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 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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posted: Wednesday September 17th - 11:21am

Cartwheels in Your Mind

What young love is like for my ADD son and his ADHD girlfriend.

TopPicks Love ADHD Heart
Enzo has a girlfriend! It's the most wonderful thing. With teenagers pressuring each other these days into going farther faster — and furthermore, first base now being what third base used to be — I was ecstatic when he told me he found a girl to hold hands with! The lovely young lady is smart, cute, poetic, and funny. The two of them click as only two...
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posted: Tuesday August 19th - 11:04am

"You’re Not ADD (Part 2): You’re Befuddled"

I never realized my ADD roots until I had a concussion.

When the Mini Cooper left an imprint of its license plate in the bumper of my Prius, the insurance company said it was still a low-speed accident, and I couldn’t really be that hurt. Even my doctor dismissed the possibility of a concussion, despite that bang my headrest gave me on the back of my head, messing up my upper neck pretty good. Three weeks later, Enzo...
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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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