Sunday, February 24, 2008

That's just not funny

Today I received an email from a family member titled "Why we didn't have ADHD when I was growing up". Contained in the email was a South Park cartoon with an adult proposing his solution to ADHD. He yelled at the kids and told them to shut up and do their work. He smacked one of the kids upside the head. Needless to say, I was more than a little peeved.

It really bothers me that so many people have the attitude that kids with ADD just need to try harder, or their parents just need to be more strict with them. You wouldn't tell a child in a wheelchair to just get up and walk, or tell his parents that if they just pushed him harder he could walk. You can't expect that a child with ADD will just stop having it because someone tells them to. Just because their disorder can't be seen like a physical disability, it isn't any less real.

Sure 30 years ago kids weren't diagnosed with ADD. That doesn't mean that it didn't exist then, or that parents were better then, it just went by different names back then, some not nearly as nice as ADD. A lot has been learned about ADD in the last 30 years, but unfortunately the majority of people still hold the backwards view that ADD kids aren't trying or are parented poorly. If more people understood ADD, I don't think they would find these types of jokes funny.


LenaLoo said...

You know, I had a similar experience when I worked with some people from another country. My boss accused me of not being as productive as one of my co-workers (the only other person in the office who was not from their country). I sat down and explained to her that I had ADD and needed a little extra time to do things because when I multi-task I get distracted very easily (I was REQUIRED to multi-task, I was a receptionist/data processor at a loan office). She proceeded to tell me that ADD did not exist in her country, and she felt like it was just another excuse parents and doctors made up to medicate children rather than take the time to really parent them (says the work-a-holic with a full time, live in nanny who speaks a language other than the two languages she speaks taking care of her kids 24/7). I got so frustrated that I quit within the next month. I was not going to sit there and try to work with someone who had no understanding of my needs, nor was she capable of adjusting to them because she didn't believe they were real. This happened when I was about 20 right after I had been diagnosed with ADD for the first time, though I had been battling with it my whole life. I hate ignorant people. Sorry for the rant, I just figured you might understand. BTW I love the Driven to Distraction book, when I read it, I was like, "oh, that is so me and my dad!" There is a follow up called Answers to Distraction as well, have you checked that out?