Wednesday, April 03, 2013

1156 Born to Multitask

1156 Born to Multitask

So suddenly, everyone’s concerned about all those kids being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  Scads of them.  Gazillions of them.  Every kid who can’t sit still for two minutes.  Every kid who screws up his third grade arithmetic test.  Every two year old who throws a tantrum and interrupts mom when she’s doing her nails or dad at a crucial moment, like when his team is about to break a tie in the 11th inning.

Some say it’s about time we recognized how widespread ADHD is.  Others say we’re overdiagnosing.

Still others say there’s no such thing.

Well, we early adapters, those of us who’ve lived into, say, our seventh or eighth decade with this no-such-thing, those of us whose brains were warped by chemical imbalances since the invention of dirt, know better.

There IS such a thing. But drugging generations of kids isn’t an answer.

Sure there are some who can’t function without Ritalin or Adderall.
Was that our doorbell or was that sound on the TV?

But not everyone.  Especially in the present high tech age.

You can get your internet calendar to send texts or reminders to your telephone.  You can use post-it notes so that when you think of something, you write it down, put it somewhere you have to see it...

Sure looks like rain

...and then do something about it.

One of the diagnostic tools the shrinks use is a patient’s ability to follow instructions, especially instructions with many parts.

Maybe it’s the fault of the way we’re instructed.  For example... break an instruction down into small pieces, as few as possible.

Yes, I understand.  What was the second part, again?  

Turn around and face the door, please...

This one?

How many doors do you see?

Uh... one?

It’s a tough way to go through life, but not impossible.

Those of us with this strangeness have to learn three things:

1.  We have this condition.
2.  It’s not our fault but we still can’t blame it for our shortcomings or failure to take responsibility for our actions or reactions or inactions.
3.  Oh, damn!  Are you sure there’s a third one?

Some rules:

1. Don’t bring your iPhone to a business meeting at the office.
2. Learn to recognize when you’re drifting off and stop yourself.
3. Document everything.
4. Tape everything else.

Our minds are always somewhere else.  We bore easily.  We’re probably good at something and have to find it and capitalize on it.

That’s a whole lot better than a life of questionable drug use and feeling sorry for ourselves.

Some big newspaper and ...uh... the CBS or the CDC or some outfit like that contributed to this report.


--They’re flying a “Red Flag Alert” in the neighborhood this morning.  Those of us unfamiliar with the term figure it must mean “The Russians Are Coming” or maybe the Tea Baggers.   But what it means is “we’re going to set the woods on fire and with wind conditions as they are we may not be able to keep the controlled burn controlled, so your house might burn down, sucker.”

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to
© WJR 2013

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