July 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm #88457
AnonymousInactiveJuly 23, 2010 at 7:27 pmPost count: 14413
I was under the impression for most of my life that I was diagnosed with ADD. Turns out I had been diagnosed with having a learning disability, not ADD/ADHD specifically. I’m an adult in my mid twenties now and still have a very hard time maintaining focus on tasks in college. The only time I’m able to maintain focus is when I’m extremely stressed out and pulling an all-nighter to get an assignment done.
Anyways, I would like to get a proper assessment for ADD, and make sure I really do have it. Can anyone recommend a good psychiatrist for adult ADD assessment in the Ottawa Area? Or good resource for finding someone? There are many sites on the internet about the topic, but it’s all seems very vague. Some clarification would be nice
Thanks!REPORT ABUSEJuly 24, 2010 at 2:06 am #94642
SaffronMemberJuly 24, 2010 at 2:06 amPost count: 140
Try looking up either Richard Glatt (who is actually in Stittsville) or Dr. Joel Kanigsberg. Both are good assessors serving the Ottawa area. The cost of a full assessment runs somewhere around $1500 to $2000. If you have an extended insurance plan, it may be covered in part or in full.REPORT ABUSEJuly 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm #94643
AnonymousInactiveJuly 26, 2010 at 2:33 pmPost count: 14413
0_o, wow I did not realise an assessment was that expensive. I’ll have to look up my insurance for that. Thank you for the infoREPORT ABUSEJuly 28, 2010 at 4:34 am #94644
AnonymousInactiveJuly 28, 2010 at 4:34 amPost count: 14413
danielk7; if you are open to sharing, I would be interested in knowing what kind of learning disability you were diagnosed with, as my son has been identified as having ADD-inattentive type as well as a learning disability (communication), plus a short-term memory deficit. A number of ADD’ers have both, so it is not uncommon to find them together, especially with the inattentive type (no stereotypical hyperactivity).
He is in high school, and we would like to develop any useful strategies before he starts post-secondary education, so if you have any insights that you would be willing to publish, it would be greatly appreciated. In his case, the ADD shows mostly as disorganization and lack of focus (i.e. no hyperactivity), so there are a number of resources available. Not so much with the learning disability; much harder to find good information, as you noted. (And yes, the assessments can be costly, but definitely worth it. Some dr’s are quite good about making arrangements, even if you have coverage, so do check it out.)REPORT ABUSEAugust 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm #94645
AnonymousInactiveAugust 4, 2010 at 4:52 pmPost count: 14413
To be honest, I don’t know what specific learning disability I was diagnosed with. I was in the 6th grade, so around 10 or 11 years old at the time of the diagnosis. I was young but I always assumed I was diagnosed with ADD, apparently not. I’ve always been easily distracted, but throughout most of elementary and Junior high, I was an above average student, I worked hard because I wanted to suceed and I luckily had a mother who was always there to help me. BUT, she didn’t do the work for me, she encouraged me and was often around to keep me on track. I started to have difficulty in high school. I was taking a lot of University level sciences and maths and made the honour roll twice in 10th and 11th grade, just barely though. In 12th grade, I couldn’t handle the workload anymore and drop out of one of my maths classes as I couldn’t keep up. I stayed away from medication all this time, fearing the side effects. I remember there being a critical article about ritalin posted on a cork board in one of the student special needs class rooms. I’m not afraid to try medication anymore, but I’m still cautious about it. I’m tired of not achieving what I want to achieve. So I want to see if it will help; Provided of course I’m actually diagnosed with ADD.
I’ve always been a hard worker, but I’ve always had to struggle to get anything done: if there’s a window nearby I often start daydreaming. Now I’m studying traditional animation in college, a job that requires me to sit on a chair for many hours and draw (or work at a computer). It’s INCREDIBLY rewarding when I get something done, but it’s rarely happened as of late, so I have low confidence and the hours just tick away while I barely get anything done. Switching from one task to another is difficult. I have a big issue with procrastination; Often telling myself to just start doing the work but I allow myself to get distrated by the computer, it’s easier and naturally more stimulating (youtube, digg, reddit and wikipedia are the bane of productivity if you’re not careful). It’s also infuriating. Once I start to work on something, I feel relieved but I have a hard time maintaining momentum with the work and get easily distracted.
I work for maybe twenty minutes and then lose focus and get out of my chair to move around, or I’ll hear a conversation in the classroom and my focus will drift to what they’re talking about, or someone’s headphones are playing too loudly and I start wondering what the song is that he/she is listening too. It’s incredibly frustrating.
In certain situations, I find that listening to music helps me focus, but this is useful only during a form of physical activity that doesn’t require too much “thinking”. For example, if I’m trying to tidy up my room, I’ll put headphones on to eliminate any other distractions while I move around the room. But if’ I’m working on a a piece of animation, which requires me to thinking intensely on what a characters is doing (where’s the arm going to go, what’s he feeling, what’s his expression changing too….) music just distracts me. UNLESS it’s music that doesn’t have spoken words. So I enjoy listening to movie or game soundtracks if it’s not to bombastic, or jazz like Oscar Peterson. Mellow music that’s pleasant but doesn’t dominate my attention. It’s all very trial and error.
I recently came acros a time management technique that has a lot of promise for me, but I just need to develop the habit of using it (another thing that I find difficult to accomplish ). It’s called the Pomodoro technique, and depending on the task you’re working on, I think it can help. http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/ I also have a hard time with organization. I’ll clean my room, throw out uneeded bills and put DVDs back in my library when I let them pill up on the desk instead of putting them away right away when I’m done with them.
wow, talk about hyperfocus
I suppose I should add that while I was energetic as a kid, I was not hyperactive as far as I could tell. cheeful and excitable, yes, which got me picked on by other kids unfortunately. I was never mean spirited.
Another note about procrastination. I’m entering the final year of the program I’m studying, where we produce a short independant animated film (roughly 2 minutes in length). During the summer, we are expected to send 2 to 3 story ideas to our teachers for them to approve. The further along in development, the better for your preparation. I haven’t sent anything to my teachers yet, even though I think about it every day. It makes me feel like I’m lazy. I want to succeed at this but I always feel overwhelmed, nervous, or I’m busy trying to get some Gen Eds out of the way, or I’m at work. I might very well not succeed next semester. BUT I’m trying very hard to not despair. I know that I can do it, I just need help with my focus, hopefully in time that will come.REPORT ABUSEAugust 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm #94646
Patte RosebankParticipantAugust 4, 2010 at 6:49 pmPost 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!REPORT ABUSEAugust 4, 2010 at 7:03 pm #94647
AnonymousInactiveAugust 4, 2010 at 7:03 pmPost count: 14413
I’ve put myself on the waiting list for a psychologist in Ottawa today actually. I’ll have to wait a bit longer than I’d like (after the semester has started, wish I’d found this site earlier), but he appears to be well regarded. I stop my employment when I start my final year so insurance coverage will be an interesting challenge. But at this point I’m going in for consultation, not the full blown assessment. I can’t afford that.REPORT ABUSEAugust 5, 2010 at 2:49 am #94648
AnonymousInactiveAugust 5, 2010 at 2:49 amPost count: 14413
It sounds like you’re heading in the right direction; I hope the psychologist is able to help you get on track. Both of my boys are ADD-inattentive, so never did show the hyperactivity that is usually associated with ADD; like your mom, we don’t do the work for them, but we do try our best to encourage them and keep them on track. We are still learning how to work with the learning disability part, but I am sure this will be trial and error, at least for a while.
One good thing about the classical animation is that the process of storyboarding can help to keep your overall focus (the big picture); you get to visually map out the scenes, and even if you get stuck on one area, it may spark something for a different scene that all of a sudden “works” – AHA! I was privileged to share a lot of time in the animation studios at college, and found the environment to be wonderfully stimulating for creativity and brainstorming, and it was not uncommon to see most people with headphones on, listening to whatever kept them focused … Sometimes just knocking around ideas with another student for a few minutes is the “break” that you need and you can get back on task.
If you will be a full-time student, you may be able to check into Blue Cross or another extended health care plan, and your doctor may have some suggestions as to how you can make this work for your situation.
Best of luck this semester – and keep us posted on your progress; I’m sure you will do well, and I for one would love to see how it all comes together!REPORT ABUSENovember 8, 2010 at 3:29 am #94649
AnonymousInactiveNovember 8, 2010 at 3:29 amPost count: 14413
Well it’s finally official. I now have a diagnosis for ADHD Predominantly inattentive type. It’s a bit of a relief, in a way. I’ve struggled but managed to keep up in school, with difficulty. Now I have an appointment at the end of the months to see a psychiatrist who specialises in student cases. We’ll see how it goes.REPORT ABUSEDecember 28, 2011 at 6:43 am #94650
AnonymousInactiveDecember 28, 2011 at 6:43 amPost count: 14413
What doctors did you see in Ottawa? I am self employed and cannot afford $2000 right now so any regular MDs would be useful. I have already blown $10,000 on previous incorrect diagnoses. Man, I am angry that some psychologists are so damn incompetent!! I feel know that my own discovery and diagnosis of ADD-inattentive hits the mark better than anything I have come across.
ADD assessment in Ottawa2010-07-23T19:27:47+00:00
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