Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ADHD Behind The Wheel

I really like driving, but I get bored easily with driving the same roads over and over. I have to stifle the urge, frequently, to just take a right or left and go all wingnut instead of staying on the most direct path. I also don't like sitting in traffic...this includes stoplights and stopsigns...so I will drive through a parking lot or just turn to go around a light before I get to it just to keep moving. This is not always efficient. I realize this.

Unfortunately, my most-traveled paths these days are laced with one-ways and other quirks that make leaving the beaten path too ridiculous an option to pursue. Sigh. The only redemption here is that I only live 3 minutes from work.

I used to go on fabulous, epic journeys on my way home, or on my way pretty much anywhere else. I have an extraordinarily accurate sense of direction, which has allowed me to enjoy rambling, instead of freaking out over being "lost". Very rarely have I ever been lost and I've never had to call for a bail out, I've self-corrected and made it to my destination. And I know enough to check my gas before going on one of these tangents, so I don't have to get out of the car to get gas in an unknown area.

I could be 30 miles from home and I would get off the highway and just drive. Makes traffic jams seem like not a big deal when you are driving around them. Keeps my brain happy and busy figuring out what to do next.
Ahhhhhh, freedom.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Arguing: The Great ADHD Past-time

Sonny and I, being enlightened grownups with ADHD who are aware of many of the pitfalls faced by our kind, are careful to avoid certain ADHD quirks that aren't generally very socially appreciated. We're not perfect...but we try.

My 8-year-old stepdaugher, however, is just a wee ADHD-er in progress. She's still learning. She's also 8, and 8-year-olds are known to critique and question. But...it's true that many an ADHD child has made their mark on their family by arguing their way to infamy. Miss C, let's call her Miss C. She's becoming infamous :)

Her mother texted Sonny repeatedly last night, having reached her last thread of parental sanity at the hands of an expert arguer. Considering that mom is a lawyer, this makes it either more notable, or just plain much funnier (sorry, it shouldn't be funny, but it kind of is).

An internet site I was browsing last night put it really well...sorry I can't remember what the site was...but essentially what they were saying is that when an ADHD child is faced with opposition that they don't like or don't agree with, that experience registers as a 10 in their emotional experience, versus what might be a 6 for a "normal" child. When you put it that way, it makes their reactivity seem much more understandable. Not totally acceptable...but more understandable.

As Sonny and bio-mom texted to one another, I piped in that ADHD may be a factor. ADHD is a factor for many things right now for Miss C. She's had run-ins with the school bullies because she has a hard time honoring other people limits. She's having difficulty with school, and told me that she feels "dumb" because she has to finish her assignments at a separate table with "the other stupid kids in class". I told her she was not stupid, that she is very smart (she REALLY is), and that it's okay to have a brain that just works a little bit differently. I know from experience though, that it's going to take more than just reassurance from step-mom to make her feel smart...to make her feel good about herself. I just hope it doesn't take as long for her, as it did for me.

In the meantime, I will continue to kindly advocate, in our home, for consideration and understanding of that "other" factor...for our own sanity too, I think it will help to keep this in mind.