Take Me Out to the BALLGAME!
Monday, March 20, 2017 55 Comments
Life gets GOOD
Once you understand
how to drive the very brain you were born with
— even if it’s taken a few hits in the meantime™
by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the Diagnosis & Treatment series
A lot of people have ADHD,
but they don’t want to talk about it.
But I am who I am,
and I don’t feel bad about it.
~ Major league baseball player Andrés Torres
Late to the Party
I have to admit that, because I’ve never been the world’s biggest sports fan, I’m more than a bit late to this particular party.
Maybe some of you missed it too?
I just read a heartwarming human interest sports story about Andrés Torres, a ball-playing superstar who couldn’t get to first base until he accepted that he needed to get real about a treatment protocol for his AD”H”D.
As the New York Times article began:
“Discerning a fastball from a changeup is difficult enough; imagine doing it with untethered focus, attention meandering.
This was precisely the obstacle impeding Andrés Torres, who stumbled for a decade through baseball’s minor leagues, working for a break, always falling short.
Only when Torres accepted the extent to which he was debilitated by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, finally embracing the medication and therapy prescribed five years earlier, did he begin to blossom as a ballplayer.”
And blossom he most certainly did!
In case you don’t follow baseball very closely either, after many disheartening years of limping along, barely functioning in an arena that was incredibly important to him — no matter how hard he worked — his story took a dramatic turn for the better.
In 2010 Torres helped the San Francisco Giants win the World Series —
before moving on to play center field and bat leadoff for the Mets.
If you aren’t already aware of his story, and especially if you are still struggling yourself or are the parent of a child who is struggling, click to read a few of the links in the Related Content section, always at the end of my articles.
Ring me in
As the founder of the ADD/EFD Coach Training field, co-founder of the ADD Coaching field, an ADD/EFD advocate, coach, trainer & speaker for over 25 years now [and the ADD Poster Girl herself], I can assure you that this article was RIGHT ON in terms of their point of view.
Unfortunately, the scientific point of view is under-reported, most likely because the complex nature of Executive Functioning disorders makes them difficult to recognize and harder still for anyone who isn’t highly ADD/EFD-literate to diagnose.
Remember that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>
HOVER before clicking – often a box will appear to tell you what to expect
We need MORE stories like this!
Sad, isn’t it, that the “good news” post-diagnosis stories don’t get n-e-a-r-l-y as much publicity as the cautionary tales and the big mouths of supposed experts who disparage or make fun of the entire diagnosis.
Related Post: What’s my beef with Sir Ken Richardson?
What’s even more discouraging is that a great many supposedly evidence-based scientists and non-expert doctors buy into those misinformed opinions — scaring parents to death and leaving many children struggling needlessly.
Torres was just plumb lucky that a particular coach recognized the problem and suspected the solution, and was well-respected enough that Torres finally listened.
How many kids don’t have that kind of luck?
How many are doomed to a life of needless struggle by well-meaning adults, confused by the conflicting information that masquerades as “balanced” reporting?
Voices Crying Out in the Wilderness
An all-expert International Consensus Statement (excerpted below) was initially drafted, signed and journal published in 2002, over fifteen years ago, and web-published earlier. It was signed by 75 TOP ADD experts in many related fields, each working tirelessly throughout their lives, hoping to solve the riddle of ADD.
They were – and are still, no doubt – as disheartened as I as they continue to read the utter nonsense printed in supposedly credible papers and magazines, reported on television and radio, and repeated on ill-informed blog-sites around the web.
We, the undersigned consortium of 75 international scientists, are deeply concerned about the periodic inaccurate portrayal of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in media reports. This is a disorder with which we are all very familiar and toward which many of us have dedicated scientific studies if not entire careers.
We fear that inaccurate stories rendering ADHD as myth, fraud, or benign condition may cause thousands of sufferers not to seek treatment for their disorder. It also leaves the public with a general sense that this disorder is not valid or real or consists of a rather trivial affliction.
We have created this consensus statement on ADHD as a reference on the status of the scientific findings concerning this disorder, its validity, and its adverse impact on the lives of those diagnosed with the disorder as of this writing (January 2002).
Occasional coverage of the disorder casts the story in the form of a sporting event with evenly matched competitors.
The views of a handful of non-expert doctors that ADHD does not exist are contrasted against mainstream scientific views that it does, as if both views had equal merit.
Such attempts at balance give the public the impression that there is substantial scientific disagreement over whether ADHD is a real medical condition.
In fact, there is no such disagreement –
at least no more so than there is over
whether smoking causes cancer, for example,
or whether a virus causes HIV/AIDS.
The U.S. Surgeon General, the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), among others, all recognize ADHD as a valid disorder.
Related Post: ABOUT The ADD/HD All-Expert Consensus Statement
You can’t believe everything you read
The current [popular press over-reported] fear of pharmaceuticals fans the **erroneous** claims of under-diagnosis and over-medication, despite more than a few credible studies that indicate the opposite.
In my professional opinion, ADD/EFD in 10% of the population may well turn out to be low – but it is certainly to be expected in the arenas that tend to attract ADDers. Professional Sports is only ONE of those arenas.
Many people are still unaware that a preference for high-stimulation activities is one of the Red Flag Warnings for ADD/EFD because a high degree of stimulation promotes better regulation of their brain-wiring (*especially* true among the unmedicated, btw).
Related Post: Recent study shows ADD *IS* brain-based
Sports fans are probably aware that, to avoid doping scandals in the age of drug testing, you need “special dispensation” to use medication if you want to stay on the team.
The statistics you will usually see about how many of these exceptions exist are skewed, however. Only a percentage are for ADD medications, but reporter bias tends to lump all medication exemptions into one statistical category in reports about ADD in the sports field.
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
With the exception of a sliver of the population with eyes of two different colors, practically 100% of all blue-eyed people will be found to have blue eyes.
And practically 0% of green-eyed people will be found to have blue eyes.
That doesn’t translate to a 50% statistic
that is credible, right?
So it is with statistics about diagnoses of all sorts – what we see depends on how and where we look, as well as the validity of the metrics.
We all need to learn to look, metaphorically,
at the the color of the EYES, not at the statistics.
Look at this gutsy ballplayer’s life and what he was finally able to accomplish once he got on an effective treatment protocol for what was stopping him – not at the statistics of how many others may or may not be stopped by the same thing.
The unreported heartbreak of untreated ADD/EFD is chronic under-performance – what I call “Einstein-stuck-at-the-Patent-Office lives.”
I’m NOT saying Einstein had ADD or that Torres was a genius trapped in a job that didn’t allow him to shine, by the way. I’m simply underscoring the point of this compelling human-interest article.
You might never have heard of this ballplayer if he hadn’t received treatment for what, I assure you, is a heart-breakingly real disorder that has consequences far more severe than “mere” under-performance.
I’m tempted to lengthen an already long post by including some of the statistics of what happens in lives that need medication and don’t get it. Instead, I will encourage you to read the Consensus Statement for only a few of those (scroll down for them).
Related Post: ABOUT The ADD/HD All-Expert Consensus Statement
God Bless the press for their handling of this particular story, and for whatever it took to get their editors to agree that it was a suitable “sports” story. Stories like this one put a human face on ADD and other disorders that will help us get the word out more effectively and plant a stake in the heart of stigma.
Hopefully, more fans will seek the diagnosis and treatment they need to have the life-success we all deserve.
And gosh-darn, maybe more of them will finally be able to afford to follow their favorite sports teams around the country to keep those stadiums full!
Torres – you ROCK, babe! (and I’m not just talking about baseball here). I PROMISE you that your courage to “come out” with your ADD diagnosis and your experience with effective medication has changed the lives of more than a few of your fans – forever for the better. GOOD job!
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You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.
For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —
Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
- Brain-based Coaching with Madelyn Griffith-Haynie
- Group Coaching LinkList
- Brain-based Coaching Fees & Formats
- Recent study shows ADD *IS* brain-based
- Brain waves, Scans & Attention
- Types of Attentional Deficits
- Symptoms of Attentional Struggles
- Executive Functioning Disorders – not just kid stuff
- Brain-based Coaching Paradigms
- ADD Med’s Info for Moms – Part I
Related Content ’round the ‘net
- A Big-League ADHDer Hits It Out of the Park
- New Film Tells Story of Torres’s Struggles With A.D.H.D.
- ESPN: Torres documentary illuminates battle with ADHD
- The Affinity Center – “Baseball and ADHD?” with Cincinnati’s Doug Pentz
BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.