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Someone I Admire: Why My Husband is Like Christopher Reeves

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

This is only Day 2 of 'The Ultimate Blogging Challenge' and already I find myself met with opposition – I am sick, really sick….. and that reminds me of how I admire people who handle physical and mental adversity with grace and humour. That would be my husband!

10th anniversaryWhat does he have to handle that he handles so well? Well first of all, let me tell you a bit about my dear husband of 14 years. He is kind of a nut, really smart, a little eccentric, and not the most practical or useful man ever. BUT – as eccentric as he is, and as easy as it is for him to get stuck on the smallest of details, and how hard it is for him to discriminate between small problems and big problems, he is the most ideal patient. Why, because all details are equally important to him. Whether it is a touch of flu or an episode in the emergency with his racing heart, it's all the same to him.

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What do Jim Carey and Robin Williams Have In Common?

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
girldreamDoes this little girl look like she is focused on the same things the others students are focused on? No!  She looks a little distracted, doesn’t she. May she has ADD?
Yesterday I wrote a post about someone I admire. It is my husband! One of the things I admire about him is how he handles his shortcomings, of which, like all of us, he has many.
One of those shortcomings is a condition called ADD. I have decided to chat about this for a few posts. You may recognize someone you know when I describe some of the behaviors of an ADD person.
And so, you guessed it. Jim Carey and Robin Williams also have ADD (apparently).

ADD’s Secret Weapon: It is right at your FINGER TIPS

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

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I am doing a series on ADD, using my husband as my lab rat (I couldn’t resist that!) Seriously though, ADD is common, it is real, it is frustrating for the person who has it and the people who live with them. So here is my attempt to bring some enlightenment from my own experiences.

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You too can be a POWERFUL HUMAN TRANQUILIZER!

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

hugging

Doesn’t that look like the most satisfying hug? Did you know that the human hug has tremendous power?

Yesterday I mentioned how holding my husband’s hand during a movie helped him to stay focused on the movie and enjoy the entire show without missing important parts of the plot.

The challenge with the ADD person is not only keeping their attention, it is also getting their attention in the first place. They often don’t even look at you while you are speaking, their eyes are usually all over the place, along with their minds.

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How is ADD like a 3 Ring Circus?

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
elephants
We are talking about ADD for a few days. What makes me an expert? First hand experience, or maybe I should say second hand. Anyways, my husband is ADD, my stepson is ADHD and I am a retired teacher who taught several children with the same disorder. I made it a point many years ago to study the subject when I met my first ADHD student in 1988. I have been fascinated by it ever since.
It was good preparation so that when I married my second husband Cliff in 1998 I was well aware of the effects of ADD. The ideas I am sharing with you here are not as a result of my own personal research, but as a result of my experience living with an ADD person for over 14 years now. It is never dull.

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Why Does my ADD Husband Leave Stores Backwards?

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

StaplesEntrance1

In the last post I said that my ADD husband walks out of stores backwards. Did that get anyone’s curiosity? As I continue to share some stories about my ADD husband, and hopefully shed some light on this frustrating mental disorder, I would like to talk some more about distraction.

The one store in particular that he has trouble leaving is Staples and I will tell you why in a minute.

Yesterday I explained how the very thing the ADDer craves, distraction, is the very thing that makes their life so difficult (and makes them so annoying!) It is like they are addicted to distraction. They crave it, they want it, it feels good, it triggers some pleasure button that they want to experience again and again. And, like all addictions, it gets them into trouble.

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Lessons from Sesame Street: ADD and Finding Differences

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
donuts
Remember that game on Sesame Street?
‘One of these things is not like the others….’?
Well, if you were to play that game with my husband, using the above photograph, he would not only point out the obvious, the tart is different than the donuts, but he would probably also have to mention some sorts of differences he sees between the donuts too.
I mentioned the last time how my husband has to pick up EVERY brochure that he has the chance to pick up. Why is that?  Why EVERY brochure? Because they all present the same level of interest for him. He can’t prioritize them. He can’t discriminate between them. He has a hard time eliminating some of them in preference of others.This is one of the contributors to the condition of ADD; everything is equally distracting, not just some things. That is why they are distracted almost all the time.
ADDers have a hard time seeing similarities because they can see so many differences. If you were to play the ‘one of these things is not like the others’ game with an ADDer and this photo of three donuts and a tart, you might have an argument on your hands. Instead of wanting to point out right away that the tart just doesn’t belong, they may also point out some of the minor differences between the donuts.
ALL DIFFERENCES MATTER to someone with ADD, some differences are not necessarily bigger than other differences.

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Did you know that ADDers can pay attention BETTER THAN ANYONE?

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

EMSL 1319 041In discussing ADD on these last few posts, I have emphasized the negative side which is two parts.

1. inability to concentrate without being distracted

2.  inability to organize, or to create and maintain order

As with all things however, there is a flip side.

If the ADD person starts a project that is extremely interesting or important to them, they may become totally locked in, or ‘hyper-focused’. They will be able to stick with that activity for a long period of time without being distracted. They will bury themselves in it to the exclusion of everyone and everything. And that too will drive you nuts if you let it.

This is one way in which this condition can contradict itself. Even though a lot of the time, a person with ADD has a lot of difficulty paying attention to one task, there are also times when they can pay attention better than anyone. At those times the ADD person is your man! When you hit it right, they are the best person for the job!

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ADDers rarely say “I’m Finished!”

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

clutterWe have been chatting about ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. Last time I mentioned the challenge that exists for a person who has trouble concentrating and that was finishing projects. We can all struggle with that sometimes.

Due to the tendency towards distraction, it is likely that most people with ADD will start a lot of different projects! This is not only frustrating for them but also for those who live with them.

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4 Tips for Living with ADD

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

manbookThis is the last part of a series I have been writing about ADD. If you know someone who might be ADD, you may want to share this series of posts with them. This one is the most important post of all so please read on!

As much as there are definitely similarities among people who have ADD, it is also, like any disorder, very individual. I hope my stories have created a revealing picture which you may identify with if you know someone who has ADD. It may even be you!

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