Sometimes They Just Don’t Get It — ADD Tip o the Day 436

More from the blog about French children don’t have ADHD, or ADD, or whatever, filled with many opinions, mostly expressed with absolute certainty – doesn’t that feel good, to be absolutely certain about something?

So a post from a school teacher (God bless her!) who teaches underprivileged kids (God bless her twice).  She says that her kids don’t have ADHD or ADD, they just lack structure and discipline.  When she provides them the structure and discipline they need, they do much better, so they don’t have ADD or ADHD.  See?

Yes, structure, and discipline, which is a form of structure, are very helpful to those of us with ADD or ADHD.

It’s like saying I don’t have ADD because I get better when I take Ritalin; therefore, I simply have a ritalin deficiency, not ADD at all.

Oh, well.


add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention,deficit

Let’s get organized!

Here’s a lovely comment from Jonathon, who had written about having trouble getting published: 

jonathon – that is quite a story, and inspiring. have you considered self publishing? thats what i finally did.

Yes. I’ve read a number of good ADHD books that were self published (including yours). I think it’s our impatience. When we’re done with something we want it out NOW!

Your book is unique among self help books in that it doesn’t over promise and has a very direct style. You call a spade a spade, and when there’s not a great solution, you say so. My favorite moment in your book is this:

“We do need breaks if we’re studying or working on any long project, but we also need a way to limit the breaks, so they don’t become traps. I’m not good at this, and I don’t have any great strategies for it.”

It says to me you’re struggling through it too and you’re not going to mince words and pretend you have the answer for everything. (But that’s in addition to all the great strategies you include—I love index cards and “The Rule of Five.”)

Thanks for flying with

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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6 Responses to Sometimes They Just Don’t Get It — ADD Tip o the Day 436

  1. Pingback: more on structure, routine, and schedule for ADD ADHD – it helps! | Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD

  2. Pingback: More on Structure, Routine, and Schedule for ADD ADHD -ADD Tip o the Day 458 | ADDadultstrategies

  3. homemakersdaily says:

    So true, Doug. Most of my friends don’t believe I have ADHD. They see me as organized and efficient. But they don’t understand that I have worked really, really hard to be organized and efficient. I have structures and disciplines in place that help me. But even with those, it takes much more effort for me to be organized and efficient than it does for them. And if I let my guard down, my life falls apart.

    I do agree that there are children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD that really don’t have it. Adults, too. The bottom line is that structure and discipline helps EVERYONE – not just those with ADD/ADHD.


    • homey
      yes, when we have developed strategies that work, people may not see the strain and effort it takes. they may not even suspect we have have ADD. however in my own case, I think that tho the strategies make my life much better, the ADD is still pretty obvious.


  4. busy
    but isnt it a conundrum? do they ‘just’ need structure and dont have ADHD at all?
    or do they have ADHD and so do much better with structure?
    and how do you tell? (i do have a few ideas)

    and yes, in children and also in adults, there are other things that can mimic ADHD.
    so we need to acknowledge the ‘not clear cut’ as opposed to enjoying our certainty.
    thank you for your good comment!
    (did i use conundrum correctly??)


  5. busydarling says:

    Actually, she may be right to some extent: many of those children DO ‘just’ need structure and such for their ‘ADHD’ to go away. Many children with apparent ADHD symptoms are actually showing symptoms that mimic ADHD, but can be attributed to something completely different.
    That’s not to say ADHD isn’t real. There are just more options.
    And I do believe early behavioural modification can treat ADHD (but not in all cases). It’s gray, it’s fluid, and it’s not clear cut.

    And, great, yes, the point its: WE DON’T HAVE THAT CERTAINTY.

    (And apparently, Concerta doesn’t guarantee I won’t read over the whole point)


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