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I love music, books, movies, blah, blah, blah! I love people, learning new things, and always progressing to be a better person.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why A.D.D Can Kiss My A...S...S!

"You have A.D.D."

She just came out and said it as if she were stating a fact and not an assumption. My mother might as well have said, "Neil, 2+2 = 4, and you have A.D.D."

I cocked my head to the side, my face slowly collapsing on itself from the mere weight of her words, which were still drifting back and forth in the air as if they had been hanged for treason...and rightfully so.

"Excuse me?" I asked.

We were driving to Kohler's Food Store in Highland. I was invited under the pretense that a movie rental would be involved only to find out this was one of my mother's classic "bait and switch" methods. She would invite you for something fun or interesting but end up giving you bad news or take you to a secret family therapy meeting instead, much like one would dupe a drug addict into an intervention...only I was fourteen and the hardest drug I had tried at that time was Advil.

She continued, "I read somewhere that people who have A.D.D. argue, and you argue, so you have A.D.D." It's this kind of logical fallacy and circular reasoning that has started wars and crusades, yet she blames me for starting arguments.

(Note: At this point in time I would like to point out my mother's credentials. Her name has never had a prefix like Dr. or a suffix like M.D. attached to it. She has a bachelors degree in office management and at best has worked in different secretarial and administrative assistant jobs most of her life. Which is fine when paying for groceries but fails to qualify her to make a professional medical diagnosis.)

"You're going in next week to get tested."
And that was it, at least for the moment. I was sent in to get tested for A.D.D.

The doctor diagnosed, "He does not have A.D.D., nor does he need to be on medication."

This, apparently, was not a good enough answer for my mother. She then called my school and demanded I be accommodated for A.D.D. (Note: I had a 3.0 average at this time and was getting along with all of my teachers.) They held an accommodation meeting at the school which included the school board, all of my teachers, my mother, my father, and step-mother...pretty much everyone but me. At this point I didn't even know there was a meeting.

It was here that she took a turn from parenting into "Oh my God, she did what?" territory.

My mother showed up to the accommodation hearing, fresh from having plastic surgery, with a letter from the doctor, you know the one who said I DIDN'T HAVE A.D.D.? Saying I needed to be accommodated for A.D.D.

This came as a shock to my teachers, all of which had nothing but good things to say about me, the school board, who have the records of my G.P.A., and my father, who was in the office with me when the doctor said I didn't have A.D.D.

So, as in typical fashion, they put the issue to a vote. The entire room voted AGAINST accommodating me because they all believed, and quite correctly, that I didn't have a learning disability or A.D.D...did I say the entire room voted against it? I'm sorry, I am forgetting one person...my mother was the only vote in favor.

(Note: immediately after the accommodation hearing my father and step-mother went to the Dr. who wrote the notes' office and asked him why he had written it. Come to find out, my mother had called his office every day for the last month and held him on the phone. And I quote, "That woman held me on the phone for 50 minutes, 50 minutes...so, finally I just gave her what she wanted so the school would accommodate him." Malpractice issues aside...what a douchebag!)

Still not satisfied, my mother took me to yet another therapist, where, without getting tested she said, "My son has A.D.D. and needs to be medicated," to which the doctor insanely replied, "Okay."

I was placed on a moderate dose of Ritalin, God's gift to lazy parenting. After three months there was NO CHANGE, except I couldn't stop my teeth from chattering, and it kept me from sleeping...ever!

It was during a routine doctor's appointment that my father had driven me to when it came out I was on Ritalin. My father, who didn't know about the new doctor or the Ritalin, then told me about the accommodation hearing...and it was here that I stopped taking my pills. I asked the new therapist the next week to test me for A.D.D. and informed him of the accommodation hearing and the previous doctor's diagnosis. He tested me...and concluded that I DID NOT HAVE A.D.D. AND DIDN'T HAVE TO BE MEDICATED!

(Note: so what's the count here? Two Doctors, a school board, my teachers, my father and step-mother all saying I don't have A.D.D...My mother still says I do. They have a word for this in the English language: it's called crazy.)

Anyway, I only bring this up because aside from graduating from high school with a 3.0 I have, for the last THREE SEMESTERS in college, acquired a 4.0 and am one semester away from being on the DEAN'S LIST at UVU!

This should put the proverbial nail in the coffin to the notion of me EVER having a learning disability and should shed a strong light on the negative effects of using drugs as a last ditch effort to control someone's personality for selfish reasons.

But as with time I move on now, a damn-fine student, a good person, and with the weight-lifting reassurance that right is on my side.

Love always,

Neil Spencer Hiatt

P.S. A new and interesting fact about Ritalin...It stunts growth. Thanks, Mom.

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