Apps for the ADHD Mind

I post a lot about living with ADHD, but I fail to post some of the skills I use to help with my ADHD. Well, that’s not good at all for other people who may be wondering how I do it. So I decided to do just that! Here are some apps I found. Some of them I just discovered today and will have to update as we go along, some of them I have been using for years on end.

All of them are free for IOS, and for adults (for the most part, some may be a little childlike however). All of the apps are able to be used for both the iPhone and for the Droid unless marked differently. I will be looking into apps which are similar for Droid.

Apps for Time Management

In the ADHD world, we don’t do schedules. We arrive late, we are chaotic with to do lists, and we spend too much time on one task. There are a TON of apps for this though, and it’s overwhelming. I only use a few.

  1. Sunrise Calender (by Sunrise Aletier)- It’s a wonderful calender which takes from Google Calender, Facebook (birthdays and events), and even has the ability to add other calenders (Buddhist holidays and when the Bruins are playing). It even tells you the weather (essential for someone with ADHD).
  2. iFocus (by Joseph Amato, only for iPhone)- This app isn’t the most user friendly, in my opinion, but it sets up a timer for one task you need to complete. It’s great if you find you are spending too much time on one activity.
  3. LeaveNow (by Tetherpad, only for iPhone, try Bounce for Droid)- I will sometimes use GoogleMaps for this, but it tells you when you need to leave to arrive at a place on time. I’m not sure how well it works with traffic yet. Only time will tell.
  4. Ovo Timer (by Ilumbo)- This is a simple timer for use up to 60 minutes which has a wonderful visual.
  5. 30/30- Much like iFocus in a way, 30/30 allows you to set up a to do list with timers for how long each task will go for.
  6. Fitbit Timer (by Fitbit)- This one isn’t free unless you have a Fitbit, however you can program an alarm in there. I love it because it’s discrete. My reaction towards the Fitbit is not, however.

Apps for Organizing

We have ideas on the run, we have to do lists, and we have grocery lists. It’s a lot to work with, but getting it recorded really helps.

  1. Notes (comes with the phone typically)- That’s right, good old Notes. I use this to help make lists for things I want to buy (not grocery), write down emails, and to make lists of things which are not urgent (I.E. movies and tv shows I need to binge watch).
  2. HabitRPG (by OCDevel)- You make up a list of behaviors you want to increase or decrease (i.e. cleaning room, recycling, feeding the cat) and you get points to use to buy little RPG things (like a sword). It’s great for to do lists except it doesn’t really give deadlines. I just started with this App, and I’m a little too excited for it…
  3. Dragon (by Nuance Communications, Inc)- It’s on every single list like this in the world because it is so simple, you just say what you want and it turns it into text. And it actually understands me, unlike Siri!!!
  4. Evernote (by Evernote Corporation)- This is an app which allows for both to-do lists, reminders, and for taking notes. Again, I’m fairly new to it, but so far, I’m very impressed!
  5. Shopping List- It’s very simple and it’s free. I’ve heard “Remember the Milk” (by Remember the Milk) is a better app, I just haven’t tried it. . I will have to try that one later on.
  6. Mind Meister (by MeisterLabs)- It’s a free version of the MindNode everyone raves about. It helps for when you have a great big idea, basically giving you a way to map out the idea. We all have the great ideas and this app keeps us focused on them.
  7. Nirvana (by Nirvanahq)- This is another to-do list, I personally like it for when you are overwhelmed with tasks. You can mark which ones you need to focus on, and which ones you don’t.

Apps for Working Memory Skills

ADHD impacts our working memory. It’s bad as a kid, and it doesn’t really get much better as an adult. I’m not saying these apps will definitely improve your working memory or your IQ score, but they might. And I have time for the mights because I can’t remember the do’s.

  1. Luminosity (by Lumos Labs, Inc)- It’s free and simple. And it’s addictive.
  2. Melon (A bunch of I don’t know for this part)- I love this one, it has daily challenges and works with recall and spatial memory.
  3. Peak (by Peak Labs)- This is one of those games which wants you to subscribe, and I completely would if I was made of money. You decide the areas you want to work on with memory, and then you get different games which boosts those areas. It’s a lot like Melon.
  4. Concentrate! (by Norbert Nagy, unknown if available for Droid)- This game is simple, you are presented with a color and you must mark whether it is written in the color it says it is. I wasn’t able to complete the challenge, but I will!
  5. Impulse Control! (by Neurogames, unknown if available for Droid)- I’d like to think this controls physical impulse, but I’m not entirely certain with this. Either way, it’s a fun little game to play.

Apps for Emotion Regulation

Though it may not always be the case, sometimes people with ADHD have difficulties with emotional regulation. These apps may help a little with noticing patterns to prevent these behaviors from occurring. Of course, it’s hard because it’s another app to up, but if that’s a problem, maybe having someone who isn’t ADHD do it for you would help.

  1. Autism Lite (by Track & Share Apps, LLC, only for iPhone)- I like this one because it also looks into matters such as sensory (commonly co-morbid with ADHD), and it also looks at the weather (there has been some discussion over the limbic system being influenced by air pressure). You can chart emotions over a span of time as well.
  2. For When I’m…-This app gives suggestions for things which can be done when you are in a mood. It’s a little childish, but can be helpful with handling emotions.
  3. ReliefLink (by Emory University, unknown if for Droid)- This is a program for suicide prevention, and can help to give resources or assistance when needed.
  4. M. Cycles (by Delta Works, only for iPhone)- (sorry, boys!) This app is great for figuring out if my emotions are out of whack due to hormones and for some reason, if it is, it calms me down.
  5. Happify (by Happify, Inc., only for iPhone)- This app works to help you find the happy in your life.

Apps for Mindfulness/Meditation/Sleep

These apps are great for mediation which can help with stress reduction (which is key for people with ADHD), and can help build internal thought process which can help with verbal outbursts. I threw sleep in this category as well.

  1. Headspace (by Headspace Meditation Limited)- It walks you through ten minutes of meditation for ten days with videos. It’s amazing!
  2. PersonalZen (by Hadley Harris, only for iPhone)- You trace the path of a little peaceful blue guy. I guess it also helps with mood regulation as well. I found it peaceful, but I also found it to be a bit boring.
  3. Relax Melodies (by Ipnos Soft)- This app allows for you to create your own white noise. There are many versions of this, I personally enjoy the zen one myself.

Other Helpful Apps

There are some apps I just couldn’t survive without.

  1. Waze (by Waze)- This app is a navigation app and also shows when things are upcoming in traffic. It’s wonderful!
  2. Mango Health (by Mango Health, only for iPhone)- I get points for taking my medication on time which I can use to earn prizes! That’s right! It also talks about different interactions one can have with medication.
  3. 30 Days- This app is a great idea to prevent impulse shopping, however I question how helpful it would really be. You write what you want to buy (while ignoring the spelling errors on their end), and it locks the item into your phone for 30 days so you can determine if you really want it or not.
  4. Mint (by Intuit, Inc)- This app can help with finances, and also helps remind you of upcoming bills and potential expenses.
  5. Youmail Visual Voicemail (by Youmail, Inc)- This app turns all of your voicemails into text messages. It’s fantastic as I personally hate receiving voicemails and struggle to remember numbers which were given.
  6. Audible (by Audible)- This app is a book reader app, which is great for people who struggle with reading books or just find they don’t have time!

That’s all I have for right now, I will hopefully be adding more and updating the list! Feel free to comment apps which have helped you as well =).

Ramblings About ADHD

ADHD has been romanticized in the past few years. It has become so prevalent  as a buzzword in school, people often forget ADHD is a disability which effects a child (or adult) not only in the classroom but also during recess, on the bus, and at home. ADHD doesn’t go away. It’s there, the little childish figure of a person clinging onto your shoulder.

Some people may have ADHD which isn’t severe, and some outgrow their ADHD. I wish there was a way to put those people into a different category of ADHD so they can still receive the support they need but it doesn’t put me in the situations of, “Well, Bob’s ADHD and he can do X and Y without problems.”

I’m sure I’m coming off as whiny and needy, or at the very least, I will. When I ask for accommodations, I’m not asking for the ability to make my own schedule, or the right to never be fired, even when I totally deserve it. I’m asking for support. I’m asking for understanding. I’m asking for people to change their views on what it is like to live with ADHD and to understand the why I do what I do. I want people to know I work my butt off to be the best person I  can be and it hurts so much when I am told I am not good enough.

It hurts when I am told to change myself without being given firm, achievable guidelines. It hurts more than anyone could understand. It’s a pain I have been carrying since I was four, never being able to please anyone even though I try my hardest.

“Just be normal.”

I can’t. The little figure of ADHD sits on my shoulder and prevents that from ever occurring. I can’t be socially normal, I never was taught in a manner which actually worked. When I was taught social skills, I was thrown into a class with a bunch of wonderful children…who had autism. The program worked well for them, it failed for me because I didn’t have the same areas of social issues.

My parents sent me to a month long summer camp, thinking it would have a social skills program for me. It was a camp for children like me, children with ADHD. It ended up being a summer school with not one single program for developing social skills. My poor mom apologized for me. I wasn’t like the other kids with ADHD. I did extremely well with school. I just didn’t understand social parameters.

A lot of people wonder why I do an anonymous blog. I have an anonymous Facebook as well where I am very active in a group which helps support those with ADHD. It’s wonderful. I get asked all the time about my anonymous figure. It’s because of my parents, the ones I don’t live with but I still will always carry the guilt of knowing my ADHD continued to impact me into adulthood, causing me to lose jobs over the same things they have been telling me not do my entire life. I failed them, and I failed myself.

“Act your age. Think before you speak.”

HOW? I have tried everything to learn how to think before speaking. I really do try. It just happens…all…the…time. The words just fly out of my mouth, sometimes I realize they aren’t appropriate, sometimes I am completely oblivious to how horrible and taboo what I just did or said was. Any sort of social situation is an anxiety throbbing experience. I sit there after every single conversation, every single moment, and I worry I did something wrong. This worry lasts for days and months. It’s sometimes relieving when I find out I messed up because I find out what I did wrong. Sometimes it’s horrible because I don’t know where I went wrong. I will think about it, eat myself alive over it.

The only conclusion I can come up with is, even though I think I’m an okay person, I am clearly not. I am just a burden on the system, a failure. My ideas, dreams, wishes, and my hard work are wrong, I didn’t help anyone. It gets to a point were I wonder if I’d be better off dead.

“You only think about yourself.”

Great, so on topic of this whole self esteem issue, I now am paranoid I am a narcissistic. Looking back, I don’t get how I was being self-centered…if I was facing this problem, others may have been as well. Other people may not want to speak up or deal with the conflict. I will.

“Did you even listen to me?”

I did, I really did. Sometimes my brain doesn’t process things as quickly as it should. It feels like a fuzz forms in my brain. I try to repeat back to myself what you just said and it is muffled. I can’t help it. And it is so embarrassing.

“For someone so smart, why are you so bad with interpersonal skills?”

I wish I knew…I just want to know where I am going wrong with my interpersonal skills.


I didn’t even realize I was wired, or not chilled. Now I am wired because I’m afraid you are upset with me…thanks.

“What’s the point of trying to help you? You just get agitated and you don’t listen.”

Alright, maybe it’s me. I don’t think it is though. Maybe it’s you. Please understand I have been trying my entire life, and I need support. I need help with working on things, one step at a time. It’s embarrassing because I’m smart. I don’t feel disabled, I’m not disabled, I just need a bit of help with things. A little support and understanding goes a long way.

Do You Have ADHD? No? Then Stop Saying You Do.

It’s obnoxious to tell someone they don’t have a disorder, or that a disorder doesn’t exist, but when people claim they have a disorder and blame everything on their disorder is even worse. If you’re using your disorder as an excuse all the time, I question if you have it or you’re just lazy, selfish, or just making excuses. Yes, having a disorder does greatly impact a life. But newsflash, when you claim to have a disorder you don’t, you are taking away from those who do.

Let’s talk about ADHD for a bit. I have ADHD. There has never been any question of this; I have every symptom in the DSM-V. Lucky me, right? Let’s talk symptoms.

So yes, one of the symptoms is not being able to focus. But here’s how it’s usually done. Someone says, “I just can’t focus on this assignment. I’m so ADD.”

Newsflash, it’s not ADD unless it’s like that for every single assignment. It’s not ADD if you’re able to get up in the morning, and not become distracted from your daily routine. It’s not ADD if you zone out occasionally while driving. ADD doesn’t just come and go like that. It is a struggle which occurs every single day.

Another symptom is being hyperactive. Hyperactivity is not always present in ADD, but it probably isn’t what you thought it was. Guess what? Everyone is hyper sometimes. Some people are just more hyper than others. And people with hyperactivity and ADHD are driven by a motor. It’s like a constant out of the body experience. You watch your body do whatever it wants, your mind screams to stop, slow down, calm down and you just can’t make it stop.

Oh, and the hyperactivity also goes with impulsivity (I have yet to see a case that doesn’t). That’s more with the body doing whatever it wants. You have no control over you do. You watch words come out of your mouth like a train wreck. You interrupt others, and you feel horrible each time you do so. People always tell you to grow up, act your age, learn some control, and you try so hard to do this, but you just can’t. Any confidence in yourself is now gone because you just can’t control it.

There is so much more with ADHD. It’s more than struggling to focus, it’s a struggle to fit in. A simple way to think about what happens with ADHD, not a true way, but simple none the less is to think of ADHD as a misconnection within the brain wires, effecting the portion of the brain which controls executive functioning. What is executive functioning? It controls focus and impulsive. But it also controls so much more…

It controls emotional management, time management, processing speed, decision making, motivation, memory, and much more. It helps with building social connections. And when you have ADHD, this is all impacted. Some people outgrow it. Most people don’t. And most people with ADHD are brilliant. Some people simplify it by saying everyone learns differently. It’s not that simple though.

ADHD impacts every part of my life. I’ve lost friends, jobs, failed school because of my ADHD.

And when people claim to have ADHD, it kills me. It makes my life so hard. I will be using the term undiagnosed-I mean it as they do not have ADHD, not they have a case that is undiagnosed. It makes it so I don’t get the accommodations I need at work because someone who was coming in late a lot (as they were partying the night before) claims to have undiagnosed ADD. When someone says they can’t focus in a class because of their “undiagnosed” ADD, they take away from me and take away the validity of my needs.

It’s taken me years to learn how to control my ADHD, and it hasn’t been easy. I have a long way to go as well. I am proud of my ADHD only as it shows the struggles I overcame while growing up. When people claim they have ADHD, it takes away from the struggles I and others faced. It’s the same with every disorder.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t use a made up disorder as an excuse and don’t kid about it. A disorder of the mind is still a disorder, or an illness in a manner. Would you claim to have cancer? I hope not. Then what makes it okay to claim you have a disorder like ADHD or OCD?

My Book-Chapters 2 through 4

Chapter 2

Myrtle stirred out of bed. Sadie was outside, kicking the door. Another night where Sadie didn’t sleep, her dark little angel who became a demon during the night. The alarm clock flashed in Myrtle’s eyes. 12 AM. The power must have gone out. Judging by the dusky light, it was a cloudy 6 AM.

Myrtle threw on her robe and carried little 3 year old Sadie downstairs. “Sadie, what do you want for breakfast?”

“Banon.” Sadie curtly replied, then returned to chewing on her tattered yellow baby blanket which Myrtle just didn’t have the heart to take away.

Banon was how Sadie said banana. That wasn’t much of a surprise; it was all Sadie would eat. Myrtle peeled the banana, handing it to Sadie, who shoved the banana into her mouth. For a child who wouldn’t eat, Sadie certainly would inhale her food. Of course, she hadn’t eaten the night before, refusing the stew as it had onions, pork and was floating in “poopy” water.

Myrtle heard Mary stomping down the stairs. Myrtle open her mouth to remind her oldest daughter the boys were sleeping, but Mary spoke quicker. “SADIE! STAY OUT OF MY ROOM!” Mary screamed in tears.

Sadie didn’t react, instead was focused on peeling off the strings on her banana. “YOU BROKE MY FAVORITE DOLLIE! I HATE YOU!” Mary continued, now yelling right in Sadie’s face. Sadie calmly threw the banana strings at her sister.

Myrtle had enough. “Girls! Put on your cloths and go outside! I am done listening to this fighting, and your brothers are still asleep!”

Mary stomped her feet, but walked back up the stairs, Sadie following behind. Once upstairs, Mary’s face twisted as she whispered, “I’m going to go into your room and break your dolls.”

Sadie screamed, running into her room. “YOU CAN’T!” She taunted as she slammed the door in Mary’s face. A painful howl emerged from Sadie’s room, filling the quite farm with an eerie chill. Mary opened the door to find Sadie sobbing, blood dripping from her hand. Mary walked slowly towards Sadie, crunch…she lifted her foot to find Sadie’s thumbnail.

Myrtle ran up the stairs. “I didn’t do it mommy, promise!” Mary said.

“Mawy shlam door on thiger and huwt.” Sadie fussed. Mary slammed the door on Sadie’s finger. Myrtle reached around and smacked Mary. “You don’t treat your sister like that!”

Mary’s face crumbled, “Mommy, I didn’t. She slammed the door on her finger!”

Myrtle paused. Sadie had been lying recently. “I’m sorry, Mary. Please go to your room and get ready for the day.”

Myrtle bent down, her eyes level with Sadie’s dark, red eyes. “Sadie, we don’t lie. Liars don’t get presents. Let’s put a band aid on your booboo now.”

Sadie’s eyes were vacant until Myrtle pulled out the box of Band-Aids.

“SAW WARSTH!” Sadie bellowed gleefully. Star Wars was Sadie’s favorite. Sadie began to hum gleefully as Myrtle applied the bandage. The blood had stopped, but the skin was pink and raw. Myrtle shuddered as Sadie ran back to her room, slamming the door behind her. It was like Sadie couldn’t even remember the horrible pain she had just endured. How could a child so precocious be so forgetful?

Chapter 3

Sadie’s eyes flew open. Her ear was about to fall off. This pain…it was only rational that her ear was going to fall off. Sadie whispered that it hurt, but all which came out of her mouth was a scream. Sadie watched as her hands flew to her ear, tugging, pulling…Sadie began to cry, but it wasn’t because of the pain. It was because Sadie realized she had no control over her body. Sadie realized she had no control over what came out of her mouth. She could only sit there and watch. And she was alone, four years old and all alone.

She knew this already though. Sadie knew this when the bigger boys on the preschool playground pinned her down and poured sand into her eyes because she had accidently broken the classroom ant farm. She knew this when one of the same boys smashed her in the face with his backpack because she mentioned how Barney was for babies.

Sadie knew she was different and there was nothing she could do about it.

Chapter 4

Sadie proudly wore her Star Wars shirt to school. She was a kindergartener, and she was liked by all of the other girls. Her best friend sat next to her every day. Kelly Vong, Sadie’s best friend, Kelly and Sadie. Sadie was so proud of herself. She was able to tie her shoes all on her own, she didn’t wet the bed, and she could already read chapter books.

Sadie even rode the bus by herself. She got onto the bus, smiling at all of the big kids as she snuck towards the far back of the bus. Her Star Wars backpack clanked with Lego Lightsaber keychains. She straightened out her plaid skirt before sitting on the sticky vinyl seats. Sadie immediately began singing with the loud music. Sadie was happy, she was a big girl, and she was even sitting in the back of the bus where the big girls sat!

Mary, Luke, and Jared all looked at each other, flashing a look filled with both concern for Sadie and a bit of embarrassment for themselves. Why did they have to have a sister like her? Why couldn’t they just have a sister who was…normal? Or at the very least, why couldn’t they have had a sister who was quiet?

Luke slunk further into his seat. The kids already teased him because he was a little overweight, but since Sadie had started at Rockville Elementary, the kids made fun of him because he was the sibling of the crazy girl. He tried mumbling that she had ADHD, but the kids laughed. “George West has ADHD, and he doesn’t act like that.” They would retort.

George West was a small boy with just enough energy to always be buzzing around the classroom. It was true, he definitely had ADHD. Sadie clearly had ADHD as well, but she was so impulsive. Why was Sadie so impulsive? She always gave him a hug while at school, even though they never gave hugs at home. Luke closed his eyes. He already couldn’t wait for the day to be over.

Sadie Meyers, a girl in Luke’s grade, sat next to Sadie. “You can’t sit here, you stole my name!” Sadie blurted out.

Sadie Meyers rolled her eyes. “I was born first. And stop singing. You sound like a dying cow. Learn how to talk, retard.”

Sadie felt herself tearing up. She was trying to make a joke. Sadie looked out the window, noticing the big houses of Rockville. New houses were being built; people were already living in the frames. Sadie giggled to herself. People were living without a roof over their head, how silly. She started singing along with the music.

Sadie Meyers punched her in the arm. “Seriously? Shut up! You’re so annoying!”

Sadie didn’t react as Kelly was getting on the bus. “Kelly!” Sadie yelled excitedly as she stood up. Kelly looked at her once, her eyes rounded and cheeks flushed as she quickly sat in the front of the bus. The bus driver growled at Sadie and pointed down. Sadie paused for a moment. Oh, that was to sit. She immediately sat. Suddenly, the bus started ringing loudly. Sadie Meyers groaned loudly.

The bus driver pulled into the school, placed the bus into park and turned around. “Sadie, close your window.”

Sadie giggled, realizing her backpack had caught itself on the window alarm. She unwrapped her backpack, waiting to get off the bus. “Thank you, sir!” Sadie cheerfully remarked as she bounced off the bus.

The bus driver grumbled. There was little going for that Sadie Walsh child, much like the entire family. At least the rest of the family knew to be quiet. It was only the end of September and kids were already hitting the little Walsh child. Maybe they would teach her how to be normal.

Sadie’s favorite time of day was lunch. On Fridays, she got an ice cream for two quarters. Sometimes the nice lunch ladies would even give her an extra ice cream for free. Sadie had the looks of a neglected child as she never ate. It raised some concern at first; however the concerns were quickly vanquished when Sadie would repeatedly ask for peanut butter and jelly. It was clear she wouldn’t eat on her own choice.

Sadie sat down next to Kelly. Kelly scooted away from Sadie. “Why are you leaving, Kelly?” Sadie asked.

Kelly looked down into her soup. She really liked Sadie, but she didn’t like the kids laughing at her. They called her gay, explaining that meant she liked girls who dressed like boys. Kelly remembered hearing about the gays at her dad’s church. They would go to Hell. But Sadie wasn’t a bad girl, she wasn’t going to Hell. She didn’t dress like a boy; it was just her Star Wars shirt. Maybe if Kelly helped Sadie dress like a girl, no one would pick on her and Sadie wouldn’t even risk going to Hell.

“Because I can’t be seen with someone who dresses like a boy.” Kelly whispered.

Sadie’s eyes grew wider. “Who dresses like a boy?” Sadie pressed on.

“You do, Sadie.” Kelly remarked.

“What, how?”

“You wear boy shirts. That’s a boy shirt. Star Wars is for boys.”


“So people think you want to be a boy.”

“That’s silly, I’m a girl. I have long hair and I’m wearing a skirt.”

“Well, yeah, but you wear Star Wars shirts and your backpack was made for…boys. Besides, some boys wear skirts when they play bagpipes.”

“Oh…but I like Star Wars.”

“You shouldn’t. Only boys can like Star Wars. And if you keep liking it, I won’t be able to be your friend anymore. Because that means you’re gay and you’ll go to Hell.”

Sadie’s sandwich seemed like mush. She couldn’t eat it anymore. She loved Star Wars, but she liked having Kelly as a friend. Did people really think she was a boy? Well, Sadie didn’t like Star Wars. She liked girl things, like Barbies and dollies. She wasn’t gay; she liked being a girl, even if she liked Star Wars. But maybe she would become gay if she continued liking Star Wars. Sadie didn’t know what Hell was; her parents didn’t go to church so she never would have known. Aunt Miranda brought her three older siblings to church for the Walsh parents, but Aunt Miranda had gotten into a car accident and died right before Sadie could have started going to church. Sadie hoped she would remember to ask Mary what Hell was. Mary was always talking about church. But Sadie didn’t want to be a boy. So that meant she couldn’t like Star Wars anymore.

When Sadie got home shortly after the whole conversation with Kelly happened, she ran into her room and lied on her bed. Sadie ripped off her shirt, ripping the collar in the process. She looked at the balled up shirt, wishing she hadn’t done ripped it, but she knew what she had to do next. Sadie balled up her little fists and began to scream while pounding at her bed which was covered in little rebel ships. “I…HATE…STAR…WARS!!!!”

Myrtle was working in her office when she heard Sadie screaming. Myrtle ran up the stairs, and sighed with relief. Sadie had finally gotten out of the Star Wars phase. It only took three years. That meant Myrtle could get rid of the Star Wars items that Sadie insisted on keeping. Myrtle’s two sons hated Star Wars, mostly due to Sadie constantly quoting and playing the movie. Myrtle pulled out an old pink comforter from the linen closet and handed it to Sadie.

Sadie ripped the old comforter off the bed, throwing it to the ground. Such typical behavior, it was a constant chase after Sadie to remind her to clean. Myrtle shook her head, balled up the blanket and began gathering all of the other Star Wars items before Sadie could throw them or break them. A perfect donation for the little thrift shop downtown.

Myrtle couldn’t help but think that she wished she could donate Sadie to the thrift shop, or better, exchange Sadie for a quieter, calmer, more attentive child.

First Few Chapters of Sadie Noelle’s New Book

Hey everyone! I finally did it. I started writing my book. Again. I will finish it this time though! I have the will to do so! I have the focus to complete it! Please tell me what you think of it so far!

DSM-5 Criteria for ADHD

People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development:

Inattention: Six or more symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16, or five or more for adolescents 17 and older and adults; symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months, and they are inappropriate for developmental level:
Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
Is often easily distracted
Is often forgetful in daily activities.
Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16, or five or more for adolescents 17 and older and adults; symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level:
Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
Often talks excessively.
Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
Often has trouble waiting his/her turn.
Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
In addition, the following conditions must be met:

Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present before age 12 years.
Several symptoms are present in two or more setting, (e.g., at home, school or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work functioning.
The symptoms do not happen only during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder. The symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder).
Based on the types of symptoms, three kinds (presentations) of ADHD can occur:

Combined Presentation: if enough symptoms of both criteria inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity were present for the past 6 months

Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: if enough symptoms of inattention, but not hyperactivity-impulsivity, were present for the past six months

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: if enough symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity but not inattention were present for the past six months.

Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.

ADHD in Adults

ADHD often lasts into adulthood. For more information about diagnosis and treatment throughout the lifespan, please visit the websites of the National Resource Center on ADHD and the National Institutes of Mental Health.

Reference American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition. Arlington, VA., American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

There are two sentences about ADHD in adults in the DSM. Two sentences to explain what I’m suppose to do with the remainder of my life. Two simple sentences to explain…me.

There’s just so much with ADHD though. It’s hard to write about because this disorder is so simple yet so complex. It is everything you think it is, and yet…it’s not anything you had thought. When you read this book, do so with an open mind. Know that not everyone is going to be the same as me, I am not the same as everyone else.

It is important to understand there are different types of ADHD. Some people are impulsive, some are hyper, some just can’t focus, and some were blessed with all three differences. It is also important to realize how I think of ADHD while reading this book. I think of ADHD in terms of an odometer on a dashboard. Instead of one odometer, imagine there are two. One is for hyperactivity and one is for inattention.

Normal people, neurotypical, however you want to refer to people without ADHD don’t speed. They sometimes have some of the symptoms of ADHD, but they don’t go past 50 MPH, or if they do, it is reined back to control. This works towards both gauges.

People with just inattentiveness-based ADHD have an opposite problem. Instead of the gauges staying around 50 MPH, the inattentive gauge can roll up past 60, 70, 80 MPH (or higher). The hyperactivity gauge seldom goes over 50 MPH. People who are solely hyperactive-based have the opposite gauge. People who are combined never slow down. 40 MPH is unknown to them. I know. I have two gauges going 100 MPH at all times.

Welcome to my bus. Sadie’s ADHD bus, welcome on! Next stop, well not stop, the next place we travel is to Sadie’s baby years.

Chapter 1

We begin in New England. Our setting is a small town. Due to details revealed within this book, I have chosen to have anonymity towards this. Therefore the town is fictional, but I assure you, it is based on truth.

Welcome to Rockville, Rhode Island, a small, rich community nestled ten miles away from the Atlantic ocean. If you look to the left, you will see a small brick school which houses 342 children, preschool through eighth grade. After eighth grade, students are shipped over to the next town for high school. Here is the pride of Rockville, our 150 year old church. We also have a parish house just past the library. And here is the town hall, with the small police and fire department. We have our pizza house on the right, and…that’s about all there is in Rockville.

We once had farms. Once upon a distant time.

And here we are, at Sadie’s house. It’s an old farmhouse surrounded by small Douglass Firs. The farm is surrounded by wispy fields in which the horses are allowed to run. Sadie’s siblings, three beautiful children with golden hair play with an old beaten wagon.

And here is Sadie. Watching Sadie. Waddling Sadie. Sweet, small Sadie, who didn’t learn to walk. She learned how to run, her chestnut hair and golden skin, a polar opposite of her siblings. Luke, the oldest of the siblings, picks Sadie up and puts her into the wagon and pulls.

Sadie screams. “OUT!”

Luke, thinking she is cheering him on, pulls, running into the fields, panting, the sharp grass cutting his legs. He whips the wagon, realizing it is suddenly light. Sadie sits at the top of the hill, eyes wide, tears rolling down her chubby cheeks. Luke runs towards Sadie, Sadie screams, runs up the hill, towards the house, down the dirt driveway, towards the busy street.

Jared, the second oldest at six, bolts towards Sadie, seeing her run, seeing her fearlessly, foolishly run into the busy road, cars rushing back from the beach. Jared grabs her, pulls her away from the road, carries her into the house. “MOM! Sadie ran into the road!”

Myrtle Walsh looks at her son. Myrtle came to America from Liverpool in 1979 for college and never went back. She didn’t have any plans to come back either. She sighs. “Again, Sadie?”

Myrtle worked with children while at college. She worked with the little disabled children, the ones without homes, the ones who would never have homes. She had seen this before. Low attention, low impulse control, always moving. In England, it was hardly talked about. It was a disorder, but it was seldom reported. But here in America, it seemed so common. And Sadie, she was always on the go. It seemed she never slept.

Sadie was a finicky child to begin with. She would talk, but it seemed she wasn’t talking to anyone. She was brilliant, two years old and already reading a few words, but she couldn’t count. Compared to her sister Mary, Sadie was far from the norm. She didn’t seem to understand when her siblings were annoyed with her, constantly wanting to be around, but unsure of how to fit in. She was also defiant, so defiant.

Myrtle closed her eyes as Sadie howled. Just four weeks ago, Sadie had gone in for major reconstructive surgery on her soft palette. Somehow, Sadie had tripped over one of the dining chairs, which was a common occurrence. There wasn’t much more Myrtle or her husband Steve could do than to gently remind Sadie not to run in the house. Whatever the couple said seemed to not register with Sadie. That was the case four weeks ago.

Somehow Sadie had gotten the wooden spoon Myrtle had used for serving mashed potatoes and had that in her mouth when she tripped, which in turn ripped up her throat. Myrtle never will forget the gurgling scream as blood pour out Sadie’s mouth and dripped out of her nose as her three siblings rallied around her, shouting that’s what she got for not listening while crying at the same time.

Sadie received surgery that night. The next morning when the nurse came in to do the 4 AM checks, Sadie got out of the bed, running down the hall, dancing and singing. She was nicely kicked out of the hospital quickly after that. It made sense. After all, Sadie was not resting on a wing where other patients were.

What was wrong with little Sadie Noelle Walsh?

So that’s the beginning. I need your help to continue though. Please tell me what you thought! If you hated it, please tell me! If you loved it, please tell me! If there’s a grammar or spelling problem, just let me know. I have an unique story, yet my story is the untold story of millions of people!

15 Things I Want You to Know About ADHD

1. Not every person born with ADHD is the same. It’s a condition of the brain which means there are going to to be similar symptoms, but also big differences. Think of it this way. Not everyone gets sick with a cold in the same exact way, even though it might be the same cold virus which makes them sick. So just because your husband has ADHD doesn’t mean you know how I learn, think, or act. And just because you read this list, doesn’t mean you know every person with ADHD and everything that ADHD does.

2. ADHD doesn’t stop in the classroom for most people. It’s a lifelong condition for a lot of people, and it changes throughout life. It’s something which impacts every part of my life. I may have trouble holding up conversations. I may have trouble getting to places on time. I may have trouble with tasks which are incredibly simple. I may not be able to watch a movie fully.

3. I outgrew my hyperactivity and I am lucky I did. Hyperactivity is a huge part of ADHD, but it isn’t mandatory for everyone to be that way. Just because I don’t have one of the symptoms of ADHD doesn’t mean I am not ADHD. Trust me, I’ve been tested and tested again. I am definitely ADHD. There are different kinds of ADHD though. Some people might be hyper, some people just simply can’t focus, and some people have a combination of both. See 1 if you have any more questions.

4. Sometimes my mouth moves before my brain fully knows what it’s going to say. I have been working on this my whole life, and I really struggle with it.  It is so important to look at the WHY I am saying something rather than the what I am saying. I usually have very good intentions, I just didn’t say it exactly how I wanted too.

5. I’m not stupid. I can’t say this enough. I am not stupid at all. Chances are, I am smarter than you. However, sometimes things don’t click immediately for me, or I miss key points in a conversation and I want clarification or to double check. Somethings I might have to review over again just to understand.

6. Remember Dory from Finding Nemo? I feel like her a lot. My Short Term Memory isn’t always the best. If you’re giving me a task, it’s best to break it down and to give me a list so I can see what I have to do. This will keep me from becoming overwhelmed. Oh, and it’s just my Short Term Memory really. I can remember other things perfectly, including conversations from years ago.

7. Sometimes I am going to be random when having a conversation. To me, it’s not random though, it makes perfect sense. While you are talking, I either am engaged in the conversation (rarely), trying to catch up with what I missed (usually), or making connections to what you are saying (all the time). For example, if we are talking about ADHD, and I bring up how I was bitten by a squirrel when I was 8, it actually makes sense to me. I am thinking about ADHD which then makes me think about the meme about ADHD and squirrels, and then about squirrels and previous experiences I had with them and how it’s funny. This is done in seconds. I’m not trying to change the conversation, I’m just trying to contribute.

8. I can be moody. It’s actually a part of ADHD. My brain doesn’t see it as moody though, it sees it as completely normal. I also don’t always realize I am being moody. Don’t be afraid to say something to me if you see this. I don’t mean to be that way.

9. I can be lazy, just like you. But most of the time I’m trying my hardest. If something is difficult for me, please try to help me. Sometimes it’s just something as silly as making a cue card for me to follow along. If I’m hesitant to start something, it’s usually not because I am being lazy, but rather I don’t know where to start, or I’m afraid I won’t do it correctly. Though not everyone may agree, I will take the help if it is simply offered.

10. I’m not good with time management. I really try, but it is hard to be at one place at a certain time. My brain doesn’t process time well at all. I can’t tell if a minute has passed or an hour. Personally, I thrive with schedules and timers. Some people can’t function if they are in a routine.

11. Please don’t tell me what causes my ADHD, or that it doesn’t exist. Some people may use their ADHD as an excuse, but I don’t. Also, ADHD does exist, and it does impact my life. I have tried the diets, I have changed my entire life around, I have tried every remedy in the book. Some helped, but only minutely. What does help are stimulants (at least for me). They calm me down, put the world to a speed which just makes sense. I don’t question it, but I know there is a difference when I take my medicine. This isn’t always the case from person to person though.

12. I can focus on video games and sit at the computer all day, but a book can take three weeks for me to read. Why? Some things just grab my brain. Other things don’t and I have to really try to focus. And it can be painful.

13. I’ve tried to be organized. I try my hardest at what I do. Sometimes my brain just forgets to organize or to completely finish something because I get distracted and completely forget what I am doing. And when I try to tell my brain to focus, it gets even more difficult for me to sit and finish what I am doing.

14. Sometimes simple tasks can be very overwhelming to me. There are times where I get anxious because I am overloaded by all the information which I am perceiving. Being at the supermarket when it is crowded is hard for me. Trying to focus in on one thing when people are having conversations around me is impossible. I just hear white noise.

15. I’m very impulsive. I have been working on my impulsivity my entire life. I have tried my hardest to change this, and it has gotten much better with time, but I still struggle with it. Unless you are going to offer me advice that I can actually apply, please don’t. I try to think before I do. Sometimes it doesn’t work that way. The whole think before you act advice does not work.

ADHD isn’t going to be the same in each person. Just because you met one person with ADHD doesn’t mean you know what it does or how it feels. Some people might have ADHD and think this list is not true at all. Others may be upset I didn’t put things which affect them. ADHD is more severe in some people than it is in others. I personally struggle socially. Some people don’t. I don’t have as much trouble with time management. Most people with ADHD do. Some people don’t have have any sensory issues. I do. When working with someone with ADHD, whether it be an employee, a co-worker, a student, or a friend, be understanding of their needs. Be firm and direct when giving direction. Be supportive and forgiving. And most importantly of all, get to know the people for who they are, don’t just label them as ADHD.