Yesterday I think I saw it in a cooking class. The chef was making a peach and moscato compote and grilling ribeyes on an indoor grill. A dozen or so of us were gathered around the demonstration. Some had gotten impatient in the sign up line and skipped the step of finding their name and checking it off. They had crowded in to the front of the group, picking up and checking out equipment that the chef had assembled.
Someone was blurting out their questions about cookware while chef was in the middle of answering another person’s question on reduction of juices. Some left the demonstration altogether to wander around the store and then return from time to time to check on the progress. Some chewed on borrowed pens while others carefully took notes in the margins of the recipe card. Some cooperated in filling out an information update sheet while others ignored the paperwork completely. Throughout it all, the chef proceeded calmly and everyone seemed to enjoy the process, especially the tasting of samples at the end. It was school in a nutshell.
The DSM-5 states that population studies suggest about 5% of children and 2-3% of adults demonstrate clinical traits of ADHD which include difficulty sustaining attention, following through on instructions, forgetfulness, being easily distracted, not listening even when being spoken to, and being restless and always “on the go.”
This is just a very short list of behaviors and characteristics that are a part of a persistent pattern of inattention and impulsivity that can seriously disrupt quality of life for self and others.
While most of us demonstrate some of these qualities some of the time, a serious diagnosis of ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is made by a mental health professional when these symptoms are documented in various areas of a person’s life and have persistently interfered with performance and quality of life. Not every child in school who demonstrates some of these traits has ADHD. But, It is a moment of truth when, even later in life, an adult can identify a pattern that has caused problems and was not understood for what it was.