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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: Tuesday July 29th - 9:23pm

"You're Not ADD: You're a Blonde"

The things for which ADHD is so easily dismissed. Getting a diagnosis as an adult was harder than I thought.

Blonde Hairdo
When my son was diagnosed with ADD, the inattentive kind, it put me on my own path to understanding my own attention pitfalls. As hard as it was to get him sorted out at fifteen, my own out-sorting has been even more challenging. This post begins a new, intermittent (naturally) series about trying to get to my own diagnosis. I hear stories all the time about how...
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posted: Tuesday July 22nd - 7:34pm

Blue Highways

Surprise! Your child is different! Welcome to a different country...throw your roadmap away!

Blue Highway
At a school where I was teaching about my book, The Bullying Antidote, the principal told me their special ed parents' club called themselves the “Holland Group.” I asked her what the name meant. She handed me a many-times-copied story that she had found on the Internet. “Welcome to Holland” is a 1987 essay by Emily Perl Kingsley that describes what it feels like when you learn...
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posted: Wednesday July 16th - 1:59pm

In the Mood for a Funk?

Living with RSD -- the soul-sucking downside of ADHD -- the special funk of ADHD.

ADHD Definition, Talking About ADHD, What ADHD Means
I wrote recently about the first thing William Dodson, M.D., says everyone with ADHD has: an Interest-Driven Nervous System. The second thing he says everyone with ADHD shares is an emotional response called Rejection-Sensitive Dysphoria. I kind of don't want to write about it, because there's that impulse to skip past the hard stuff and focus on the fun stuff. But it's hard when your mood...
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posted: Wednesday June 18th - 9:08am

Like Son, Like Mother?

No need to wonder where my son's attention issues came from. This apple fell from my tree.

Boy Doing Homework
"He definitely has attention issues, but he doesn't have ADD." This is what the social worker told me after evaluating Enzo's questionnaires, filled out by myself, himself, his dad, and two teachers (one of whom gave him the label of "high priest in the church of no homework," whose class he barely passed). After all, said the clinical expert, he's well-socialized, he can sit still (sometimes for...
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posted: Friday May 30th - 1:28pm

Keep Calm and Carry On

How we learned to stop worrying and “C” our way through anxiety.

the letter C
When Enzo was little, he loved doing sleepovers. But that all changed one year, the year he realized lying awake in strange place wasn't any fun. When he was about six, he stayed overnight with his Uncle Zoom, who had a new baby in the house. Between the distracting sounds and his underlying sleep challenges from ADD, he was up at 4 AM, dressed, ready for...
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posted: Tuesday April 29th - 9:52am

The Forklift of Love

forklift love
Until we learned about ADD, it was always a mystery why our little guy couldn’t sleep. Even though Enzo, as a small child, was more than once called “The Thing That Would Not Sleep” by his exhausted-to-the-point-of-a-horror-movie parents, he was a blessedly solid sleeper once he was down. Yet, he surprised us all (as teenagers do) by growing up to be “The Thing that Would Not...
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posted: Monday April 21st - 10:39am

The Thing That Would Not Sleep

Top Pick ADHD Kid Can't Sleep
We used to dread bedtimes. Once the novelty of being born wore off, once he rested up from that exhausting ordeal, Enzo just could never see the point in sleeping. He just didn’t want to miss a thing. If I wasn’t able to nurse him down, his dad, "Dave," would carry him around the house and the yard showing him how the birds were asleep, the...
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posted: Monday March 31st - 11:24am

We're Driven by Attention — Not Lacking It

Understanding the sparkly flipside of ADD.

sparkler
I’ve been paying a lot of attention lately to attention. When it is there, when it is not, how hard it is to summon, how hard it is to turn it off. For example, I can ask Enzo’s Uncle Zoom a question and never get an answer; his ears turn off when he’s attending to something inside his mind. Then there are times I want Enzo’s...
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posted: Friday March 21st - 11:12am

Electronic Attention Suckers

Every family struggles with ways to manage this generation’s darn distracting devices. Here’s our best trick for keeping video games from taking over our teen's life.

video games
When we got Enzo his first handheld video game, he was too young in my opinion, but still much older than most kids these days are when they are handed their first Electronic Attention Sucker (E.A.S.). We had held off as long as we could for several reasons: 1. He had plenty of toys already that he could never find enough time for: Legos, paper airplanes, and,...
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posted: Tuesday January 28th - 10:44am

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

The last week of the marking period is always when we wish we had more traction.

Tire marks on the street
This will sound like a familiar scene to those of you with teenagers. It's the last week in the marking period, and we check the online gradebook, and then our heads explode. Suddenly, the teachers who haven’t used the system for a month have gotten caught up, and lo and behold, there are some terrible surprises. This is the week when I start kicking myself for having...
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