Tuesday, 3 March 2009

ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD from the perspective of an ADD’er

ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD from the perspective of an ADD’er Oscar Pistorius. I am taking liberties using him as an example, but think about this. No one denies that he has achieved incredible success and we haven’t even seen him peak yet. He runs like the wind. Does this mean that he does not have a disability? No. He has a disability, he just worked to deal with it, live with it and overcome the huge obstacles that it poses. He needs to use paddles where we use feet. He does not need pity, but he might have needed more support than someone without a disability. One of the people I respect most, blogging buddy Angel, did a post on the disability perspective on ADD. Whereas you may not see any physical indication of our disability (there are though – our faces may be slightly asymmetric, we may have a very high palate, we may have a very high foot bridge, there may be a very big gap between our big toe and the rest of our toes etc – still it is not very noticeable) you may see the behaviour manifests of our disability. You may not notice that it is because of our disability. You do not see that my right brain is extremely well developed as a result of having ADD – you will think that I am creative and that I march to the tune of a different drummer. You do not see that my left brain is underdeveloped because of having attention deficit disorder – you will think I am not good with figures and that I am a bit of a scatterbrain. You may think that I have nervous energy and my pacing up and down may irritate you – but you have missed that I am hyperactive. Ritalin, therapy and knowledge about my condition is my ‘paddles’ and my crutch. When Lance Armstrong learnt that he had cancer, what was the first thing he did once the shock wore off. He tried to get as much information as he possibly could. Information is one of the strongest crutches. Lance Armstrong did not decide what cancer treatment to get from Hello, You, Cosmopolitan, Huisgenoot etc. Why do you take the Hello, You, Cosmopolitan, Huisgenoot view on ADD drugs & treatment as the full gospel? Have you consulted specialists or authoritative medical journals? I do not know Oscar Pistorius’ mind, but people achieving despite disability recognise the fact that their disability may have made them more tenacious and hungry for success, thus making them work harder than they would have without the disability, but deep in their mind, sometimes a little voice tells them that it might have been nice NOT to have the disability. During unguarded moments I sometimes slip into a bad place and I wonder if the cost of my achievements academically and career wise was not all together too great. Sometimes I cry because what I have seems mediocre to me and I wonder had I not had ADD where would I be…

2 comments:

angel said...

this was an awesome post spear, truly.

momcat said...

Both my sons have ADD. My eldest (18) battled at school and didnt achieve any academic passes but works now and is a good employee. He is not satisfied but wants to get a better job so that he can achieve what he wants out of life. He also wants to own his own business one day. My younger son (13) is still fighting to get through school which is very difficult for him. I would like him to achieve Matric but I will support him however far he gets. Labels describing the person do not make the person. I want my boys to be good people and be able to control their finances, both things their father has battled with (also ADD undiagnosed). I try to give them lifeskills and keep the communications lines open at all times.