Canadian Answers to Adult ADHD - An Authentic Condition
PBS Consciousness Raising Tour
PBS television brings a lot of valuable programming into the home that is otherwise missed. Several times a week, I see something incredible in its programming here in the Midwest. Many of these offerings come out of Canada, where a pointed emphasis is made toward improving education - especially reading and writing - enhancing anti-bullying programs, and improving several other aspects of life. This is one of the many reasons that I enjoy Canada and Canadian broadcasts.
One night I flipped to a PBS program that appeared to be a telethon for ADD and ADHD, including a documentary film about recent breakthroughs. Two interesting guest speakers appeared with our local WOSU-TV hosts. Recognizing one gentleman immediately, I saw that he was the comedian Rick Green who played Bill on the Red Green Show produced in Toronto, Ontario. His "silent movie" skit segments were always humorous - climbing ladders to nowhere, falling out of trees, misapplying duct tape. all sorts of antics.
The second gentleman was on screen only briefly, when the show cut to additional footage from a documentary DVD the group was offering to the public to help in managing Adult ADD/ADHD.
In the recording, the second gentleman wore a beard and mustache, with no eyeglasses. But when he opened his eyes wide and began to gesture, I inwardly shouted, Harold Green is a middle-aged madman! -- I moved away from the screen.
Having seen Patrick McKenna in non-Harold roles in such series as Star Gate SG-1 and others, I still found this person on screen shocking with his well - developed deportment, focus, and erudition.
Rick Green had known for some time that he has ADD and found comedy a perfect match for him, but Patrick McKenna was diagnosed during the filming of the DVD program he produced with Rick. It changed his life. He can still apply the voice and mannerisms of Harold, but only when he wants to do so. He no longer runs around like Harold at home when he has lost his car keys - he no longer loses them.
The title of the documentary presented on PBS? - ADD and Loving it?!
- Patrick McKenna, Comedian, on His ADHD | ADDitude - Attention Deficit Information and Resources
Patrick McKenna, an award-winning actor and comedian, reflects on juggling family, work, and life with ADHD. ADHD symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment information for adults and children from experts in attention deficit and learning disabilities like
- Patrick McKenna -- A Photo Essay
A photo essay of Patrick McKenna, including images and sound clips from some of his work in film and television.
Canadian ADD/ADHD Resources
- The Canadian Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Resource Alliance -- Useful national reosurce directory.
- ADHD Canada -- Individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are frequently misunderstood by well-meaning family and friends as well as by their teachers and other professionals. THE STORY OF FIDGETY PHILLIP.
- First Person Experiences with Learning Disorders in the ADHD Spectrum: Part-Time Genius, Full-Time Job -- Related book written by Hubber Enelle Lamb, about raising a son with ADHD and ODD.
I have this book and read it cover to cover without putting it down. Surprising, informative, and entertaining, with comments from the Red Green gang.
Authentic Conditions vs. Hype
Patrick McKenna mentioned that many people believe that ADD and ADHD are no authentic conditions, but that it is real and affects the brain in measurable ways.
In addition to this, my experience is that many people feel that the label ADD or ADHD is used as an excuse to justify bad behavior. In another development, Ohio was the first US State, in the 1980s, to award disability payments for this diagnosis and indeed, a few parents coached their kids to portray its symptoms in order to receive the payments.
One of our suburban school districts set up a contract to partner with a mental health agency that would test and diagnose children in K-5. However, at that time teachers were permitted to apply the diagnosis and entire classrooms of children were medicated through the contractual partnership. Later, many children were found to have been misdiagnosed in the rush to confront ADD/ADHD.
Many teachers here felt that children with the diagnosis should not be allowed to exercise, because it was a distraction. We know that the opposite is true and McKenna mentions the value of exercise in managing the adult condition. In my experience, the longer exericse sessions of my martial arts classes that include aerobic exercise have helped remarkably with management of the condition(s) in children K-12; provided that classes are attended at least 3 times per week. Daily exericise is likely the best choice.
Rick and Patrick have gathered a team of professionals from Canada and USA and have created a package of materials that can help adults manage ADD/ADHD. The change in McKenna himself is incredible, according to testimony by himself and his wife. He was diagnosed during the filming of the program and creating of their website Totally ADD (see link below),
TotallyADD.com : A complete guide to Adult ADD and ADHD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder) and the documentary ADD & Loving It?!
Patrick McKenna's DVD
The web site is full of videos, interactive forums for Challenges, Games, and discussions; an online screening for ADD/ADHD; over two years of Blog posts; Webinars, and several other features. It's fun, even for people that have no symptoms of ADD/ADHD and may just want some tips for better organization. It's entertaining, no matter what your reason for visiting.
ADD/ADHD are indeed authentic, legitimate conditions. They can be misdiagnosed and symptoms of these conditions overlap with symptoms of some other conditions, so always consult a physician in the end to help you make a decision about the presence of the condition in yoruself, family members, or others.
The body of knowledge about ADD/ADHD is constantly increasing and the causes may not yet or every be fully catalogued. Nutrition is a factor in some cases, for example, and heredity is a factor. The list of known causes and exacerbating elements can be found below.
Totally ADD provides helpful tips and strategies for managing the condition in adults, with great success for many people.
The Mayo Clinic
- Mayo Clinic on ADD/ADHD
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment for ADHD in children and teens. Link provided to the adult condition.