ADD (Children and Adults): Personality Trait or Disorder?

By Victoria Martin, M.D.

Even though Attention Deficit Disorder has been studied for years as a disorder of childhood, there is mounting evidence that a large percentage of the population have characteristics or personality traits consistent with the diagnostic criteria of ADD. This includes adults as well as children.

Impulsive behavior in different areas such as impulsive spending, inability to delay gratification, excessive use of drugs and/or alcohol, extreme impatience, risk-taking behavior, etc. are notable in many adults.

Children may ride bicycles into the street in front of cars, destroy toys, have temper tantrums, be overly rough with pets or younger siblings (even though very fond of them), etc.

Easy distractibility evidenced by a need to have quiet or orderliness in order to perform a task, or a tendency to move from project to project without completing the preceding one are also indicators of ADD.

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ADHD Child’s Bill of Rights

Please teach me through my sense of “touch”.

I need “hands-on” and body movement.

I need to know what comes next.

Please give me a structured environment with a dependable routine.

Give me an advanced warning if there will be changes.

Wait for me, I’m still thinking.

Please allow me to go at my own pace.

If I rush, I get confused and upset.

“I’m stuck! I can’t do it!”

Please offer me options for problem-solving.

I need to know the detours when the road is blocked.

Is it right? I need to know NOW!

Please give me rich and immediate feedback on how I’m doing.

I didn’t know I WASN’T in my seat!

Please remind me to stop, think and act.

Am I almost done now?

Please give me short work periods with short-term goals.

“What?”

Please don’t say “I already told you that”…

Tell me again in different words.

Give me a signal. Draw me a symbol.

I know, It’s ALL wrong, isn’t it?

Please give me praise for partial success.

Reward me for self-improvement, not just for perfection.

But why do I always get yelled at?

Please catch me doing something right!

Praise me for my specific positive behavior.

Remind me (and you) about my good points,
when I’m having a bad day.

I may be hard to live with, and have ADHD, but I still have feelings.

“I would have never chosen to behave like I do sometimes.”

 

Hey Mom! Could I have some more Mountain Dew?