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One of the characters in my writing project has ADD (this takes place in a fantasy setting with limited knowledge of mental abnormalities, so it is never outright stated) I've done research, but I want to ensure the portryal will be acurate and non offensive.
Keep in mind that I am neurotypical and haven't experienced these things. I would be particuarly helpful if someone actually affected could help me out (although it is not 100% neccessary)
As with Muse, I'm neurotypical. However, some things to consider about people with ADHD: Generally, they tend not to cope well in school - especially in a normal classroom where no special provisions or accommodations are provided for them. Which is not to say they aren't smart. However, it would make more sense to make it clear that your character seems 'gifted' in his chosen field rather than having received a good education in it. He'd probably understand the subject really well - having absorbed it really fast - but is unable to explain it to others; if you know what I'm trying to get at.
Hm, I actually hadn't heard of the whole "difficulty with explaining to others' thing with ADD before. I assume having a 'mind that works faster than you mouth' would be common as well?
Thunder, Perfect MindAs someone with classic ADHD, I would like to point out that paying attention to something isn't the problem; rather, it's paying attention to something that does not interest. If I care about a subject, I will retain every bit of stray information that I receive about it, but if I find a subject boring, then I probably won't hold onto much of it. Another thing: Simply repeating something over and over will actually make me less likely to remember it, because I will find it dull and tune it out. Make it interesting for me and I'll have it down on the second go.
Like I said: Understanding a subject of interest is fine. It's the talking about it that they sometimes aren't so good at. They tend to be more spontaneous in their explanation; rather than first thinking it through, organising their points to formulate a structure. They tend not to like it for someone to interrupt them with questions halfway through; preferring to explain things their way and according to their train of thought? Can't keep up? Tough. If I can't keep up with what they're talking about at the moment, they just lose interest in me. At least, that's the impression I got based on what I've learned and observed of people with newly diagnosed/untreated/poorly managed ADHD. But I could be wrong.
edited 28th Dec '12 8:31:41 AM by peasant
Thunder, Perfect MindThat's a bit of an overgeneralisation. The tendency to ramble is accurate, as is the inclination to go off on distant tangents, but what kind of attitude the person takes will vary with the individual. Actually, if you want a neat little demonstration of AD(H)D in action, watch one of Eddie Izzard's comedy routines. Specifically, pay attention to when he changes a subject...
So, yeah, as someone with ADD, it sounds like your character is pretty plausible so far. Interest is a big factor in ability to pay attention, I was actually diagnosed pretty late because I had a real interest in history and literature and science that supported and concealed my poor grades in math. If you character is interested in something, he will have a greater ability to focus on it and if he's really interested in it he will focus on it to the exclusion of everything else. When 9/11 happened, my school didn't call us in from recess for another hour because they were trying to figure out how to tell us, or even if to tell us what had happened. I was so focused on the book I was reading, that I had only just started to notice we were out for longer than normal when they finally called us back in for class. I second watching Eddie Izzard, that's pretty much how my brain works.
edited 29th Dec '12 10:28:32 AM by ladygem
I've followed the suggestions of watching Eddie Izzard (god, he's fantastic XD I regret not watching him earlier) And by how he changes topics, what I got out of it he will suddenly change to another topic with some small similarity to the the previous one, but comepletely different. Something like:
edited 29th Dec '12 4:37:21 PM by TheMuse
A string of loosely connected ideas and memories..
The rain in Spain tend to drain the brain of sane.
Are there any popular misconceptions/offensive steryotypes I should avoid? I know things like "I'm taking about a topic- ohlookashinybutterfly" are given, but is there anything else?
Thunder, Perfect MindWell, that particular stereotype isn't completely unfounded; it's very easy to get lost in a subject when something else presents itself as an intriguing alternative. That said, there are a few things that you might want to keep in mind here:
Honor For All...Having a ADHD, this is pretty accurate. When I was younger it was almost impossible to sit still. Even now I tend to tap a beat with my fingers when I'm listening to something or trying to pay attention, or bored.I agree with the above statements about not being able to pay attention to anything that doesn't interest me, but focusing 100 percent on anything that does. My brain works in that scattered way, making hardly visible connections that seem completely unrelated to anyone else. One thing you may want to avoid is making the ADD his character. It will be a defining trait, but my ADD doesn't define me as a person. As long as you don't make his inter person about the way his head works, your interpretation sounds good.
Some people think I'm strange. I think it's sad that they can't see all the awesome stuff going on in my head right now.
The PuzzlerMany AD(H)D people are very good at visualizing things. Have him give other people instructions on how to get to his house or something using visual landmarks over the phone, and have the people in the car get lost.
So now I know that my lack of success in college is due to ADD — or sleep apnea. I need to do a sleep study some time.
Thunder, Perfect MindYeah, I suck at remembering street names, but my landmark recall is great, so I can attest to that one personally.
midori kitakami, chief loserI have ADD, and I know this sounds stupid, but I feel as if I am 'above' others of my age. I'm really cynical, and tend to hate people before I know who they are, and have a Hair-Trigger Temper. I change my behavior drastically around different groups (e.g. parents vs. peers). Hopefully that helps.
But that's more likely caused by judgement you've recieved by others due to your ADD than your ADD itself, correct?
I never asked for thisRead informative books on conditions like ADD, or meet a therapist/counselor (not as a patient) and discuss what in his eyes are the telltale signs. Research can be a pain but it's the only option when dealing with things like this.
"You like Castlevania, don't you?"
Yeah, I've been working on that actually. I just wanted to see if I could get some first-hand knowledge about specific habits or quirks those affected may have in their daily lives.
midori kitakami, chief loser@The Muse, not really, I wasn't officially diagnosed until yesterday, and didn't really suspect it before then. If he starts taking meds, I can help you with that too. I just started andDAMNITMYHEADHURTS
edited 19th Mar '13 7:55:34 AM by Palindromee
I never asked for thisYou should probably tell your doctor about that.
edited 20th Mar '13 7:01:21 AM by SalmonPunch
"You like Castlevania, don't you?"
midori kitakami, chief loserI did. It's normal. Apparently.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
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