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Explaining ADHD

How can you prove to others that your ADD behaviors and symptoms are not your choice but rather the cause of A.D.D.?

If your behaviors of concern are AD/HD related due to impulsivity, hyperactivity and/or inattention, it is important to educate the people you are concerned about regarding AD/HD. Many people still have misconceptions and as a result attribute AD/HD related behaviors to character flaws. I love the title of the book, You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! because those are often the tags attached to AD/HD behavior for those who lack an understanding.

Begin by having a discussion with people regarding AD/HD and what impact that has on your life, so they can begin to understand your behaviors through new eyes. Sometimes, people are helped to understand AD/HD by reading a brief (1-2 page) article. Some AD/HD websites have a nice selection of short articles. A number of these websites are linked to ADDitude website under resources. Finally there are numerous books on both child and adult AD/HD, which are helpful in gaining a better understanding of the disorder. The ADD Warehouse, also linked to the ADDitude site, carries a very comprehensive listing of books for both child and adult AD/HD. As with any prejudice, information and education are often the beginning of healing and opening up the pathways for communication.

Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is a psychologist and coach in private practice in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

This article is published by permission from ADDitude Magazine 2004. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Subscribe to ADDitude online or via toll-free phone 888-762-8475.

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