Re: ADD/ADHD Problems and Tech Writing/Editing Careers

Subject: Re: ADD/ADHD Problems and Tech Writing/Editing Careers
From: sueahrenhold -at- ameritech -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 08:24:27 -0600

Sorry I missed this yesterday. Deadlines, you know.
While I don't have ADD, I do love someone who does. My beautiful, bright,
charming daughter, who had a terrible time with school until we got this
worked out. She's also dysgraphic, but this can be managed.
First of all - don't go out and tell the whole world. Yes, I know this is
a tremendous relief, to finally know what is going on, but unless you're
sure that you want everybody and his brother to know that you're ADD in
ten years, be cautious.
Here's the deal - ADD is just a compounding of abilities that everybody
has. We all forget stuff - and many of us need structure to get us out the
door in the morning - ADD people just need it MORE. We post lists in our
house - on the back door is a note that says:
1. Do you have your backpack?
2. Are your books in your backpack?
3. Is your homework in your backpack?
4. Do you have your lunch?
We review all this before we go to bed at night, and again before we go
out the door.
We also have a little bowl on the table by the back door where I put my
car keys and my glasses before I go to bed.
She just needs MORE reminders and organizational help than I do, but I'm
human and I also need reminding.
There are pluses to being ADD. That hyperfocus ability can be so powerful
it's scary - my daughter is teaching herself to draw this year, and her
determination is ferocious. But she has already won a prize for one of
her more abstract drawings. And you never know in life when you'll need
this stuff - I reviewed one of her manual's chapters on perspective when I
was having trouble with an engineering drawing I was trying to modify.

That said - given the stress that tech writing puts you under, are you
sure this is what you want to do with the rest of your life? Sitting at a
desk all day can be a major stressor if your attention is screaming for
SOMETHING ELSE all the time.
If you are, then the jack-of-all-trades approach is a good one. But you
do have to make an effort to get your life in order - see a good doctor,
work on adding structures to compensate for your issues. Don't expect
other people to change the world for you, but know that you can fit in
really well.
I've been reading obituaries about Ray Charles over the past week (God
bless you, Brother Ray, how we will miss you), and one of the points he
has always made was how well his mother prepared him to be a "blind Negro
in the Depression". Once he got past that, look how far he soared.
Good luck - now that it has a name, you CAN fix it.


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