Queen of the Distracted

Imagine life in a house with 6 kids - now imagine if 5 of those kids and their father have ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - that is our house! Welcome to an inside view of my life and our home dominated by ADHD... THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!"

Those were our oldest daughter Rachel's first words, from the time she was a toddler she would belt them out proudly standing on the arm of the couch. At the time we had no idea what ADHD was or that it would play such a central roll in our lives.

Since then we have learned a lot, not the least of which is how many individuals and families suffer in silence. We have experienced first hand how misunderstood and misrepresented a disorder can be.

As a family we decided to take action - to risk embarrassment and labeling to get this important message out to the world. Come join our family, share in our lives, and see ADD/ADHD as we see it...
A gift with a heavy price tag.

WELCOME to life in the ADD/ADHD House!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

- . - - - - . - - - - - . . - - . - . . - - . - - - . - - . - - - . - - . - . - - . Morse Code For, “No! You Can’t Make Me!”

Mariah got caught texting at school.  Well, actually she was emailing her little brother from her phone.  None the less, she could have gotten her phone taken away, but she didn’t.  Instead the teacher that caught her ended up walking off a little dumb founded leaving Mariah to her email.

She goes to a very small charter school that offers an online curriculum.  Most of the students attend from their homes but there is a “school” site with a principal and teachers and about 20 students in a one room computer lab.

It baffled Mariah at the beginning of the year that she could bring her cell phone to school but couldn’t use it.  Being Mariah she took it straight to the principal.  He explained to her that if there was an emergency at the school - especially a violent one - that parents wanted their children to have cell phones for communication. 

This tickled Mariah a bit.  She told the principal that she could see how it would all play out.  Someone would come into their one room school guns a blazing.  Her cell phone would save them as she warned her fellow classmates by text, “Franklin, don’t look now but the shooter is right next to you.”

We all love the principal of the school.  He is a great educator and mentor to these students.  He told her in that situation she could use her cell phone but not in any other.  No technology for this technology based school unless it was an emergency.

So when Mariah got caught using her phone she was quick to respond, “It’s not what it looks like.  It’s important.  I’m emailing my little nine year old brother.” 

The teacher could see her screen.  He did a double take, “Is that Morse code?  Your nine year old brother knows Morse code?”

Mariah’s response was simple but very true, “You would be surprised at all the things my nine year old brother knows.”

Our house runs on a continuum of focus - at one end there is absolutely no ability to focus whatsoever and at the other end is extreme obsession.  In between, there are degrees of momentary focus, focus, hyper focus, and varying levels of fixation.    

For the most part, I ride the wave of whatever is swirling in the hyper focus to obsession range.  I try and roll with it if it is not destructive.  I do have my limits though, for example, I don’t care how obsessed someone is with paint ball blow dart guns I am not buying one.

Some of it is like the tide -- it rolls in for a little while and then rolls back out.  Star Wars, instruments used for spying, Lord of the Rings, various foreign languages, Red Wall, Pokeman, Ninjas, Transformers, even movies or songs.  Anything that captures the attention, tickles the brain, or in others words is stimulating to the mind.   They love to ride the wave. 

Most of the time these are momentary fixations with a subject that come, get explored and played with a bit, and then go away for awhile.  They almost always come back to be re-examined and added to.   They roll in and out or our lives. 

This is good; my poor little non-ADHD brain can only handle so many random facts at a time before I think it is going to explode.  I welcome the rotating obsessions as a break, a chance to absorb information, to process it, and brace myself for the next round.

Morse code is one of those obsessions shared between Mariah and Jaren. 

It began a few years ago when we read an absolutely fabulous book series called The Mysterious Benedict Society.  It captured our house.  It was amazing to watch our kids; then six to sixteen, sit for hours listening to the story being read aloud then beg, beg, beg us to read more. 

The characters in the story, all unique in their own abilities, use Morse code to communicate in a very perilous time.  That is where it started.   
It rolls in and rolls out. 

Later that same day at school one of the other students got annoyed at Mariah for tapping on the desk.  He told her to cut it out.  She didn’t say a word to him; she just shot him back a look and kept tapping.

- . - - - - . - - - - - . . - - . - . . - - . - - - . - - . - - - . - - . - . - - .

It means “No! You can’t make me!” in Morse code.


KLARK Nehring said...

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Lisa Aro said...

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Jonesy said...

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