Being that I’m a compulsive over sharer – in person, here on The Fortuitous Housewife and on a variety of social media – most folks know I’m a member of the ADHD tribe. Hence, I am often approached (in person and virtually) by parents facing a possible child diagnosis, and adults with suspicions they might be or were recently confirmed as a member of the tribe.
I’m always flattered, and a tad surprised, that they want my input, advice, perspective. I not any kind of certified expert on the subject. Heck, often times I’m a frazzle, unfocused mess the day they approach me, and I can’t help thinking what possible wisdom could I offer them.
Then one day a good friend (Miss Oh So Pinteresting, a non-ADDer) set me straight – sure I lacked advanced diplomas and suffixes after my name, but I am an expert. She pointed out that I have lived my whole life with ADHD. I am an expert on my own life experience with ADHD. I grew up before there was an ADHD. I was diagnosed almost 20 years ago. ADHD is my daily, life-long companion. Sometimes my companion overshadows me. Other times it’s a battle, a struggle, often with no clear winner. Everyday I work towards acceptance, and relish those occasional moments of peaceful coexistence.
The problem is, when these folks approach me for advice, I often overwhelm them with information and personal antidotes. So in the spirit of ADHD Awareness Month’s commitment to ADHD education…
If you’re harboring suspicions that you might be steering a “Ferrari brain with bad breaks” (to quote Dr. Hallowell), you might want to read Dr. Hallowell’s recent post – 20 Common ADHD Characteristics. You can also download Dr. Hallowell’s ADHD Self-Assesment Quiz app for Apple or Andriod – there’s a short quiz and a longer, more in-depth quiz.
ADDitude also offers a few short & simple self tests – Adult ADHD Self Test or ADHD Self Test for Women, as does ADHD Awareness Month – Adult Self Screener.
For anyone new to the ADHD game, ADHD Awareness Month has put together several excellent fact sheets, from numerous expert, accredited sources.
All this information is great, and insights from long-term members of the ADD tribe are terrific, but remember, they are only a starting point, they are not a replacement for working with a qualified clinician that is experienced in working with ADHD (wether in children or adults) and going through a thorough evaluation and diagnosis process.
Got any entry-level ADHD questions? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll gladly share my experience, my “expertise”, or help you find a resource to answer your question.
You can also check out my new ADHD Resources or ADHD Library places to go and books to read to find real answers from “real” experts.