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Adults/Kids With ADD/ADHD

Blake Bowden

Staff Member
Do any of you Brothers have a child with ADD/ADHD? My youngest child (5) is so easy when it comes to homework and paying attention, but my eldest son (10) has been a handful. As an adult, do you suffer from ADD/ADHD? What about your children? If so, how do you handle the issue?


Premium Member
Do you know if he's the subtype with or without hyperfocus? It he's the type without hyperfocus only a few of my suggestions will matter.

Those of us with hyperfocus need to cycle our focus. Focus is not the same as attention. Focus is far more intense. We see the majority as having focus deficit their attention being unfocused and nebulous like a cloud. Where we see that vein on that leaf on that branch on that tree, the focus deficit majority sees a forest. This causes nervousness in a crowd because we look into the eye of one person and read their soul. Then shift to the next person, the then next, then the next ... Members of the focus deficit majority are capable of seeing a crowd as a crowd. Must be relaxing to be able to do that. With us that only happens with eyes shut and white noise like waves in our ears.

Our minds are like a laser cannon with an auto-rotating turret. We can jam on the brakes to slow the rotation a bit but we can't stop it. After a bit we must shift focus or it happens for us. Much of the day I keep a window open here or somewhere else. When I feel the focus about to shift I open this window for as short a time as I can then shift it back to one of the 10 or so work tasks I maintain in parallel.

The strategy is to deal with the laser cannon in a way that looks like a combination of micromanagement plus chaos juggling. Have the learning materials there. Point the focus on one for a bit. When it snaps point it at the next topic. And so on cycling among topics. Without the option of other input.

Most importantly turn off the TV. Power off, blank screen. Really. Not powered on. No discussion on it. The TV's moving image tends to allow the laser cannon to focus on the image and the commercials are timed just right so the snap goes from show to commercial then back to the show so he never snaps away from the TV. TVs are hypnotic to us and must be powered off. Does not matter if TVs are not hypnotic to you. Broadcasters know exactly how the hyperfocus of ADHD folks work and how to make it work with the focus deficit majority as well.

But think about why the TV is hypnotic to us. Watch the timing of the commercials and how that works for us. Allow the shift from topic to topic in studies to happen like that. Several books open on the table at once shifting from one to the next every several minutes like the timing of commercial breaks on TV. Don't bother trying to understand why it works just try it and see how it works.

Teach this for testing skills - Every few minutes close his eyes and picture his calm place. The beach or a fishing boat or whatever. Some timer to vibrate every 5 minutes if he tends to zone out too long at these points. Then several minutes back on the test. Back and forth. Use the hyperfocus to excel on the part of the test worked on during one focus snap. Then on relaxation on the next focus snap. Then back to the test. "Lather, rinse, repeat" as it says on the shampoo bottle.

In sports go with one that requires a constant shifting scan not a more nebulous awareness. The scanning aspect of soccer with the constant changes on the field. The brief plays of football followed by the difference of the huddle. The long walks of golf, not so much. Some like the focus aspect of each throw in bowling though. The long waits in baseball, not popular with most of us ADHD folks. The speed of hockey or lacrosse, that's the stuff ...

For exercise - Aerobic beats resistance. Something about how the oxygen flow effects the hormones effects the brain milds out the snap. A night time run works great and just happens to train for soccer. Just sayin ...

Mediation - Seems like it would not work. Doesn't for some of us. Works great for a lot of us. This part works also for the ones without hyperfocus. Must have unmoving visual field in front of us, though. Power off that TV. Yep, I repeated that a bunch of times for a reason.

Medication - Try coffee. Stimulants for the majority are depressants for us. If coffee wires him, he does not have ADHD. If coffee relaxes him he does. This part works also for the ones without hyperfocus. If the caffeine in coffee helps be open to other medications otherwise do not medicate.

Above I called it micromanagement. Nope. It's focus direction. Look at this topic. Snap. Now look at this topic. It's cyclical regular management. Above I called it chaos management. Nope. It's working with the dance of the snapping focus. It's a dance among topics diving deep into each one in the process.


Registered User
I have two daughters with ADD and I think they inherited from me but I was never diagnosed. My 11 year old takes a baby dose of focallin which seems to do the trick. My sixteen year old takes adderall which works REALLY well. I hope this info helps.


Premium Member
Read Blake - Snap, Opinion (start writing in mind) - Read dfreybur, snap, wow - de-focus, re-focus - Maybe I don't know everything. LOL.

My immediate reaction to Blakes post was along the lines of "I don't like labels", and - "there is no perfect normal". But then the d-man blew me away with his description of what I will term "thinking styles".

I do not watch commercial TV for the reasons stated above. Commercials actually make my head hurt! I do watch commercial free movie channels.

{In all honestly I do record two shows from major networks and watch them while fast forwarding through the commercials. Interesting note: the best way to get past the commercials is to fast forward while staring at the lower right corner of the screen, when it stops flashing like a strobe light the commercials are over!}

I really liked the description of ways to cope with shifting attention by changing your behavior. We all see things differently and I believe that we should all be more accepting of that. If I ever need brain surgery I want a neurosurgeon who can hyper-focus, but if I am buying a painting I favor impressionism.


Registered User
I have ADHD, medication doesn't do anyone any favors. Those with ADHD can learn to deal with it. The best thing to do is To BE PATIENT. You need to remember sometimes it's hard for adults as well as children to pay attention to things that aren't interesting. I have been off meds for 8-9 years, I'm 21 in college for accounting. Nowadays teaching methods are more effective. The thing to remember is that ADHD as well as other learning deficiencies are fairly new to medical science. There are... Believe it or not... Many pros to having ADHD/ADD: you get to look at things in a way many don't. If learned to manage it can be a true gift.

Glen Cook

G A Cook
Site Benefactor
In my experience in mental health law, ADHD is not always well diagnosed or very casually diagnosed. I would not rely upon a GP diagnosis. Even the Wender is subject to bias.


Site Benefactor
To say the medications do not do anyone any favors is a broad generalization that is to simplistic. My counselor, psychiatrist, and physiologist (as do I) agree that my current course of treatment is proper. I'm certified by the National Alliance for Mental Illness in crisis intervention and am Community Mental Health Officer in my county. I say all of that to say this there are various treatments for various mental health issues. One may work for one person and not for another. I would hope Masons would be open to this concept. Mental illness is under treated and cause problems for society because of the stigma associated with it.


Registered User
I have it too. When I go to the store because I'm out of bread, milk & butter - I come back with bread, milk & doughnuts.

But when I sit down to write a novel, screenplay, or comedic sketches - I literally could hyper focus & write for 12 hours straight.


Premium Member
To say the medications do not do anyone any favors is a broad generalization that is to simplistic.

Because treatment with non-stimulants, which are stimulants to the majority, works well for many. I suggest that folks non-stimulants don't work for have something with a different cause but the same symptoms. In my old choppily written post I mentioned near the end how caffeine can be used to make an educated guess that that.

Medications are over prescribed and under evaluated. There are people who take them and see a large benefit. There are people who take them, see no benefit, and stay on them anyways. Here's the hard part - There are people who take them, others see the benefit, they themselves complaint they feel like a zombie. I don't have a good answer to that as the wondering focus can easily be turned into an addiction to excitement triggered adrenaline. Coming off that addiction can feel like being a zombie and that's the intent not a negative result.

It should be easy to figure out if a medication should be continued. These non-stimulants that the majority react to as stimulants are supposed to have results immediately. If you start a med and there is no clear benefit, stop taking it in two weeks. Try another, and another, and another until all have been tried. If none worked then don't take any just because meds are supposed to be taken. Then again don't stop a med that shows benefit just because you don't feel like it. Only stop taking a med with benefits to try a different one to see if there are more benefits.

But there are folks who don't see benefits from any of them. Once you've cycled through them all don't bother staying on and don't bother trying again until a new one comes out on the market.

Are there dietary approaches that help? I know my best results have been eating ketotic low carb but that only improved my ability to manage the snaps. It did not remove the existence of the snaps. I've read that 5-HTTP is bad for ADHD folks so I wonder about other supplements.