My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder and then, at the age of 57, so was I. A lifetime of struggle was placed into a context that made sense of a lot of failure and frustration. This blog documents and celebrates what has happened to me since.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

tell them the truth...

I was presiding in a delinquency case recently and the young man was entering a plea on a probation violation. His counselor told me that he had stopped taking his meds and that this was a major part of the problem. I asked what meds he was taking and the counselor said "Concerta."

"Really," I asked. "ADD?"


"Ah," I said, "with the hyperactivity component."

"Yes," said the counselor and the young man nodded his head

"What's the dosage?" I asked.

"Fifty four miligrams," the young man said.

"you don't like to take your meds?" I asked.

He shrugged. "i don't think I need them," he answered and then he looked down at the floor for a moment. Looking up he said, "but everyone says I'm better when I take them, I'll take them."

"Good," I said. "You know, I took 54 miligars of Concerta this morning."

He, and several other people in the court room looked at me.

I nodded. "Yes," I said. "I don't have the H component, but I sure have the A, the D and the D."

He just looked amazed.

"You wouldn't want me to be your judge," I said, "if I wasn't taking my meds."

The room was completely silent.

"Take your meds," I said.

He nodded.

I went on to pronounce the sentence for his probation violation.

it is important for the world to know that there are some of us who have grown up with ADD and have not ended up in prison or a mental institution. It's very important to struggle agains the myths.


~jeanne said...

First, my partner Liz Oppenheimer sent me this link because I, too, have ADD.

Second, I wish I could post comments on here using my name and my real website. I haven't used this blog address in a very very long time (as you'll see if you visit it).

Third, I love this post first and foremost because it's short. One way my ADD manifests is I have difficulty reading long things unless required to do so or unless it's very very interesting to me. For long books, such as books in the Harry Potter series or Lord of the Rings for instance, I skip over chunks of writing if I get bored because I'd rather spend the effort on other things.

I also love this post because it's great dialog (I'm a real web page is

And I love this post because I love that you made an example of yourself. I hope that young person heard you and took you seriously.

Be well,


d021317c said...

Without a comma after "failing" in your June 15 blog, it reads "failing her mother".

About Me

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I am a convinced Beanite Friend, a member of Bridge City Friends Meeting, Willamette Quarterly Meeting and North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Notwithstanding the doubts of some who claim the name, I am a Christian who does a Buddhist practice and believes that God talks to everyone, all the time. I have worked in the judicial branch of government, as well as being a trial lawyer, a public school teacher (counselor and coach), a kite merchant, and a Marine Corp Sergeant. I am currently working as a consultant to public and private agencies on issues of child welfare, juvenile justice, and substance abuse treatment courts.