Take Me Out to the BALLGAME!

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.

Heartbreaking Consequences

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!

© 2017, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

Shared on the Senior Salon


As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

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

Related Content ’round the ‘net

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.

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

57 Responses to Take Me Out to the BALLGAME!

  1. A very interesting read, Madelyn. My younger son attends a remedial school as he has a processing disorder. There are lots of children who are diagnosed as ADD and ADHD in his school. Lovely kids who struggle to concentrate and are very easily distracted. Most of them are medicated which helps tremendously. I had my son tested to see if he was a candidate for Ritalin and the doctor said that he was not and that Ritalin would not help him. I was really impressed as I had erroneously thought they handed Ritalin out like sweets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can’t believe everything you read in the popular press or see on TV. “Kids on drugs, live at 11!” gets more attention than, “Doctors find that ADDers taking stimulants improve at least one grade level.” And, of course, those who don’t believe that ADD is a valid diagnosis thinks everybody is over-medicated.

      There are studies indicating that legitimate ADD is actually under-diagnosed and under-medicated, btw. (which fits with what I have seen in my practice). The problem is when it is MIS-dx’d and MIS-medicated.

      The biggest over-medication problem is with students who fake symptoms to score stims – either to keep them awake for all-nighters or to sell. I wrote about that problem in How to Get your Doctor to Prescribe you Adderall

      Your son’s doc is right – processing disorders have overlaps with ADD challenges, but they don’t generally respond to stimulants in the same way. Ditto those on the autistic spectrum and many with learning disabilities uncomplicated by ADD. Knowledgeable doctors know the difference. Although there are still too many docs who aren’t knowledgeable, unfortunately, most of the many good ones want everyone medicated who needs medication and NOBODY who doesn’t.

      Thanks for this comment, Robbie. I hope folks read it – and my response.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your reply, Madelyn. I am pleased to read that you agree with my doctor [helps alleviate a small doubt].

        Liked by 1 person

        • Don’t take my opinion as gospel, Robbie, since I’ve never met your son and don’t know your doctor (and am not licensed to diagnose or treat), but I’d tend to go with what he told you.

          If your son does not improve, you can always talk with the doctor about a stims trial — in case undiagnosed ADD turns out to be part of his profile, NOT for the other challenges, which may improve as the [potential] ADD is controlled, but it won’t be as a result of the meds, according to the literature. (ONLY if there aren’t contra-indications – your doctor may have excellent reasons why it wouldn’t be a good idea – and be sure to ask what those are).

          Tourettes ticks are often made worse or more frequent on stims, for example. HOWEVER, I read a report where they asked the kids what *they* thought, and were surprised to hear that a great many said that the benefits were clearly worth it – and you know how much kids hate to be different! (Tourettes/ADD comorbitity statistics are actually higher than the other way around, by the way.)

          But every kid is different, so if your experience has led you to trust your doctor, you have to be prepared to accept his or her opinion (when s/he explains his/her thinking and it makes sense to you.) All executive functioning disorders have a lot of tendrils.

          PS. Ritalin is possibly the best known brand name of only ONE type of stimulant used to treat ADD, and some people (like me) don’t respond as well to the base substance (methylphenidate) as they do to dex-based stims (Adderall is probably the best known brand name of ONE of those).

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you, Madelyn. I shall look up Adderall just to find out what it is. We have tried a few doctors and our latest one does seem to be very good.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Lol! I am drafting an article on the difference between Adderall and Ritalin as we “speak.”

              Not sure how long it will take to double check recent info to make sure I’m not quoting old “facts” – OR when I’ll post it, but meanwhile make SURE you check out several sources (and start with the manufacturer for the straight skivvy on what’s in it – which will give you a good idea of which sites haven’t done their research).

              Don’t take any of them as “gospel” – but you will get a good feel after jumping around for a bit. You are SUCH a good Mom!

              Link to a much earlier article you might find useful below:
              ADD Meds Info for Moms

              Liked by 1 person

  2. mistermuse says:

    My wife, a retired special ed teacher, had a number of ADD children in her elementary school classroom over the years. I don’t want to over-simplify this, but the answer starts with recognizing the problem. According to my wife, too many teachers didn’t recognize that ADD kids can’t help their behavior and punish them for being disruptive, which does nothing to help them. Kids aren’t ‘one size fits all,’ no matter how much teachers and administrators might wish it were so.

    Liked by 2 people

    • T-totally agree! Understanding what’s going on is Step One. Always.

      One of my students working in the Educational system in Long Island told me that teachers are not ALLOWED to even mention ADD suspicions. How counter-productive is that nonsense?

      What’s even more disheartening – in addition to the shaming that decimates self-esteem – is that common “punishments” for typical ADD/EFD behaviors make the symptoms worse (like taking away recess, or forcing them to stand still).

      If we could give every single teacher a classroom assistant trained in Special Ed. and neurodiversity to work with the most problematic or disruptive children in a positive fashion, ALL of the kids would get a better education.

      Ongoing refusal to fund our schools sufficiently has put classroom teachers in an untenable position in many ways. And it’s about to get worse since DeVoss’ appointment as Sec. of ED, as the American population as a whole dumbs down.

      IMHO, if the current administration is an example of the level of learning happening in private schools, rather than looking at vouchers for those, we need to be considering tax relief and vouchers for Public Schools!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. newsspellcom says:

    I found the story concerning Torres to be quite inspirational. To overcome seemingly insurmountable odds and prevail is a credit to the powerful will of the human spirit. Often times we are at our best when things are worst.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for ringing in. It is an inspiring story, isn’t it? That’s why I had to post it, even though it is, essentially, old news for anyone who follows sports closely.

      I agree that the human spirit in times of struggle is amazing – Torres’ desire was there in spades – and his spirit to keep at it was incredible all along.

      10 *YEARS* of “worst” that turns around suddenly with treatment is telling us something else, however. I don’t want anybody to miss that particular point – especially with rampant medication-bashing in the press and on the blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • newsspellcom says:

        Your point is well taken. It is important to note, however, that media in the US represents essentially state operated propaganda. The same bankers owning and operating our government, also own the media.

        Liked by 2 people

        • You are preaching to your own choir there. Individual reporters have complained of the same thing, btw – Corporate Capitalism and unmitigated cronyism determines what we see and hear in public media in this country, despite the supposed protection of the First Amendment:

          “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

          POLICIES, however, seem to be a very different matter.


  4. Bernadette says:

    It is unfortunate that many, many people feel that ADHD and ADD are made up syndromes to help parents receive special treatment for their children. Also there is also the bias that all those ADHD children need is better and more effective parenting. It would be lovely if all those nay sayers could just have ADHD for one day and see how they cope.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for this comment, Bernadette. I agree with you in principle, but I think they’d need to experience ADD for a much longer period of time to truly empathize with the challenge.

      Most people DO have ADD symptoms for a day, Bernadette – even a week, and sometimes longer. They experience similar brain-fuzz (cognitive struggle) when they’re ill, when taking certain medications and treatments like chemo, even after a rare night of drinking.

      The problem is that they recover *relatively* rapidly, before much damage to their job security and relationships. They never think about what would happen if they did not – if they struggled for the remainder of their lives – or, much worse, if they had NEVER functioned one whit better, so didn’t have a lifetime of functioning well behind them.

      And now we’re seeing Boomer books exploring the problems of dealing with short-term memory problems and other attentional dyregulation struggles as if these are becoming problems ONLY for an aging population, most of whom have been able to fashion successful lives to that point.

      AND YET – no empathy for Attentional Spectrum DISORDERS? A *good* thing for Boomers that medication is available, but a bad thing for people with life-long struggles?

      I don’t get it – and I’ve tried to change the dynamic for almost 30 years to, basically, no avail. Very disheartening.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You lost me part way through, all the sport talk. I so don’t get sport either. You should check out our Aussie-Rules! No protective gear at all. (ABI just waiting to happen!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mind frequently numbs out with sports-talk too. 🙂 The point is that he struggled in the minor leagues and ONLY once his ADD was treated appropriately – with medication – did he go on to have *huge* success in the majors.

      No protective gear is unconscionable! Were you aware that, in America, a majority of head injuries in kids are in girls who play soccer, not boys playing football (tho’ high there as well)? WHY? No head gear rules for the girls.

      Always love your comments, Helen. Thanks!


  6. Great article. Such a great bi-line, “once you understand how to drive the very brain you were born with”. So much truth. So many assume one understands themselves when in reality they are just trying to figure it out. Once we do, as you say…. “life gets better”. We do need more stories like this and we believe there are many stories out there like this and need to be told to give hope and inspiration to others like us! Great research and illustration Madelyn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You guys are the best! I’m tickled pink that you like one of my slogans – it’s even on my business cards. 🙂

      I cannot “out” my clients or students, but I have received small portions of their success stories in testimonials through the years. I do post many of these in a few documents (menu bar for access), but I feel I must be careful of crossing the “marketing” line or I worry that the free info I post here will be suspect.

      I wish I could simply say “Come coach with me to remove so MANY of your struggles – I promise” — but, of course I can’t (nor would it get more people to take advantage of what I offer privately, I’m sure).

      The big take-away is that, however it happens, understanding how to work with and around whatever is going on, and in a brain-based manner is THE key to life success. That’s the whole point of this blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. lwbut says:

    Liked your post Madelyn. Might not be as completely as relevant here as in the US but am sure Aussies will appreciate a lot of it all the same. Reblogging at lwbut.



    • Bless you, Love. It’s not exactly relevant here either, as long ago as the Series win was and as up to the minute many sports fans like to stay. Still, I’ll bet not a bunch of them got the details of why it was such a bit deal for Torres – and that is the point. So much meds-bashing today that truly needs to be countered. I appreciate the help.


  8. lwbut says:

    Reblogged this on Lovewillbringustogether’s Weblog and commented:
    Does Your Doctor Listen When You Say Your Kid Has ADD?
    You probably need to read this:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Love. I’m not sure they care about baseball where you are, but I’ll bet the story might help a few Moms whose kids have or need diagnoses. I really appreciate the help spreading the word.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lwbut says:

        Right – we’re not much into baseball – we’re out of your ‘league’ 🙂 But we can match you for ADD any day!


        Liked by 1 person

        • You’re right about that. US and Australia both have gene pools stocked with ADD as a result of the history of our colonization. For years the Brits doubted our numbers until the geneticists had studies to explain why their stats were lower (they shipped the ADDers off to us, lol).

          Can you guess the third country with stats as high as ours?
          PS. It’s 6AM here so I’m off to bed. I’ll give you the answer in a comment under your reblog when I come to again. I just did a huge grocery/pantry restock and putting everything away has worn me OUT!


  9. I agree with you… the fact that cautionary tales make “better” headlines than the post diagnosis-stories is SAD. I wish it would be vice versa, to encourage people with the good news would be much better… and more helpful…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Great loved your words Madelyn and you are such a wonderful person doing so much for these ADHD people. Kudos to you and it is so good to see such people doing so well in other fields of activities. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love the blue-eyed – green-eyed logic! I have quite a few ADHD success stories to share, but no names. I just ran into a parent of one of our former students, a kid who had been literally bouncing off the ceiling. He is married, has an adorable little daughter and a thriving IT business. No worldwide celebrity, just a functional and successful member of society.
    You are doing such an important job educating the public about the benefits of timely diagnosis and treatment!

    Liked by 1 person

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: