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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Hunter in the midst of Gathers. The plight of an ADHD person.

I was sent a link to this OUTSTANDING article Called "The Gift of ADHD by Thom Hartman. In his article he hits on some huge issues with today's views of ADHD. Below is a small segment of his article. If this section caught your attention like it did mine, take the time to read his entire article. The link is http://www.thomhartmann.com/whosorder.shtml

"In the Seventies, when I was Executive Director of a residential treatment
facility for disturbed children, I developed a metaphor to explain ADHD to
children, a metaphor which I subsequently published in 1991. The metaphor was
that hyperactive kids were actually "good hunters," whereas the very steady,
stable, classroom-capable kids were "good farmers." The hunters, I suggested,
would do great in the forest or battlefield: their constant scanning
("distractibility") would ensure they wouldn’t miss anything; their ability to
make instant decisions and to act on them ("impulsivity") would guarantee they’d
be able to react to high-stress and response-demanding situations; and their
love of stimulation ("need for high levels of stimulation") would cause them to
enjoy the hunting world in the first place. (At its core, ADHD is diagnosed by
evaluating the intensity and persistence of these three behaviors.) I told these
kids, however, that they needed to learn the basic "farmer skills," because the
world has been taken over by the farmers. Even our schools were organized by the
farmers: schools let kids out in the summer so they can help bring in the crops.
And factories and cubicles, of course, are just an Industrial/Technological Age
extension of the skill-set useful in agriculture."


Barrett, M said...

I keep trying to read through it but I can't concentrate. Tough for an ADD person to even read about ADD. Crap.

Talking Bear said...

Dude, that is funny....

Anonymous said...

I like this explanation and will use it in the future. After seeing drugs used, in my opinion too often, this simple explanation can be used for parents and students and makes since.

After half a century I believe this affects me and I still have difficulty sitting still. This simple explanation makes since to me and I will use it.

Anthony Stevens said...

This is an old post, but I just came across it.

I like this metaphor and will use it too. I have had my own way of explaining it, but this works well.

It is unfortunate that those with nothing better to add will just throw “crap”; nothing intellectually important just smoke. But, with ADD as he has stated, it won’t matter, he will not be able to concentrate long enough to read or even understand this concept. I guess that those of us that don’t fit his mold will not be understood and thought of a lesser a person. I wonder if this writer is not just as one author in Relevant Magazine, September 2007 wrote “This causes me to wonder if Satan really is out there, trying to sabotage something good and meaningful to so many others - to me.” I think this quote fits here.

I want to comment about labels. It is not how we are; it is what we do with those attributes and abilities. If we let ADD or ADHD, which are labels applied to us by others, control us, shame on us. If we use those abilities to work for us, then shame on those that label us. How dare they!

I consider the original post to be accurate. I don't like to use the term diagnose for what I believe is a normal part of human development. I know the mental health community wants to label people, but I want to believe that it is a normal part of some of us. Some of us are this way and some are another. Neither is wrong or right, just different. Not all of us can be hunters and not all of us can be gatherers, to use the metaphor used in Talking Bear’s post, but both are necessary to provide diversity for the community to survive. It is our job as parents to try and identify which of the attributes and abilities our children have and guide them in the direction that will fits best, not imposing the parent's desires, but the desires and abilities of the child. There are certainly some that are necessary for our society and some that are not.

I have found that to control my activity level I have two jobs and a long commute to work. I work a normal 40 hours per week job and have another job that is about 24 hours per week; both jobs and a long commute. This works for me and I want it that way, I like what I do and will continue. I am not frivolous with my time and I don't like to sit in front of the TV all day. It does not control me, I control it. I provide for my family and do very well. I do the things I want to do also.

(Sarcastic) Wouldn’t have been great if my parents had forced me into a position where I had to sit at a desk with a computer each day writing with minimal activity?

Talking Bear said...

Anthony, Thanks for the input. I am not sure, but I think your first paragraph was referring to M. Barrett's comment?? Mike has ADD and is a writer for Relevant Mag. He is very short sometimes. But We love him all the same. I think he was attempting some humor.

Anyway, I feel your drive. I keep my plate very full as well. It works for me too. I have some other posts on this topic, check in the left hand column on the blog under ADD. enjoy. Thanks again for your input.

Anthony Stevens said...

I hear you, but he chose the word "crap" at the end. It reads as if he were pronouncing his disapproval for all to see of the concept.

Talking Bear, you are right. The quote was not used lightly and was picked very carefully. I read the article.

Unfortunately M. Barrett's written words do not come with tone, volume, or inflection. There is no person to look at when the words are read as with the spoken word. Without careful consideration on our part when writing our little barbs become metal tipped arrows.

I work with people that I believe suffer from ADHD and I suggest my solutions that have been successful for me before medication, not that I can prescribe medication.

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