I've been a social worker for over forty years. I've worked in mental health and developmental disabilities much of my life. Diagnosed with ADHD in 1994, I began to specialize in serving adults with attention disorders. I learned from listening to ADHD experts and researchers, and hundreds of clients, that the disorder was not a deficit of attention, and more likely a surplus of attention. I began to see how the attention deficit label contributed to the notion that individuals with ADHD simply were unable to focus. Such a narrow conceptualization of this complex disorder limited effective treatment and support. Attention management disorder more aptly describes this neurological difference.
I believe the symptoms of ADHD are less of a problem than inaccurate notions about ourselves, self-limiting thoughts, avoidance of vulnerability and uncomfortable feelings, fear of failure, and rejection sensitivity. I know many successful people who refuse to allow their "disabilities" to be disabling, including one successful colleague with cerebral palsy and ADHD.
Over the years, my private practice evolved into multiple services. Psychotherapy was not sufficient to meet the diverse needs of this population, and not always necessary. I started a support group for adults with ADHD in 2005 and a workshop for ADHD couples two years later. I developed a meditation workshop for adults with ADHD. I learned about other professionals who provided what I was not trained and equipped to provide. I consulted neuropsycholoists, professional organizers, ADHD coaches, marriage experts, career coaches, evaluators, psychiatrists specializing in ADHD medicines, nutritionists, mediation teachers, and trauma specialists.
I wrote a book to promote a healthy perspective on ADHD, based in acceptance and wise effort. My appeal was to the inherent resourcefulness and creativity of individuals in the ADHD family. I wanted to extend my efforts beyond the walls of an office, the support group meetings, and workshops. Writing the book was a labor of love and an act of defiance.