As I write this present article, I can't help but notice that the kid playing a game at the computer next to the one which I am using has attention hyperactivity disorder.
I can distinguish this by his over exhuberance and constant twitching of his limbs while he makes his little sounds, and I think how far we have come in the past thirty years.
When I was in this kid's position thirty years ago, I was told to keep quiet.
When I was in this kid's position thirty years ago, I was told to stop moving because my twitches bothered others.
When I was in this kid's position thirty years ago, I was told not to interrupt people. I didn't do that intentionally. I simply could not tell the difference between one who was either taking a breath or gathering their thoughts and one who was finished making their point.
When I was in this kid's position thirty years ago, I was told that, when it came to complying with the above requests, that I just wasn't trying hard enough.
Once I began taking medicines to combat the symptoms of A.D.D., many adults who knew me as a child who struggled (but failed to stay still or not interrupt others!) apologized for their ignorance.
Let's face it: Americans were just plain fucking stupid when it came to this issue when I was a kid, and I don't call it ignorance because people didn't give kids like me the benefit the doubt-in some backward places of this country, they still don't-as I still hear that the best remedy for inattention is a "good whippin'."
Way to go, Tex.
But, exactly how far have we come as a society when it comes to the issue of attention deficit disorder?
Do you even believe in A.D.D. or A.D.H.D.?
The following information is from the American Psychiatric Association and the Centers for Disease Control.
- Approximately 9.5% or 5.4 million children 4-17 years of age have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, as of 2007.
- The percentage of children with a parent-reported ADHD diagnosis increased by 22% between 2003 and 2007.
- Rates of ADHD diagnosis increased an average of 3% per year from 1997 to 2006 [Read article ] and an average of 5.5% per year from 2003 to 2007.
- Boys (13.2%) were more likely than girls (5.6%) to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.
- Rates of ADHD diagnosis increased at a greater rate among older teens as compared to younger children.
- The highest rates of parent-reported ADHD diagnosis were noted among children covered by Medicaid and multiracial children.
- Prevalence of parent-reported ADHD diagnosis varied substantially by state, from a low of 5.6% in Nevada to a high of 15.6% in North Carolina.
I really love it when people suggest that I have outgrown Attention Deficit Disorder, as nothing can be further from the truth. You don't outgrow this disorder. My wife will atest to the fact that I can't stay in one place for two seconds when the medicine wears off.
Before you make an assumption, learn the facts about A.D.D. and A.D.H.D., both the childhood and adulthood variations of this disorder. It might just help you keep your teeth in your mouth.
Did I forget to mention that we're highly impulsive? Oh, well! I guess some of you will find that out soon enough!