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Re: ADD assessment in Ottawa

Re: ADD assessment in Ottawa2010-08-04T18:49:54+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community ADD assessment in Ottawa Re: ADD assessment in Ottawa


Patte Rosebank
Post count: 1517

You’ve just described pretty well all the symptoms of ADD, inattentive subtype.

ADD isn’t all bouncing-off-the-walls. Those who have the inattentive subtype struggle with the procrastination, self-doubt, and distractability, just as much as those who have the combined subtype. You just don’t notice their struggles because they’re so quiet. A lot of girls with ADD aren’t diagnosed because they’re busy quietly daydreaming or doodling, while the boys with ADD are taking all the teacher’s attention with their acting up. I’m the combined subtype, which is more prevalent in boys than in girls. It sounds like you’re the inattentive subtype, which is more prevalent in girls than in boys. So I guess that makes both of us even more unusual!

Your work habits, particularly your use of background music, and the type of music, are very much like mine. So are the problems with procrastination, self-doubt, etc. Feeling overwhelmed and very nervous is very common when you have ADD. Constantly struggling to try to fit into a world that functions so differently from the way that you do, is a full-time, very stressful job. Having to do any other job on top of that will overwhelm anyone!

I can understand the difficulties you’re having now at animation school. The post-secondary educational structure is based on the premise that you’re mature enough to work very independently, without the supervision and short, concrete deadlines that you had in elementary and high school. Most people can handle this, but those of us with ADD are lacking the executive function that controls this sort of thing. Not having the structure of the classroom where you learn by discussing (so you have to do your homework in order to not look like a fool in class, the next day), or the deadlines of homework you have to hand in every day or every week, is very bad for us.

Add to that the fact that we tend put off anything that will require long, detailed work with a delayed payoff—in favour of the immediate gratification of, say, watching TV or playing on the internet—and you can see that it’s a recipe for disaster. I did quite well in high school, because I was taking courses that interested me (except Math, which my parents insisted I take, and which was horrible), and which had structured learning. In university, I crashed and burned, because it didn’t have that structure. We didn’t know about ADD then, and wouldn’t have suspected a high school Honour Roll student like me would have it. We just thought I had somehow become stupid and lazy at university. And very depressed.

Had we known about ADD, I could have been diagnosed, and gotten the help I needed to thrive. But I only got diagnosed this past April. Since you do know about ADD, you should definitely investigate it further. And prepare before you see your doctor about it. Do the diagnostics on this website. Start with the Virtual Doctor, and then move onto the diagnostics in the Tools section. They will give you a starting point.

Find out exactly what you were diagnosed with as a child. Since you had your current symptoms throughout your childhood, that’s another indicator that you might have ADD. Get a referral to a psychiatrist, preferably one who specializes in Adult ADD. They are very few and far between. However, the newest Psychiatry graduates came out last month. If you can find one of them, they’ll have been taught the latest information about ADD, including that, if you had it as a child, you’ll have it for the rest of your life.

Don’t believe all the paranoia and outright LIES about ADD medications. If you were diagnosed with diabetes, you’d take medication for it, and nobody would question that. If you were diagnosed with a thyroid problem, you’d take medication for it, and nobody would question that. ADD is no different. But, like diabetes, it takes a combination of medication and lifestyle changes to treat it effectively, so that you can function properly.

Talk to your animation school’s administration about your difficulties. People with ADD are often drawn to creative fields, so your animation school has probably encountered quite a few students with ADD, and will know how to help you. ADD is a legitimate disability, so you have the right to ask for accommodations for the difficulties caused by it. This could include setting weekly interim deadlines at which you meet with your instructors to discuss your progress on your projects, and plan your work for the next week. Or having someone take notes for you in class, so that you can focus on absorbing and understanding the material being taught.

Don’t despair. When you’re getting the help and treatment you need, you’ll be amazed at how much better life is!