Friday, May 17, 2013

recognizing the differences between neurological disorders and Attention Deficit Disorder.

My intentions are not to claim that all kids diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder are misdiagnosed, because there are many children and adults who actually have it. However there are many more that are misdiagnosed either because the problems they have are even misunderstood or just not looked into. I am one of many kids with a nonverbal learning disability that was misdiagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder. I ended up never taking Ritalin for it, but it was something that teachers and others had fought to try to get me put on. Even though they were fighting to put me on Ritalin years earlier I wasn't diagnosed until near the end of elementary school (at least that I remember). I remember testing for it a couple times but I don't remember for sure which time I wasn't actually diagnosed. I do know that I tested out when I was either 18 or 19 when I was transitioning from high school/college to the work force with vocational rehabilitation. I know many others with nonverbal learning disability was put on Ritalin, some tested out or were taken off it when they were young. But I'm sure that there are adults who were misdiagnosed with it as kids who are still taking it.

Nonverbal learning disability is something that's common with people with neurological disorders, either something like Hydrocephalus or a Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is also common with people with Attention Deficit Disorder, but shouldn't be thought to be limited to it. Putting it very basically, it’s when people have really hard time processing information when it's not in verbal form. For a much better description and for information that you would usually not find online I posted the Hydrocephalus Association's teacher guide. It explains a lot of what I had to deal with as a kid but the information wasn't available to my teachers, parents or me so it was thought that I wasn't trying or at least not trying hard enough to do some pretty basic things.

Also there are other side effects to Hydrocephalus and brain injuries in general that affect how well people can pay attention including just simply not being able to pay attention for long periods of time to certain tasks, memory and organizational skills.

I really do encourage anyone with Hydrocephalus, or especially a child with it check out the information Hydrocephalus Association has posted. The same if you're just interested in learning about it and you're a teacher with a student with it or may have one at some point. I think there's a lot more than could have been done for myself and others, if people would have had better access to the information in the past. Thanks for reading.

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