An old school story using old school tools.

A number of doctors told me I had what would known as ADHD (the label ADHD had not been invented) between 1961 and 1962. I was lucky enough to get into Canada’s first class to train students how to function with ADHD in school. We were also part of a national study. There were two classes of 8 students. None of us were given medications it was all about learning to control our brains. While doing this they studied our brains. In the beginning they had not decided if this class should be one year or two years. In the end I was one of three students who only did one year. I was the only one of the three who finished high school. One of the others was in jail before turning 16 and the other killed himself at age 15. Later they decided the program needed to last two years for everyone. Since then I have made 5 videos about learning disabilities the first was while I was in college in 1976, Then others I made others in 1978, 1979, 1985, and 1996. I continue to use the tools I was taught as a child and I have never used any of the medications though all three of my children have.

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Just curious, although I respect your decision, but why haven’t you used medication as treatment ?

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Doctors saw that I was allergic to most of the medications or they would cause issues with other medications I was taking. Thus I never took any. Each of my kids had negative reactions to one or more medications before finding one that worked for them.

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One of the tricks I learned early on going out for a run, jog or walk for a mile before school. Then to use a timer on tasks 30 minutes at a time. For a lecture to write during the lecture either every word that is spoken or writing about something in the room and thus splitting my focus on purpose. In the later case what I was writing was meaning less it was just an activity to keep my hand busy and make me work at listening to what was being said. My career has been as a writer/producer/director of film television and new media which involves keeping a number of plates spinning at the same time and a lot of deadlines thus turning my brain issues into a viable skill set. My issues were usually at the start of the season getting things rolling then I’d be fine once there were fires to put out. These days when I’m only writing I work on multiple projects at a time and I try to get up and move around every 30 minutes to blow off energy and refocus my brain. I do miss the lack of urgent deadlines because at times my cat brain turns on and I’ll say “bird” "why is that bird there and then lose focus.

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I do the write everything down thing in class too! I never understood why other people don’t do that… Maybe it’s an adhd thing then? I don’t always read them back,but the writing keeps me 100% focused and if I do look back at what I wrote I can usually remember the whole lesson experience, like where I was sitting and everything.

Well done for getting through it by the way. It’s scary to see how that made you 1 in 3 :confused:

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I don’t think everyone has the ability to, I know I don’t but i would like to.

Dyspraxic as well, but I just can’t keep up taking notes, I get further and further behind and writing gets messier too, just end up getting key words down but not remembering what else was said, turns into a pointless waste of time as I tend to absorb less information if taking notes.

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Yes, sorry, I meant more like, ‘if you could, why would you choose not to?’.

To be honest the way I do it is not ‘the right way’ in the sense that every time they do studies into handwritten versus typed note taking, they seem to assume that the laptop users are writing stuff down word for word and the handwriters are being selective and only wrtitng the most important stuff. Then in the conclusion they say that’s a big reason why handwriting is more effective: because your brain is actively making choices and engaging with the material, whereas the typing is more passive /automaton-like.

So technically my notes should be less effective as I don’t have time to think and select and write at the same time. If I am thinking at all it is about understanding what I am writing and may find that I have questions to ask, so the occasional asterisk or question mark gets added so I can ask those later.

Also, if I get very involved in the lesson then I forget to/can’t write at the same time, so it’s the most interesting/important bits that I don’t record. So in fact I do pretty much the opposite of what is supposed to be so great about taking handwritten notes :joy:

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No problem, it was a revelation for me when I was studying for a degree as a mature student, other people wer able to listen and write legible notes at the same time. Just one of those things that I did not realise that other peoples experience were different to my own.

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:+1: Was my same experience in school (through College and Grad. School - Social Work)!

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The act of writing is actually a second for of learning and reading them back then isn’t always need. If you can learn something by, listening, reading, watching and doing you’ll likely have it for life. They figured out early on that I remembered things I’d seen more than anything else. Again my career in film and television used that skill/

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Yeah I’m the same ( except I have Dysgraphia ). If i do write notes, I pretty much have to depend on them being legible because I rarely take in any of the lecture. The problem is, they’re rarely legible…

That being said, I tend to half- remember things I’ve written down. So even if I didn’t hear the person, I’ll still retain some of it ( laptop notes are preferable every time though, because either way I still need the ability to actually read my notes… )

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I’m also very slow typing and make lots of mistakes too, poor spelling, miss out words or get them in the wrong order. Not a problem back in the day when I was in university but glad to see it works for you to some degree, but half-remembering is not great fro maintaining context, I’m sure you know that already.
Do you get any accomodation for note taking at all?

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Having an option between writing, laptop, and my phone is pretty much it. We thought about recoding lectures last year, but it never worked out… my school/teachers are pretty understanding but I’ven’t heard of any other options besides what I already have :sweat_smile:

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I went to college decades before the laptop so all of my writing was longhand and I never cared about spelling my notes right. Professionally I have been a screenwriter for 41 years. I never care about the spelling in my first draft. That would slow me down, break my train of thought. When I was still in high school I had a teacher who taught me the first draft is a spew draft just for me and the spelling can be corrected later.

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With a bit of luck, there may be a friendly write-everything-down notetaker in the class… by the end of the first year if my current course I had become the go-to person for borrowing notes from, and by the third year I was jokingly calling myself the class scribe.

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