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Conor Ryan
02-11-2006, 04:24 PM
I found this, very intresting article linked off of a blog (http://www.lifehacker.com/software/adhd/the-advantages-of-add-in-a-high-tech-world-154239.php), I'm sure at least one person maybe affected by this, if not its an intresting read anyway.

What I'm wondering is what everyone here thinks about these general characteristics and how much they apply to engineering. After all, there are many famous and successful people that are diagnosed with it. Here is a quick list:

Alexander Graham Bell
Andrew Carnegie
Leonard DaVinci
Thomas Edison
Albert Einstein
Michael Faraday
Henry Ford
Galileo Galilei
Issac Newton
John D. Rockefeller
Werner von Braun
The Wright Brothers
Imagine a world without ADD...

Top Ten ADD Advantages in a Hi Tech Career. 1. The Ability to Hyperfocus.

Hours of full engagement and concentration in a task, IF you find it interesting. You can get into the zone and be totally immersed in what you’re doing while the outside world disappears. When I went on the net for the first time in 1993 at an Internet cafe I got on the machine at 8 pm and around 4 am decided it was time to go home.

2. Rapid Fire Mind.

Your brain processes information at hyperspeed. You can do things in 30 minutes on a computer that might take other people hours. Downside if you’re stuck with an old machine and not enough RAM you’ll be frustrated cause it can’t keep up with the speed of your brain.

3. Multitasking at Will.

Able to run 14 apps at a time and effortlessly switch between each without breaking a sweat. Able to do several projects at a time with ease.

4. High Energy Level.

You’re able to keep going on a project (if it’s interesting, ADDers are more into creative and entrepreneurial activities than clerical and repetitive ones). 14-hour days? No problem. Adrenaline is my fuel source:)

5. Highly Creative.

Able to think beyond the idea of a box. This comes naturally for ADDers (http://adultaddstrengths.com/2005/05/30/attention-deficit-disorder-fuels-her-creativity/), while others pay thousands of dollars to try and learn this. Since you take in more information than the average person, and you’re easily distractible, you’re more likely to view a problem from many different angles than vanilla people (non ADDers), and therefore come up with more possible solutions to a problem. Need an idea generator? Find an ADDer.

6. Quick Learner.

IF it’s something you’re interested in. ADD is mainly a condition of boredom; you have no trouble paying attention to something if it’s interesting. Most people find it difficult to do boring or repetitive things but these can often totally shut an ADDer down. Your rapid fire brain + highly creative mind + the ability to hyperfocus equals fast absorption of new information quickly. Dr Ed Hallowell (http://www.drhallowell.com/), who has ADD and has written several Delivered from Distraction : Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=httpwwwadulta-20%26link_code=xm2%26camp=2025%26creative=165953%2 6path=http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html%253fASIN=034544230X%2526tag=httpwwwa dulta-20%2526lcode=xm2%2526cID=2025%2526ccmID=165953%252 6location=/o/ASIN/034544230X%25253FSubscriptionId=0EMV44A9A5YT1RVDGZ 82), said he stopped teaching Psychiatry at Harvard University because the non-ADDers brains were just to slow and they took so long to get it. He got tired of being continually frustrated waiting for them to catch up to the ADD students.

7. Stimulus Seeking Brain.

A perfect match for the wired world, an under stimulated brain and an over stimulated virtual environment. Being an info junkie can be a good thing. Well, not always:)

8. Constantly Scanning your Environment.

Allows you to notice more and find information and resource that others miss. Also allows you to see possible problems before they arise, and opportunities that others may not see because they have tunnel vision vs. multiplex vision. An ADDer invented the electronic ticket. (http://adultaddstrengths.com/2005/10/31/the-upside-of-adhd-enthusiasm-empathy-and-high-energy/)

9. Great in a Crisis.

High energy intense situation? Lots of chaos and change? Sign me up; I thrive on stimulation, change and chaos. We can create order from chaos effortlessly. We can also create such an environment as well if needed.

10. Risk Taker.

Impulsivity means you’re more willing to take risks and have a bias for action, act now while the opportunity is hot instead of getting into analysis paralysis. Many entrepreneurs have ADD i.e. Paul Orfalea (http://adultaddstrengths.com/2006/01/26/can-an-adder-become-a-billionaire/) who founded Kinko’s (http://www.kinkos.com/), JetBlue Founder and CEO David Neeleman who attributes his creativity to ADD. (http://adultaddstrengths.com/2005/05/11/the-gifts-of-adhd/)Both are Billionaires. Imagine how successful a high tech CEO would be if they didn’t take many risks.

These are just a start of the advantages of ADD, for more go to the list of 151 positive characteristics of people with ADD (http://www.addcoach4u.com/positivesofadd.html) at my ADD Resource website (http://www.addcoach4u.com/).

This is not to say there are no disadvantages or real problems associated with ADDers in a high tech career, there most certainly are, and if you don’t learn to manage them, they can a great deal of trouble and grief to your life (and those around you), but that’s another article.

© Pete Quily 2006

If you have or think you have ADD and work in a high tech career, what are your ADD competitive advantages?



The full article can be found here (http://adultaddstrengths.com/2006/02/09/top-10-advantages-of-add-in-a-high-tech-career/)

Joe Johnson
02-11-2006, 05:00 PM
Yeah, I read that article - (digg.com or slashdot.org linked to it).

I don't know what to make of it... ...part of me agrees... ... part of me thinks they are off left field.

While I am very very conflicted, in the end, I think there is something to the idea that folks with ADD & ADHD are somehow important to the proper function of society.

It is this belief that makes me worry about the widespread medication of kids with the ADD or ADHD label on them.

Yet... ...I know examples of many kids that do much better in school with the meds. I also know teachers that swear by the meds.

Would I have been labeled ADD or ADHD had I grown up today? I suppose so. Would I have done better in school and perhaps avoided some painful experiences in my life had I been medicated? I suppose so. Would some important part of me been suppressed had I done so. I don't know but I think maybe yes...

As you can see, I am conflicted.

Joe J.

KenWittlief
02-11-2006, 07:05 PM
...Here is a quick list:

...
Werner von Braun
The Wright Brothers
Ken Wittlief


Imagine a world without ADD...

Elgin Clock
02-11-2006, 07:23 PM
...Here is a quick list:

...
Werner von Braun
The Wright Brothers
Ken Wittlief
Imagine a world without ADD...

Add me to that list too.

OH, and another list I read had Dean on a list of people experiencing ADD symptoms/behaviors - along with Einstein, and some other great names in history.
But, having it myself, I can see the validity in their claim.
3. Multitasking at Will.

Able to run 14 apps at a time and effortlessly switch between each without breaking a sweat. Able to do several projects at a time with ease.


More like.. able to attempt to take on 14 apps at once and not really focus on one and become good at any and get frustrated..

It's the whole.. Jack of all trades, master at none complex.

sanddrag
02-11-2006, 08:50 PM
OMG, for the past 6 months or so I have seriously thought I had ADD. Now I am convinced! Wow, this is so cool I know ADD has advantages in technical stuff. There was a guy in my AP physics class with it and he understood everything really well the first time. Also, look at Tytus and all his crazy-awesome designs (except he has ADHD if I'm not mistaken).

Mike
02-11-2006, 09:11 PM
I'm pretty sure I have ADD, or some form of it. For example, I'm usually in trouble in classes I don't enjoy (history/english) for talking/not paying attention. This never affects my test/quiz grades however. In classes I like (electronics/computers/math) I do great in both participation and tests.

Quick Note: I was just helping someone with some code and completely forgot about them to reply to this thread. Irony, anybody?

1. The Ability to Hyperfocus.
I've been known to start working on things at 11:30 PM and not finish until hours later. I totally shut anybody else out, all I need is me, my laptop and my caffeine.

2. Rapid Fire Mind.
Laggy programs annoy me, does that count?

3. Multitasking at Will.
I can work on seperate projects all within the same day/week, but not literally at the same time.

4. High Energy Level.
Yup. However, adrenaline may be his fuel source. Mine is caffeine, intravenous if I could.

5. Highly Creative.
Ehh... I try to be. Whenever I need a creativity spark, I ask myself
What would Chuck Norris do?
What would Vin Diesel do?
What would Steve Jobs do?
What would that kid from that movie do?

No really, I do. Gives me a different perspective of possible solutions (perspective of a crime fighter, of a mechanic, of a computer scientist, etc.)

6. Quick Learner.
I learned C during last years build season, we ended up capping the vision tetra.

7. Stimulus Seeking Brain.
Sometimes, when I'm bored, I read random datasheets.

8. Constantly Scanning your Environment.
I notice the weird things in pictures. Eg: An agenda in the back of a photo that looks similar to the ones we use at our school.

9. Great in a Crisis.
Not totally sure. I can't really remember a "crisis" situation.

10. Risk Taker.
I wanted to go skydiving for my 16th birthday, but all the CT dropzones require you be 18. I guess I'll have to wait two years :(

KenWittlief
02-11-2006, 09:16 PM
8. Constantly Scanning your Environment.
I notice the weird things in pictures. Eg: An agenda in the back of a photo that looks similar to the ones we use at our school.


I notice small mistakes in paintings, if there is water and its not level, or if a tree is not vertical (all trees grow vertical and balanced), or if the perspective on a building is not painted right - once I notice something like that it drives me buggy, and I would not be able to sit in the same room with that painting.

sanddrag
02-11-2006, 09:32 PM
(all trees grow vertical and balanced) Oh is that so? http://www.unc.edu/~smohanty/summer2005/DSCF0261.JPG

bombadier337
02-11-2006, 09:44 PM
If everyone disagrees with me I'll shut up, but here's my opinion. I exhibit almost all of those character traits, and have never been diagnosed with ADD. I've always believed ADD is a personality trait that's treated as a disease. I mean, it has always struck me as weird when kids are like "I have ADD" like they're sick. Anyway, just my $0.02, was reading this thread and figured I'd see if anyone else shares my viewpoint.

Bill_Hancoc
02-12-2006, 11:23 AM
I always knew people wiht ADD were smarter than people w/o add

Pavan Dave
02-13-2006, 11:31 AM
I am 99.99% sure I have ADD. Everyone on my team can't stand the fact that I have to be doing every second of every minute whether it be productive, like saudering wires to some motors, or whether it is not productive, like when I am just tapping and trying to learn about different parts of the robot.

This is one small step for man, one giant leap for ADD'ers.

-Pavan

John Gutmann
02-13-2006, 02:43 PM
If everyone disagrees with me I'll shut up, but here's my opinion. I exhibit almost all of those character traits, and have never been diagnosed with ADD. I've always believed ADD is a personality trait that's treated as a disease. I mean, it has always struck me as weird when kids are like "I have ADD" like they're sick. Anyway, just my $0.02, was reading this thread and figured I'd see if anyone else shares my viewpoint.
If you had ADD you would understand that people don't choose not to sit still and they literally cannot help it. I am not scolding you I am just letting you know that for most people like me it is just the hardest thing in the world.

I think the learning thing is right. In math I just look at something and I am good at it right away. So I spend the rest of the class counting ceiling tiles or calaculating the surface area of the floor in the school so can figure out how may tiles there is on it. I just HAVE to be busy with something.

Allison K
02-13-2006, 05:52 PM
ADD has been a huge bonus for me in FIRST. The ability to thrive on choas as opposed to dissolving into a blind panic has always worked out well for me. Also, being able to thread my brain works out because I can simultaneously focus on multiple aspects of the team, and keep track of multiple projects at once.

That being said ADD is also still a challenge sometimes. As a mentor, I still have issues with trying to keep records and keep track of paperwork, both of which are important.

~Allison

Pavan Dave
02-14-2006, 07:23 PM
Thats what I'm saying. I can not sit still for my life... I would like to but it is the hardest task in the world. I feel as if I have to be doing something every nanosecond of every day doing something. I can do something if interested like math, I would rather do 100 qudratic equasions, (I'm in Algebra II), rather than write a two page essay on anything....

Can anyone relate?

-Pavan

Salik Syed
02-14-2006, 08:20 PM
I don't know if I have ADD or not, but i have often been called "fidgety" . as in I am bored or distracted extremely easily, and I cannot sit unoccupied... in my boring classes i am either asleep or madly scrawling drawings in notebooks... I do not take notes for any of my classes... i flipped through last years Calculus notebook and I had like 4-5 pages worth of actual NOTES for the whole year .. the rest was all drawings . I get anxious if i am unoccupied like i tap fingers start humming guitar solos or something... it annoys the crap out of people cuz i finish a test and if its after lunch and i'm not sleepy i make a lot of noise humming or tapping fingers.

is that ADD ... i don't know... i asked my doctor and he said if i get good grades i don't have ADD

KenWittlief
02-14-2006, 10:13 PM
if you characterize ADD people as hunters (instead of farmers) or pilots (instead of passengers) or warriors (instead of bankers) you start to see why our educational system was not designed for us ADD-people.

The fact that you feel out of place in school is a good indication that you are out of place in school. Many ADD-people are very intelligent and are able to compensate for poor study/note taking/ organizational skills, getting through by the seat of their pants instead.

BTW: you should be able to google up plenty of websites with tests or check lists that will answer your question.

Pavan Dave
02-15-2006, 12:32 PM
Here is a test I took that said I might possibly have it.

Take Test By Clicking Here. (http://add.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=add&zu=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amenclinic.com%2Fac%2Ftests%2F )

It is about 50 something questions. If a question does not pertain to you click na/ other wize awnser 0-4

-Pavan

KenWittlief
02-15-2006, 12:42 PM
that test is a little strange

"do you have symptoms of ADD?" THATS WHAT IM TAKING THE TEST TO FIND OUT!

"do you tend to snap at people a lot?" oops! Sorry. :^)

artdutra04
02-15-2006, 02:41 PM
1. The Ability to Hyperfocus.
2. Rapid Fire Mind.
3. Multitasking at Will.
4. High Energy Level.
5. Highly Creative.
6. Quick Learner.
7. Stimulus Seeking Brain.
8. Constantly Scanning your Environment.
9. Great in a Crisis.
10. Risk Taker.I don't have ADD (at least I don't think so), but every single one of those can apply to me. :yikes:

Then again, this explains a lot. I've always wondered how I can "space out" and be able to do almost anything and ignore everything else around me until I am done. It is not unusual for me to start working on something at like 8 or 9 PM and not stop until I am being forced to bed at 3 or 4 AM by my parents. If it were not for this, I can easily work 24 hour shifts several days a week to get stuff done. ;)

Salik Syed
02-16-2006, 01:37 PM
lol... i tried to take the test ... but i couldn't concentrate long enough to answer all the questions...! i just scrolled up and down reading the questions then decided that they are all obvious questions ...
that is ironic... l

Pavan Dave
02-17-2006, 12:30 PM
LOL I think you have ADD :) LOL... I did that..but then i wired some stuff and finished and :( so I sat by cheif delphi and looked for a test..

-Junx

Kenta
02-18-2006, 01:24 PM
I can actually relate with that article.

Though, I have ADHD and not ADD.

Pavan Dave
03-02-2006, 08:10 PM
I still dont get the difference between the two.

-Pavan

KTorak
03-02-2006, 09:06 PM
I'd probably be diagnosed with a small bit of ADD. As for meds, I probably wouldnt take them. But I do exhibit alot of the typical "traits" if you call them. It drives me crazy to be in classes that don't interest me, but even if I barely pay attention, I'll pull a stong A in it. I also always have to be doing something. Normally I'm at my PC playing a game, chatting with a friend, or reading up on forums I belong to...I rarely just sit down and watch a movie or a TV show...I'll get up and go do something else half way through. Also, if i'm doing something...I'm completely involved and you have to drag me away from it. I just can't stop working on something or reading something part of the way through. My parents will bug me for an hour until I finally finish something and go get dinner.

The little test thing said it's likely that I have ADD...go figure.

dshidler
03-03-2006, 10:22 AM
I still dont get the difference between the two.

-Pavan

ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder while ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. The latter meaning they are more energetic and have a very difficult time sitting down, while ADD you still have those problems just not nearly as severe. I've been diagnosed with ADD since 2nd grade and have been taking medication for it since then. Sometimes I'll forget to take it and in the middle of the day will actually be able to tell I had forgotten. The medication makes all the difference because on those days that I'll forget to take it, I get close to no work done unless it is in my technical based classes (aka my interest).

Hope I cleared up any confusion.

Pavan Dave
03-04-2006, 06:26 PM
ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder while ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. The latter meaning they are more energetic and have a very difficult time sitting down, while ADD you still have those problems just not nearly as severe. I've been diagnosed with ADD since 2nd grade and have been taking medication for it since then. Sometimes I'll forget to take it and in the middle of the day will actually be able to tell I had forgotten. The medication makes all the difference because on those days that I'll forget to take it, I get close to no work done unless it is in my technical based classes (aka my interest).

Hope I cleared up any confusion.
Thanks for clearing it up man.

Pavan

Hexagram
03-22-2006, 09:08 AM
You forgot that part...

you know, when you're working and everything is fine.

oh...wait...what's that colorfull banner ad? online flash games no way! you look at the clock, 3 hours have passed, and you got nothing done.

I. Hate. That. Part. =[

MattD1Drift
03-22-2006, 06:16 PM
Heh, I've never had to take notes for anything in my life, and actually, when I study, I end up doing worse on a test. Go Figure!

KenWittlief
03-22-2006, 06:56 PM
Heh, I've never had to take notes for anything in my life, and actually, when I study, I end up doing worse on a test. Go Figure!

ok, figuring....

A. you have taken tests and not done well on them
B. you have never taken notes in your life
C. when you study for a test you end up doing worse.

So what are you studying then if you've never taken any notes in your classes?

something doesnt add up! If you always ace your tests then ok, you dont need to take notes. But if you have trouble with some tests then you need to rethink your study process.

Jaine Perotti
03-22-2006, 08:21 PM
As a person with ADD, who is planning on going in to a tech career, I can see both the advantages and disadvantages of the disorder.

I definitely find that I have an ability to hyper focus on the things I am interested in. This will definitely be an advantage for me when I go on to college, because I will hyper focus on the classes that I love (the engineering ones), and be able to learn the subject deeply. I find that I am much better at taking a few classes at a time (and being able to focus all of my energy on them), rather than taking a whole bunch at once (where managing the time I spend on each subject becomes more difficult).

However, I imagine that my difficulties with time management will still end up causing me trouble when it comes to playing the "school game" - namely, keeping up with the academic demands of my education. This has always been a problem for me. I choose to hyper focus on the activities that interest me, and lose track of how to balance my time between doing the things that I love, and doing the things that are required of me.

For example, right now, I am writing this post on Chief Delphi (something which I love to do), instead of doing my homework. I am also feeling the temptation to do other projects, such as work on NERD, work on our team's new scouting sheet, start planning for my summer robotics programs, as well as things I do for pleasure such as read or talk to my friends. I have a hard time recognizing the fact that by writing this post, I am using up valuable time to get my work done. In fact, making this post is sort of paradoxical, because I know that I shouldn't be doing it, but I am anyways, and I am recognizing the fact that I have problems managing my time, but I am doing it anyways.... :yikes:

So yes, I agree that the ability to hyper focus may eventually come in handy for college in terms of helping me delve deeply into the subjects which I am interested in. However, I know that it will still continue to prevent me from being able to manage my time. At this time of year, my grades always drop because I am focused on so many other things (robotics). In fact, right now I am failing a few classes, and with the marking period coming to an end in a few weeks, I really need to get going on making up the work. It would be a real shame if I couldn't graduate... :o

It is interesting to see how many great scientists throughout history have been known to have ADD. In particular, I look up to Einstein as a model of someone who was able to overcome failing grades because of ADD, to go on to be one of the most renowned physicists in history. I do believe that our ability to percieve many things at once, and to perhaps notice things that people might not otherwise notice, enhances our ability to be creative.

Having ADD does not mean that you don't pay attention to anything, or that you don't notice anything. In fact, ADD is characterized by the brain telling you to notice EVERYTHING at once, therefore making it appear as if you aren't focusing on the most important topic at hand. However, because your brain is telling you to notice EVERYTHING, you tend to zone out on the things you are most interested in. For me, in a classroom setting, it could be me zoning out during AP Calc so I could think about my social life. Or, it could be me zoning out during English class so I can stare out the window at a passing cloud.

But, when I am intent on finishing a project, and highly interested in what I am doing, I can shift my attention from the surrounding world, and focus intensely on that project. I see this characteristic as an integral part of my personality. In fact, I think this is one of the reasons why I have grown so much through my robotics team. When I develop a passion for something, I hyperfocus on it, and I study it and become involved in it very deeply.

As a child, I remember going through different interest phases. When I was two, it was learning the names of all the plants in my garden. When I was five, it was learning to identify all of the different kinds of butterflys. When I was seven, it was all about studying geology and how volcanoes work. When I was ten, it was all about studying meteorology and all of the different kinds of clouds. This pattern of "interest phases" has continued into today, where my current interest is robotics, engineering, and science. I am positive that this learning style will be of benefit to me in the future.

-- Jaine

Jaine Perotti
03-22-2006, 08:47 PM
It is this belief that makes me worry about the widespread medication of kids with the ADD or ADHD label on them.

Yet... ...I know examples of many kids that do much better in school with the meds. I also know teachers that swear by the meds.

Would I have been labeled ADD or ADHD had I grown up today? I suppose so. Would I have done better in school and perhaps avoided some painful experiences in my life had I been medicated? I suppose so. Would some important part of me been suppressed had I done so. I don't know but I think maybe yes...As for the issue of medication, I have had several experiences with taking them.

I was first diagnosed with ADD when I was in 6th grade. The first medication that I took was called Adderall. I found that it worked phenomenally well for me. I was able to concentrate on the "important stuff" much more easily, as well as manage my time, and stay organized better. However, I was forced to discontinue taking it because it caused me to lose alot of weight. I am already very skinny (I am 17 and I weigh 100 pounds), and the appetite suppressing qualities of the medication was dangerous to me.

Since then, I have also tried taking medications such as Ritalin and Concerta. However, I found that neither of these worked as well as the Adderall had. I could hardly notice their effect. So I decided not to take any medication at all. This choice has been fine for me. But what it has meant for me is that I have had to develop alternative skills in order for me to stay on track. For example, I MAKE myself write down all of my assignments, and I MAKE myself try to budget my time and keep a clean workspace. Unless I do these things, I am truly lost.

I don't feel that taking medication "suppressed" me in any way. Even though I found that my time management and organizational skills improved, I never found myself lacking the good aspects of ADD - such as the ability to have an intense passion for the subjects that interested me. All that I found was that instead of purely focusing on the things that I loved, I was able to focus on BOTH the things that I liked and disliked, and was able to manage a balance between them better.

I am not in either camp with vouches to "medicate everyone!" or to "medicate no one!". I believe that it comes down to the individual's preference. I don't think there is any harm in experimenting with different types of medications. If the effects are not desirable, then the person can always stop. What is most important is for people to try to find the best way to deal with their ADD - whether it be through the development of techniques to deal with it, or through medication.

As I like to say, "to each, their own - whatever works best for you."

-- Jaine

MattD1Drift
03-23-2006, 06:43 PM
ok, figuring....

A. you have taken tests and not done well on them
B. you have never taken notes in your life
C. when you study for a test you end up doing worse.

So what are you studying then if you've never taken any notes in your classes?

something doesnt add up! If you always ace your tests then ok, you dont need to take notes. But if you have trouble with some tests then you need to rethink your study process.

When I mean 'Studying' it means reviewing the chapter in the book, I don't 'ace' them per se, but I get mostly all 85 or over.

Frenchie
03-24-2006, 07:40 PM
I didn't read everything, but you guys are completely out of it: ADD is a "disease" in the sense that it has a negative effect on many people's life. Being able to focus, be passionate, and all those nice things can be some of your abilities, but it won't make you have ADD. Stop talking about it as if it was something cool that everybody wants to have. Why do you think there are any medications ? Because people think its so cool that they have to get back to normal to be fair with people that weren't "blessed" by it?

Come on...

François

Allison K
03-24-2006, 09:35 PM
I found a rather interesting book the other day that discussed the topic of ADD - Dreamers, Discoverers, and Dynamos by Lucy Jo Palladino. It’s about the Edison Trait and convergent vs. divergent thinking. In the chapter about ADD/ADHD it describes the condition as the difference between expectations of the convergent-minded society vs. the functions of the divergent-minded person.

The Edison Trait is named for Thomas Edison. He was extremely imaginative and creative but also easily distracted and disorganized. He failed out of school twice, but when home schooled by his mother in an environment that fostered development of his divergent mind he flourished.

Convergent thinking is best described as a funnel. Taking bits and pieces of information and focusing on one topic at a time to bring them together into one idea. Divergent thinking can be thought of as a tree, with ideas branching off in a seemingly random fashion.

Things that come easily for divergent thinkers…
-Thinking up wild or unusual ideas
-Standing up for, feeling strongly about, and getting involved in those ideas
-Making things up, and imagining the future
-Trying things out
-Starting new projects
Things that are more difficult….
-Focusing on someone else's ideas
-Letting go of his own ideas
-Remembering things he's been asked to do
-Practicing skills repeatedly
-Finishing things

(I think I remembered all of them)

Most classrooms accept only convergent thinking, making the school setting difficult for divergent thinkers. Convergent thinking is considered the norm, and most schools naturally assume that all minds should work the same and structure lessons accordingly.

Palladino named the divergent style of thinking the Edison Trait and identified three variation of the trait.

-Dreamers drift from place to place, on a schedule of eternal time.
-Discoverers have to find things out for themselves and do things their own way.
-Dynamos are always in motion, with a flair for surprises, power, and speed.

That's all I can remember from the book. I didn't have enough money to buy it.

I envision convergent and divergent thinking along a continuum. ADD is the extreme of divergent thinking, to the point where it’s difficult to function in a convergent-centered society, where convergent is “right” and divergent is “wrong”. ADD describes the deficits in convergent thinking without mentioning the strengths of divergent thinking.

I think FIRST (and engineering in general) is a very divergent friendly place. My favorite quote from the book is, “It’s not a problem of knowing what to do, It’s a problem of doing what you know.” That’s my problem in school.

~Allison

KenWittlief
03-24-2006, 11:28 PM
I didn't read everything, but you guys are completely out of it: ADD is a "disease" in the sense that it has a negative effect on many people's life. ...
François

read Allisions post above - she is right on the money. The problem isnt that ADD is some disease that destroys peoples lives

the problem is that, at most, only 10% of the people in our society have brains wired this way, and the other 90% design the school programs, control businesses, and in general decide what is the 'normal' way for people to function.

To drive the point home, Edison did not flunk out of school, he only attended public school for about 6 weeks. Then sent him home with a note "Please dont bother sending Thomas to school anymore. We have concluded he is retarded and you are only wasting your time sending him here."

The man was obviously a genius, but the normal mode of public education could not accept him.

JaneYoung
04-16-2006, 12:10 PM
I've been encouraged to write a little of what I know so - here goes.
I've read this thread and I haven't seen some of my thoughts expressed yet.

ADD can be mild, moderate, severe:
mild would be sitting and twirling a pencil
severe would be up out of the chair walking in circles

During high stress, ADD is harder to control. During build decisions such as weight problems during crunch week or voting the human player, one can be known to make circles or to pace back and forth - it helps the person ease their own build up of tension.

It is a relatively new field of diagnosis and continues to reveal itself through study and examination. In recent years they have diagnosed 7 distinct types of ADD. I'll give 2.
The one who jiggles. Jiggles the knee under the desk or table. Or taps the pencil.
The dreamer - if you have been called a space cadet, you may be at times. Windows can create havoc in a classroom setting for that student. The slightest breeze through the leaves and all thoughts of equations vanish. Teachers have been asked to place the dreamer close to the front of the room - where the focus is zoomed in to the board and to the teacher. It is not a punishment, it is a tool for learning. A trick that can be used in large college classes as well. The fun part is, the magic of learning or processing happens during the jiggling or the dreaming - a problem is solved or an idea hatched. It probably isn't related to the math class you are in but you've just fixed your robot.

My plumber would now be diagnosed as ADHD. He is my generation and the method of insuring success in the student was physical punishment and calling him bad. So, he knew that to succeed as an adult he would have to keep his hands busy, change his daily landscape, and stay on the move. He has raised 2 children as a single parent and they are both college graduates. His proudest achievement is that he has never hit his son and that his son was diagnosed early and received help and support.

Parents my age are realizing there is more and more help out there not only for their children but also for themselves. Meditation, medication, developing skills in focusing, time management, and organization. It is never too late.

My single rant about ADD: the current use of media as stimuli. Commercials & music videos bombard our senses. Everything is instant and focus is destroyed. F.I.R.S.T. robotics is the perfect antidote for our ADD environ. It requires structure, planning, long term goals, focus, listening, teamwork, and an end product.