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ADD ain't bad
My son has ADD, so I’m familiar with the fidgeting. He’s an adult now, and I think the ADD kept him alive in Iraq. Let me explain.
People with ADD are what I like to call Scanners. They find it hard to concentrate on any one thing for long (except video games, where things are always changing), but they see everything. In a University study, they took some ADD kids and some regular kids into a room for a test. The regular kids did slightly better on the test, but didn’t remember anything about the room. The ADD kids knew what posters were on the walls and did almost as well on the test.
Scanning is a good thing. My son was on details looking for homemade bombs, and he was good at it because he could scan the area and see what was unusual. On the other hand, when I’m reading, for instance, I totally block out the rest of the world. Wild horses could come into the room and I’d never notice, my mother used to say. I would not be good at scanning. When I’m looking for something, I can fail to notice something else which would do the job equally well, just because it was not what I was looking for.
Back when most of us were hunters and gatherers, scanners were valuable for locating food by looking for signs. My son is now working as a security guard, scanning the environment and the people for possible hazards. He helps protect the rest of us, and I am proud of him. He does not deserve being labeled with a disorder.
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