Discrimination Against ADHD

I am a big advocate for ADD and ADHD. I feel passionately that people with ADD and ADHD have hidden gifts and need extra help and support to bring these gifts forward.

One of the most important aspects from the medical side of ADHD is ongoing research which sheds light on it as a medical condition. This information is critical – so that people can make educated decisions about this condition based on the best facts that we know.

One major area of research in adult ADHD has been around the impact of ADD on driving. This is one important angle of research which helps to justify treatment for ADD/ADHD. There are growing data showing that when adult ADD is not well treated, there are increased risks behind the wheel – such as higher rates of speeding, accidents, etc. There are new medication studies showing that treatment with medication helps with safety behind the wheel.

These are important studies for the following reasons:

  • They help to document one aspect of the significant impairment and danger associated with ADD/ADHD if it is not treated
  • They help to show that treatment for adult ADD is not just an optional ‘lifestyle’ choice
  • They help to improve (and save) lives by educating doctors, parents, adults with ADD, etc. about an important public health issue
  • And there are others… (feel free to share your thoughts on this in the ‘comments’ below)

When I started learning about the driving studies with ADD/ADHD, one of the nurses that I worked with asked a very insightful question:

“What do the insurance companies say about this data?”

I realized what she asked was important, but I didn’t give it too much though beyond discussing the importance of this research.

TRUST ME – Now I am giving it a lot of thought.

I was troubled to see that in Sweden – the Road Authority is considering taking away the right of people with ADD/ADHD to even get a driver’s license because of the risks to road safety.

The head physician of the Swedish Road authority compares ADHD to conditions like epilepsy and alcoholism, and is concerned about drivers with ADD having licenses.

To me – this is a VERY CONCERNING development in twisting new data that is meant to help people with ADD/ADHD.

I strongly encourage any Swedish readers of this blog to file an appeal of this decision, or get involved locally and create some ‘noise’ about this.

I suggest that we all want the roads to be safe, and we want good treatment for ADD and ADHD – but this approach will lead to frank discrimination against the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, and it will lead people to refuse to get it diagnosed or treated. In other words, it will push the diagnosis underground – and we all know that there are much more serious consequences to that.

I also encourage people connected to advocacy groups all over the world to be aware of this potential danger lurking on the sidelines for other countries.

We want to advocate for the proper recognition and support for ADHD – not frank discrimination which leads to ignorance, mistreatment and forces people with ADD to go into hiding for fear of real persecution.

Please share this post with others who need to know about it, and share your comments and thoughts below.

Dr. Kenny

p.s. a similar discrimination issue is going for pilots with ADD. You can read my post about it here: http://addadhdblog.com/adhd-pilots-medication-and-the-faa/, and you can read about the battle of a Doctor with ADD (who is bravely fighting the FAA) here: http://www.adhdpilots.org/

p.p.s. This issue has got me pretty concerned and ticked off. If you have other examples of ‘discrimination against ADD’, please enter your comments below. Maybe we can get more people aware of it and help to support you to overcome it.

[tags] ADHD, ADD, Driving, Discrimination, Pilots, ADHD Medication [/tags]


  1. What can be done about it? Insurance companies can ruin our lives if they want to.
    Do we need to create and pass laws to protect people with ADHD?

  2. It is simply not fair to single out ADD/ADHD people. People with Schizophrenia drive. Old people drive. Moms with young children and crying babies drive. They can’t tell me that they are better drivers. And they can’t say that by keeping my sons out from behind the steering wheel, the world will be safer.
    My sons both have ADHD and ODD. If this is the way the world is going, they will be lucky to get a bus pass when they are teenagers.
    If this ever gets mentioned here in Ontario, I will stand up and voice my concerns!

  3. Perhaps take a second look at the facts about this story. Someone at a Swedish radio station says that a “head” doctor (no name), says that ADHD is similar to epilepsy or alcoholism. If we’re going to be offended by anything, it should probably be that statement. Assuming it is true. All this really adds up to is media hearsay. It is difficult to respond to media hearsay without looking foolish, especially if it turns out the story isn’t true. Where is the document, the bill, the video transcript of the Swedish Road Commission’s intentions?

  4. As Ms Candace Taylor stated, “Where is the document, the bill, the video transcript of the Swedish Road Commission’s intentions?”

    Before I make any judgement on this issue, I will rather see documented proof of the Swedish Road Commission’s findings. If this is true, then then we must definitely pass the word on! But before creating chaos, we must have justified means to “spread the word”. It will seem almost hypocritical to panic when there is nothing to panic about.

  5. That’s proposterous (sp?) If you wanna make the roads safer…
    take away the licenses of people who DRINK!!!!

  6. Dear Dr. kenny,
    I know that you take such things at heart but I live ADHD discrimination every day. ADHD sufferers don’t benefit from free medication here, we have to pay for Ritalin (short action), Concerta and Strattera beacuse that’s all we have here.Concerta and Stratera are so expensive that almost no one can afford.
    The Government prefare to pay social workers to help people with their substance abuse than help people with the right medication. He prefares give us the statistics how criminality is increasing in our country than give us the right medication.
    We already thought of traffic accidents and insurances infact we never mention it. If people are diagnosed and taking their medication, traffic accidents will reduce but they will come out with the issue of traffic accidents so people won’t say they have ADHD and they will safe money on medication to give the sufferers.
    ADHD is so common that sufferers are increasing so they get excuse so they safe money, and they think that they will sort out the problem like this, The Swedish Government will increase the country problems with substance abuse as they will start self medicating themselves, anti social behaviuor, they will have more criminality. I don’t think they will solve their problem like this, they will make it worse.

    I hate discrimination no cares of our hidden condition!!!
    If we are on a wheelchair get everything on a silver plate but as our condition no one can see it, no one cares….

    Happy Easter to all subscribers, keep up your good work Dr. Kenny.
    It’s a relief to know that there is someone who belief in our condition(ADHD)

  7. I had to evoke my 17 year old adhd son’s drivers license myself because he was not adhering to speed laws and in Calif there is a provisional on a person’s license if under the age of 18.( It is illegal to have anyone in the car with a minor under the age of 20 for the first year of driving)
    In my sons case, he was not only carrying a 16 year old in the car with him but he decided to make sure he was not late to work and drive 103 miles an hour. He was caught and he not got 2 points on his license, (3 pts means a suspended license) but now when he gets a new job (he has lost his old job), he has to pay much higher insurance rates because he can no longer be on our insrance with his record.
    Since then he has told me nightmare stories of his short lived driving experiences. One was on a mountain road when he did not see a sign that said “curve 45 miles per hour” and he was going 65 only able to slow downto 45. He said he went into a tailspin and ended up in the other lane going the wrong way at an angle heading for a cliff that dropped a 1/4 mile down. Luckilyhe stopped just beofre he went over the edge. Again there was another minor n the car. He ran his car out of oil and could have burned p the motor, smoked pot whiile driving (never drank and drove however as he is very scared of that), but broke so many spped laws and traffic rules . He told me these things because he said he had to earn the hard way but now he is a much better driver. (yeah, a ploy to get his license back)…He turns 18 in dec 08 and is bound and determined to get his license back soon. His anger management problem is not totallyncheck and he is stillin counseling. Ihope this works. He is not on meds as strattera cause rage and I am desperate to get him on track by the time he turns 18. Yes,driving can be a hazard for adhd teens and I guess adhd adults if not in check as a teen. I am struggling with what to do to get him to that point….

  8. I applaud Linda for having the courage to share her story. ADHD people have rights, but also realities. The reality is that the adolescent brain is different than than the adult brain, and the adolescent ADHD brain even more so. My background and training have shown me that frankly neither is very well equipped to handle a vehicle on today’s roads. As an adult woman it would be of no value to anyone to have my license revoked because I have ADD, but watch the teens tearing out of the local high school parking lot and you just know in your heart that we’d all be a lot safer, them included, if if they weren’t legally allowed to drive until older.

  9. Where does it end? In the summer I have seen men driving erratically because they were gawking at a scantly clothed woman. Should they be allowed to drive? This is nuts! I was appalled when I read about the airline pilot fighting to be able to fly, and now this! It makes me very mad to think that this could happen. People with ADHD aren’t stupid, they are very intelligent in fact. There are kids who will speed that don’t have ADHD it is all a part of growing up. My son has ADHD and he keeps my driving in check, he is forever saying “mom the limit is…and your going…” So I don’t believe that ADHD causes people to be worse or careless drivers. Some people just like the adrenaline rush of doing something that is pushing the limits of the law. Being a careful driver is something that is instilled into you by observing the way your parents drive. At least that is how I learned to be a considerate, safe driver, and yes I do go over the limit sometimes but not excessively. I don’t know maybe they should pull my licence too!

  10. Cynthia: I hear what you are saying about other types of drivers being unsafe as well as adhd drivers. I know that eating while driving or putting make up on or smoking have caused many accidents as well as your crying and misbehaving small children in the car while a mom is driving.
    In many cases however, adhd teens are much more prone to have accidents and break the traffic laws because they not only have the “adhd” problems but also the normal peer pressure and attitudes that they are invincible. Many other character invasions such as anger management issues etc atttached to the already problematic adhd symtoms such as impulsiveness and short attention span also add to the “red light “concerns.
    I do believe that there are some instances where an adhd person may be good at avoiding an accident because of their ability to multi task. Still ,however, I think that waiting until later to drive is best for adhd teens overall. It may depend on how severe the adhd, and if they posess severe secondary issues such as anger management, or side effects from meds that are taken to help them concentrate. I do not however believe that they should be banned from driving all together and forever. That is violating their rights.
    Most adhd people do learn over time what their limitations are and most that have lost priviledges from mistakes surely don’t want to lose them again. Some lessons are so hard for these kids. Breaks my heart.

  11. hi,

    i am an adult, school teacher (phys ed) with adhd. i have driven now for 5 years and have not yet had any points on my license, speeding tickets or accidents. if i was not able to drive i would not be able to earn a living. firstly i would not be able to get to work (very easily) and i would not be able to take my sports teams to otehr schools. i have struggled with adhd for many years (still do) but to take away my right to drive would be very devastating.

    the label of adhd should not in itself mean that you shouldnt be able to drive, ‘just incase you are dangerous’. some people are not dangerous and to stop them driving would indeed be discriminating. the whole purpose of traffic laws is to stop people who are bad at driving from driving.

    i really hope people appeal if such laws look like they are going to come in. i understand that people with adhd are more suceptable to accidents and dangerous behaviour, but we are not all the same.

  12. Hi ,

    I am a teacher in Malaysia and I still have a lot to learn about ADHD. Many ADHD children in Malaysia needs a lot of help as there arent many qualified teachers who can help these children. I am sad to hear that there are considering to ban adult ADHD from driving. I think banning of driving for ADHD cases should be based on case to case so as to avoid discrimination.

  13. Hi,
    I am the mother of an 8yr old boy who has combined ADHD, ODD and learning difficulties. Recently I have been told he also has dyslexic tendancies, autistic tendancies and PTSD.
    I know i am off topic here but i would like to take to court for discriminating against:-
    His previous school
    Social Services
    Instead of ME being threatened by these people to put my son on the protection register, to take him some where he will be safer, for threatening to take away the little support he has if i dont go on a parenting course of their choice, to be blamed daily for my sons behaviour, refusing me a carers assessment, prioritising parenting for me over my sons therapy……………..the list is endless.
    The law in the uk is so out of date, it scares me.
    Thank you for listening to me.

  14. cheekipixi I cried when I read your post because I have struggled with the “outside negative influences” over the years myself. We are bound by law to keep our kids in school and make sure they are doing what they are supposed to but it is quite unfair that they will build a runway and have rules for handicapped children in wheelchairs but will not HIRE a teacher that can effectively teach and handle our adhd children? Oh they are out there, but the school districts just dont want to spend the money.
    My consenses goes like this: With my experience, I have found that most administrators do NOT want to deal with adhd children because theyare afraid of our children. They do NOT have the education or time or desire to learn about how to best teach and direct our adhd children. It is just easier to find a way to get them out, blame the parents for bad parenting and poor choices of discipline etc.
    My son ,while in the 9th grade got in trouble. for being easily distracted in class and figity which caused other kids to be diastracted. The teacher prescribed detention. My son forgot to go to detention so they gave him Saturday school whioch he has to sit in a class for 4 hours on a Saturday and do nothing but sit there and read. Several times he figited and got up to get drink too many times becase he could not sit still as long as thery required (duh)…the rule is that if you do anything the teacher does not like that she or he can give you another Saturday school. 15 minutes before the Sat class was over, the teacher told my son that he had to do it again the next Saturday.
    I went to the principle and explained to him again why my son could not sit still (he already knew about the adhd). I asked him not to give my son Saturday school but make him pick up trash around the school yard as punishment instead of having to try and sit still for so long. Afterall isn’t this why he go in trouble in the first place? He finally agreed but it took 2 trips down there and meetings with 3 people, (his principle vice, principle and counselor.)
    I hate to say this but until the school districts wake up to the fact that our children need trained specialists that really care about our children and their learning and environmental and emotional health, we are alone. Our children and other adhd people are NOT stupid. Just different in the way they learn and respond to life situations.

    Parents are a scape goat for any problem the school is not equipped to handle. SO GET EQUIPPED!! If we are lawfully expected to make sure our kids are in school, then the school should be lawfully expected and required to provide the teacher and the atmosphere in which my adhd child can learn and flourish.

    Good luck to you and I hope in time yur child will find peace in this world. I hope all our children will.

  15. Hi,
    I just read the notice from the Swedish authorities. It’s a new release of the generel requirements to obtain a drivers license. The main focus for the changes are to improve traffic safety, but I must admit it’s shooting birds with cannons.

    They are lowering the bar for Type-2 diabetes and epilepsy.
    They are setting it higher for alcoholics and persones with severe ADHD deficites in combination with a medicine, drug or alcohol abuse.

    Traffic stats for Sweden is ca. 400 killed pr yr. out of 8 mill.
    For Denmark it’s also ca. 400 pr. yr out of 5,4 mill.
    The official stats claim between 25 – 30 % of the accidents are alcohol related in the Nordics, so maybe they should target that first off.

    So the new rules will be of only limited impact in respect to traffic safety.

    Thanks for the info. The discussion has not started here, but it usually does soon after the Swedes make a move.

  16. Hi all

    it is very controversial, this topic. The official medical opinion is to take meds always, everyday, and this way it will be no problem for ADHD driver and for others on the road. But as a father of ADHD child, I am scared to med him everyday. Visit my site to see us doing some less known alternative treatment – crawling exercises. This method can even cure ADHD or at least improve the situation.


  17. The head of the college of education went to the head of the college of vocation and ministry and told him not to admit me because I had “AHDH”.

    Names removed for safety reasons.


  18. well, ADHD just doesnt work that way for me:

    driving is like a computer game (in terms of how my attention works towards it). With a computer game, because its movment and control, I am 100% transfixed! I obsesively check my blind spots and give each situation a great deal of thought! I never ever find myself distracted from the road.

    ADHD really just affects the paper work and long lecturers at university! It doesnt affect ability to do anythng either physical or where there is a lot of movment!

    We need a world wide loby for ADHD! If someone is not fit to drive because one aspect of their ADHD is so bad. Then the reason should be that one charactoristic of their personality, not ADHD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. way i look at it:

    you pass your driving test and the instructor says your safe to drive, end of story. If they want to make it tougher – then make it quicker!

    dont discriminate. If All ADHD sufferers were unsafe, then they would all fail their test – no?

  20. People with ADD shouldn’t be allowed to drive with meds, and how can you know they are always on them? Answer: don’t let them drive period. Luckily 90% of people who think they have ADD actually do not.

  21. I have a son with ADHD and my biggest concerns is how he is being treated by his school, teachers, and coaches. If I don’t stay on top of these school administrators my son gets mistreated and not allowed extra time or extra help. There is NO accountability with our school teachers/coaches/administrators, where can parents turn to for support for their children?? Because school administrators only help with so much as they don’t want to be burden with my son, as they already think he is a problem child. I filed an official complaint with my sons school and school district as i felt that his high school coach discriminated against him directly for having ADHD, but the school district’s attorney told me since the coach gave a ‘reasonably answer’ they were not going to pursue it. Forget the fact that we have many witnesses and my son was never questioned that tells you that people truly need to be educated regarding kids that have ADD/ADHD. If it wasn’t for me fighting with my son’s school i would hate to think to see where he would be at without me fighting for his rights. Thanks for listening.

  22. My son was recently diagnosed with Graves disease and taken off his ADHD meds to regulate his thyroid. We were hoping the thyroid was the only trouble, because it has the exact same symptoms of ADHD. If your child has ADHD please have his thyroid level tested.
    Anyways, His teacher failed him for a project that I had specifcly e mailed her for help and instructions on what exactly was required of the project. We did it together, (he is 10 and we do ALL his homework together for hours, I know you ALL know what I mean) and he was so proud of his project. The teacher gave him an F. When I confronted her about the grade she stated that their was “oral” instructions given to him during class that she felt he should have remembered on his own which counted for 75% of the grade. I made her repeat that by saying, you mean to tell me, that after I put in writing to you asking for clarification, and you wrote the steps of the project down then you purposly with held the in class oral instructions from me, claiming it’s his responsiblity to remember them? She said, YES. And I said, but you KNOW the medical conditions we are dealing with and you still sit there and tell me that you are doing everything you can do and going completely out of your way to help my son? OMG
    Then his reading teacher proceeded to tell me that Nick is anxious and restless in class, that he won’t concentrate and that he is “BOTHERING” the other children BECAUSE she has to constantly interupt her lesson to tap on my son’s desk and say “write this down Nick” write this down Nick pay attention Nick..etc etc and she and the other students are tired of it. PLUS they told me that an IEP meant that he was handicapped and that he would be jerked out of his regular classes and put in with the special ed kids and that it would go on his Diploma PLUS they denied him a 504 plan trying to say he didn’t qualify now they say they are going to do the MFE testing and oh, then they can re- evaluate him if he doesn’t qaulify for IEP But the principal told me over and over NO 504 they don’t get money for that but they do for IEP…to top this all off…NOW that I have gotten some help and taken the PROPER steps that were taught to me by a rep from the coaliton of education…they are picking on him. Thursday I recieved a letter from the teacher and the envelope was suppose to be signed by me and returned the next day. The letter asked my son questions like why he thought he was failing and what he was not doing and what he could do differently. My son answered the questions and the teacher corrected them by putting a line through his answers and writing in her own. I was livid. So I didn’t return the envelope till Monday. …..He was issued a detention for me not sending it back the next day. I wrote back and said he is not serving it.
    So they issued him another one for missing detention. He did not serve that one either So they gave him in school detention which I did NOT know about because the principal didn’t mail the notifaction to me until the second day of his in school suspension after it was over. DATED on the envelope for proof. NOW he has TWO MORE detentions by two different teachers after sitting a closet for a HALF day two days in ROW
    He has graves AND adhd…THEY HAVE HIS MEDICAL RECORDS and his Graves dr. is the assistant pediatrition to the pediatrition dept. at OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY. SHE wrote the school a letter and I just got a letter today from the principal with a snide comment asking me to re fill out a referal request for someone else because she does not suspect the my son has a disability. I know this grammer is bad but I needed to get this out, now I can copy, paste, organize and put together with all the paper proof I have to go along with all of this because I am tired of fighting. I stepped down from my managment position at my job due to fighting against the teachers who are mentaly abusing my son and keeping him from the education he deserves. BTW before the graves, his 1st secnond and third year of school he was suspected of ADHD, but recieved ALL a’s and B’s….HE IS EXTREMEMLY INTELLIGENT! KNOWN TO ALL WHO KNOW HIM AS THE SMARTEST LITTLE BOY THEY EVER KNEW. I have GOT to get legal help! AND I HAVE to keep my sanity, calm my anger and stay on top of everything.

  23. Dear Cheekipixi I have spent the last 4 hours crying because once again by notice of my daughter CPS has been to her school and will be paying a visit to the house, this is the 4th time in 2 years. My daughter has severe ADHD with comorbid OC and anxiety disorders. I am so tired. I lost a good paying job with insurance because of this we’ve had to pay attorneys and now extra medical bills because of this continual nightmare. I don’t know what to do anymore and it is destroying my family.

  24. Personally, I don’t think that they should be alowd to fly a plane. So many people could get hurt. I’m not discriminating, i’m just saying I wouldn’t feel safe. Its like letting a blind person fly a plane….

  25. My son has ADHD and was training in a medical residency.He had good evaluations from all his attending Doctors.The program director discaharged him from the training program because he had bad grades in the intraining exam.He was on a very busy rotation and did not have enough time to study.No accomodations were given during the exam.He had severe depression for months and even now has not fully recovered though he finally found a program which accepted him inspite of his prigram directors bad comments.

  26. Hi. I’m Michaela and am a 16 year old with ADHD. I do not take medication and have been off of it for years. I am more interested in science and things that involve computers. I am also very good with electronics I can fix just about any thing. I do not talk in school because people make me very nervous.I also do not like large groups or doing classwork with people I don’t know. I act a little crazy at home but I’m hyper and can’t help it. any questions please leave another commet.

  27. Here I am again and off topic slightly again.

    1/ I have received a letter from CIDS (the people who are there to help children with disabilities) recently, stating ‘ WE DO NOT SUPPORT CHILDREN WITH ADHD OR ODD’ end of story, surely this is discrimination against disability.
    2/ After school clubs class my son as a risk so will not let him attend, such as cubs, scouts, sea cadets, dance classes etc etc. Even with a sessional worker supporting him and attending with him.
    3/ Banardo’s have turned him down due to the risk factor and they are there especially for disabled children and children with multipal difficulties.
    4/ Crossroads have just refused to sit with my son once a month for 2 hrs to enable me to attend an ADHD support Group of an evening.
    5/ His sessional worker maybe in jeopardy due to his risk factor
    6/ Social Services do not see ADHD as a disability, even though the law states he is, this has stopped him accessing other activities.

  28. Hi
    My son joined scouts in January. A few weeks ago the scout leader spoke to us and left us in no doubt he was no longer welcome. I feel so sorry for my son as he loved the scouts and really doesn’t know what he did wrong.
    I suggested to scouts that they may have discriminated against my son – and don’t want this to happen to any other child with adhd in scouts. My suggestions were not well received!
    Anyway I am really worried in case he doesn’t settle at his next school – you can leave scouts behind but good impressions are important in a new school you will be at until 18 (hopefully)

    Any advice?

    I deal with CIDS teams from time to time in a professional capacity. I thought their remit was a short period of intervention to bring about appropriate improvements for short term issues e.g. OT or speech therapy. Though this isn’t always the case. They can work with ASD and developmental delay too.

    I found sensory integration therapy and OT very beneficial for my son when he was younger


  30. This is to Kathy with the cub scout problem. Goto your local scout council and let them know what transpired. Scouting is open to all, and if they were aware of your son’s diagnosis they should have made an accomadation to work with him. I’m a RT commissioner and in February I’m doing a presentation on how to help scouts with ADHD and Aspergers succeed in scouting. Talk to the Council and see what they can do.

  31. I recently was fired from a Pharmacutical warehouse called Mckesson in Arizona because of my ADD. They asked for proof I had ADD. I called my hospital back home and had my records mailed to me. I then took them into my supervisor. The next day when i came into work I was told I was being placed suspension because of the paper work I brought in. After 3 days I was called and told I could come back to work. when I returned my HR informed me that I had 30 days to find another doctor to be diagnosed a 2nd time for ADD. I told my HR that I didnt have medical coverage at the time and couldnt afford to see a psychiatrist. I was then told if I dont have the paper work that I didnt need to show up to work. I am having a difficult time finding representation because I have no job and no money except for unemployment. Seems like the justice system only works for people with money.

  32. I have ADHD and work as a Police Officer. I have been a cop for 23 years with great reviews. Because of the active and changing nature of the job, police work attracts a large number of people with ADD and we are good at the job. I know of 14 and suspect another 10+ Officers on my mid sized department know they have ADD, most take meds, but don’t tell the department. I have been told that police work attracts a large number of people with ADD. Recently, the department found out I take Adderall for my ADD.

    I got brought in 6 times to explain what ADD is. They found out Adderall is a dextro-methamphetamine salt and all but accused me of being the equivalent of a meth addict. They went to my Dr., the City Dr. and the City Psych who all told them it only helped me, was of no concern and none of their business. I ended up on “paid leave” for 2 months, then they just let me come back to work. Yes I am angry about it.

    It was the most humiliating experience of my life. I realize police managment is traditionally slow to change and reactionary, but no one should be treated this way. Maybe its just where I work, but I can’t imagine I am the only Officer to have to put up with this.

    I quit taking Adderall just to ease their mind about the “meth” in dextro-methamphetamine salts. You would think we were farther ahead than this kind of 1950′s thinking.

    • Miles – thank you for sharing your story.
      Indeed, as you correctly say, people with ADD often do quite well as police officers. The fact that there is quite a bit of structure in that line of work helps too.
      I’m sorry to hear that the ignorance about ADD caused so much trouble for you. I hope your experience will pave the way for other future police officers to be able to be accepted when they have ADD and take medications for it.

  33. My son has been kicked out of his school because the school feels he has ADHD..
    Please, we should continue fighting for our rights!!!

  34. I am being harrassed at a Fortune 500 company that many parents of ADD/ADHD parents would be upset about. I have ADD and have been called stupid by my manager. I have been to hell and I am fighting my way back. I didn’t have a voice when teachers told my parents I was lazy. I hope I can help pave the road for 2 of my 5 children who have been diagnosed as well.

  35. My son has ADHD and is 7 years old. After reading about the side effects of medications to treat ADHD we decided to use caffeine as an alternative med. He did really well the first year we did this. The teacher noticed great improvement. This year the principal decided he was no longer welcome to have the caffeine at school and he has really went downhill. His teacher says he is the smartest kid in the class and he tests mostly at 5th grade levels even though he’s only in 2nd grade but hes always moving and distracting fellow students.

    He joined the basketball team and is so excited. He’s been waiting for two years to be old enough. Today only about a month into the season, the principal calls me to tell me they want to remove him from the team because he’s distracting the rest of the kids. There are 23 kids on the team and one volunteer who has no training in dealing with kids that coaches them. I really feel like he’s being discriminated against for having ADHD. How can I break his heart by letting them remove my son from the team?

  36. This is possibly the biggest overeaction of a governing body I have come accross! I know this is an old post, butI simply had to comment – everything that is done in society,education or the workplace appears to be designed to stop ‘us’ hurting or offending ‘them’; what about inclusion and common sense? If an Adder has lots of accidents, thier insurance premiums will rise, if they are uninsured or break the law, they will suffer the penalties. We are more likely to be punished under the normal social constructs and then punished more for being ADHD or just excluded. I am intelligent and ADD, I can see that if driving gives me a focus (which I find it does), I am a better driver than most non-ADDers. I have driven for 20 years without mishap (10-15,000 miles per year), I ride a motorcycle regularly (I have four, including three 750cc superbikes) without a single brush with the law – perhaps I should be given a discount instead of banning me! There needs to be case by case assessment, I think I would call it ‘the driving test’ and maybe follow it up with some sort of random checking called ‘Policing’. ;-)

  37. Hi There,

    I am looking for some help. My son is 14 years old, hes currently in eighth grade and has been suspended from school since March 7, 2012 for something that absolutely has to do with his impulsivity. I wont go into details, as it is kind of personal. However, in an effort to keep him busy and his mind off of things, we had agreed to let him try out for an elite travel baseball team. He is a VERY talented baseball player, and of course he made it. Now let me mention, we are a single income family or 7. My son is the oldest of 5 children, 4 years old being the youngest. The tuition was a whopping $2500. Even though very painful for our family, we had been making weekly payments to the baseball league and eventually paid them off. The end of April the games and tournaments began, and game after game we watched our son ride the benchm without even so much as getting a chance to hit. My husband made numerous calls to the coaches and even the owners of the team to find out why. We were basically told “he has to prove himself”, everyone else had been on the team for at least a year of two and my son was the “newbie”. We accepted that, and encouraged our son to stay postive and to go out of his way each time he did get a chance to prove to the coaches what he had. Well this past week, the teams changed coaches since all of the high school students are now returning from their high school ball teams. My sons newest coach is brand new to this academy, he did come from an adult team. The new coach is tough as nails (which is ok with us, as my son needs some tough love to stay on point and focused). My son has asked to have extra workouts, stayed hours after each practice to have one on ones with the coach. He basically does everything and anything he can to get that coaches attention. Last night upon leaving practice, the coach approached my husband and said “you asked for honesty and I am gonna give it to you, its doubtful that your son will see very much play time, if any. He will be on the bench most of the season” My husband mentioned the money so forth. The coach then replied ” well I don’t care how much money you spent, I am telling you that with the ADHD and everything, don’t expect him to see the field”. My husband was astonished and couldn’t get much out after that and they left. Now my question is #1, is a coach ever aloud to say that about a player with a disability ?? #2 What kind of “teacher” and I use the term loosely, could even bring him/herself to speak of a student under his advice like that? I am so dissappointed, to get a childs hopes up and take all of their parents hard earned money for what ?? Nothing ?? I need advice, comments, suggestions ~ whatever anyone has to offer. Thank you in advance

    One P*ssed off momma

  38. I am an adult with ADHD and a very positive person. The worst thing I ever did was go public about my ADHD. I have faced the worst kind of bullying/humiliation at work once I received an ADA Accomodation that I WILL NEVER DISCLOSE IT AGAIN. I was happy with myself and foolishly thought that being open about it would help change people’s persepctive and help me succeed in the workplace. Thank God I was sent to a small exclusive private school by my family and am a well adjusted person because TRUST ME THERE IS AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF SCAPEGOATING/IGNARANCE/VIOLENCE THAT GOES ON TOWARDS PEOPLE WITH ADHD. Companies DO NOT WANT TO ACCOMODATE THEY ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO DO SO-If you are granted an accomodation be prepared for ENDLESS RIDICULE/DISCRIMMINATION. The public school system, insurance companies, pharmacuetical companies are only in this FOR PROFIT-TRUST ME. BE PREPARED TO BE TREATED AS SOMEONE WHO IS INFERIOR, UNINTELLIGENT, AND A PERMANET TARGET BY ALMOST EVERYONE. The SAFEST THING that adults with ADHD and parents of kids with ADD/ADHD can do is KEEP YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION ONE HUNDRED PERCENT PRIVATE. You will be routinely victimized and discrimmintaed against once the info goes public. ADHD is so completely misunderstood and so often misdiagnosed that it will be so much more of a headache than a help to go public about it. THAT IS THE ADVICE OF SOMEONE WHO CONSIDERS THEIR ADHD A GIFT!!!

    • I agree to keep in private my son is being discriminated against as well he is a fully functioning Adult capable of all great things no medications now and doing well and the NAVY said no even though he scored high on his test.. I am sad for him and disappointed the military wants the people to LIE about the DX. God Bless! you are a GIFT to this world keep on moving forward and love yourself!!

  39. HI..so I am a very sad and angry mom of a son who is 18 now and a high school graduate that was DX with ADD in the 3rd grade, he had lots of parental help and guidance and trials of medications off and on. Now holding a great job prompted 2 times this past year cashiering, a credit score of 700,checking and savings etc. OFF MEDICATIONS and the want to go into the NAVY he was past his ASVAB 87% and all physical test but because he had a senior moment in high school and had a low GPA the NAVY said he was not taking medications so he disqualified him..so the best thing is LIE about the Dx they said ..that’s not what we want to tell our kids right??? I want HONEST men and women in our military Right?? now they said wait two years and re start process and LIE..UGH WHY.. we have letters from teachers bosses coaches all stating the same Chris is worthy of doing a great job in the NAVY. what is the rules and how do we fight this discrimination..


  40. My son has ADHD. HE IS 7yrs old and is a Tiger Scout. I feel the Biy Scout Pack has discriminated against him by taking the 2 boys with ADHD and the one African American boy and putting them together. The issue is there are only 3 boys in our Den and at least 8 in the other Den. We’ve already lost one youngster whose Mom felt she was not treated as welcome by the Scout leaders. Btw she and her son are African American. Worth to note the former Scout leader, now some other position and his wife the Chairwoman, have been quoted as being against children with ADHD being involved with Scouts. My son and this other boy are going to a special school for their ADHD, so u was hoping Scouts would allow my son to socialize with kids from his school district with who he will eventually be back in school with. So him being segregated in a Den with 2 boys who also don’t go to the local school has been disturbing on a couple of levels. Other than running away from this Pack, does anyone have advise for us?

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