a way to balance his cerebro-spinal fluid, he would be right as rain!” I burst out laughing (as one does, watching this comedy...
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posted: Monday February 2nd - 9:00am

Let Them Fail

The hardest part in getting help is letting your kid fail.

A 9th grade single mom called me, distraught. “I know my son has attention problems,” she said, “and I don’t know what to do.” She went on to describe a history of rat-nest backpacks, forgotten homework, impulsive decisions and other familiar-sounding struggles. My mind went back to those desperate ninth grade nights, when the red marks would start showing up on the online grading system. Until then,...
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posted: Friday January 30th - 9:00am

Guess What?! (Ta-Dah) You’re ADD!

At last, someone sees me through my own eyes.

The most amazing thing happened after I quit my out-of-pocket therapist who Just! Didn’t! Get! what I had been trying to tell her for a year. (That sometimes I don’t know who I am when I wake up on an unstructured morning. That I have trouble sticking to routines she suggests and my days get away from me, or that I’m overwhelmed by all the wonderful...
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posted: Thursday January 29th - 9:00am

You’re Not ADD (Part 6): You’re a Virgo

How many ways can you explain away your personality?

“I will always have this tension inside me,” I explained to my husband once, as we pushed our baby around the lake on one of our weekly walk/talks. “I’m a Leo/Leo Rising, with my moon and all my other planets in Virgo. I’m like a lion in a cage with all of this powerful artistic energy that can’t come out except through the perfectionist side of...
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posted: Wednesday January 28th - 10:29am

You’re Not ADD (Part 5): Want some Prozac?

Trying to get a diagnosis can be quite a thrill ride.

On my health plan, they have a process by which people are diagnosed with ADHD. First, you go to the 2-hour talk on Adult Attention Issues, where they pass out a test. Then you wait three weeks and they send you a letter. Yes, you have it. No, you don’t. It’s like getting accepted into college... or not. If you do, you get some meds and...
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posted: Tuesday November 11th - 1:26pm

The Fast Lane Towards the Future

I've gotten us lost and I've made us late and I can't stop tearing up. A road trip to visit colleges brings up some big feelings.

Enzo’s in the driver’s seat. I’m next to him and his dad, “Dave,” is in the back, relaxing, reading a book. We are weaving in and out of the fast lane on our way to visit a college in L.A. I planned ahead for this trip. I put in hours of researching, building a Google Map and printing out parking passes, scheduling several school visits per day...
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posted: Sunday November 9th - 11:41am

In the Driver’s Seat with Enzo

A guest blog from Kristen’s son, who is finally behind the wheel!

I’ve been driving in one way or another for about ten years now. When I was seven, I got my first Mario Kart game on my hand-me-down GameCube. I played that endlessly, not aware that there was anything more to cars and driving, until one day, at around age ten, I borrowed Need for Speed from my neighbor, and everything changed. I started with my first...
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posted: Wednesday October 29th - 10:01am

"You’re Not ADD (Part 4): You’re Fine"

It’s not a disorder when your life has some order...

My personal opinion, as my readers have surmised by now, is that ADHD is a brain type but not necessarily a disorder. I believe that, by choosing the right attitude, we can overcome our challenges and figure out how to live with our limitations. Or better yet, get our mysterious minds to work in our favor. I know that because I managed mine so well...
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posted: Tuesday October 21st - 12:00am

"You’re Not ADD (Part 3): You’re Artistic"

Organizing your mind around creativity.

Do you fidget? No, but I doodle in the margins of everything. Are you driven by a motor? No, I’m driven by my insatiable quest for Beauty. Do you daydream a lot? Um, yeah, duh. I'm using my imagination... When the therapist interviewed my mother to see whether I’d had ADD as a child, mom resisted. She was loath to define me — or any child —...
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