Going through school I was always in trouble just like my son's. A DNA thing or trauma and abuse?

My youngest Son's 4th grade principal called me for a conference. He informed me that school had been in session for 40 days and that my son had been sent to him for fighting 41 times. My son, had no idea why he was in trouble all the time. Like me, he wouldn’t allow anyone to say anything derogatory.
My oldest boy came to live with me at 14 years old. He was in trouble for selling pot in school and stealing his third car.

My 4th grade teacher sent me to the office 11 times in one day. The Principal cried before whipping me. She said I was the first child she's had to whip in over 9 years.
In my first year of high school I had 5 study halls and P.E., kicked out of all classes.

We know that some of the most creative and gifted people in history had ADD. We know, they had difficult times socially and were either expelled or quit school early. It's how they found their genius! They stopped wasting their time on someone else's mandatory, “one size fits all” curriculum.

Education is one of the most sought after goals on the planet. However, for some, structured education can actually hold them back. Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs both quit college two years early because it was holding them back. Thomas Edison, if I'm right, was expelled from school because he couldn't focus on school work. The educated people decided he was too “mentally deficient” to learn. Like all ADDer's, we can only focus on what gives us passion and direction.

According to the internet, all three were ADD.

ADDer's may not “fit” the norm; it's not our goal. Do you know what normal means? Absolutely nothing!

Steve Jobs said it best... “Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the trouble-makers, the round pegs in the square holes... The ones who see things differently, they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify them or vilify them, the only thing you can't do is ignore them... because they change things... they push the human race forward and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius... Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do”.

Can you imagine, if just these three people were held back because they couldn't be taught to learn the same way everyone does.

They would have graduated school and sent out resume's like normal. If they had believed in normal, we would still be using dial-up phones, Nickel Ad's and adding machines to run a business.

There are approximately 50% of the 2.3 million people incarcerated across the U.S. have been diagnosed as to having ADD/ADHD.

I was headed there myself, not because I wanted to be a criminal but because I was being discharged from the army at 20 with a wife and baby. I didn’t believe I couldn't get or hold on to a regular job and I knew going back to school wouldn’t do any good. Plus, I still had no education or job skills.

A black army buddy that lived in St. Paul got me an interview with a black gang leader to be his bodyguard. Went to a house where 4 people were playing poker. It was dead silent. They never stopped playing poker or even looked up.

All of a sudden, the leader (with his back to us) said, you two don't need to be here. So, we did an about-face and moved out smartly.

I remember being more afraid of not being able to take care of my family than I was of becoming a criminal. Thankfully, me wanting to be a bodyguard was the worst idea I ever had. I honestly believed, at the time, it was my only option.

Fortunately, I learned that ex-military was automatically first in line for any job applied for. I got hired and because I was shown what to do “hands on”, I learned a new way of learning. Since that time, 52 years ago, I have been a millionaire twice, paid cash for and drove a Ferrari for 8 years, had a party boathouse and speedboat moored on the Columbia River. A 34ft. motor-home, chromed motor cycle, and opened over a dozen restaurants as Regional Director for a national restaurant chain. Oversaw 600 employee’s. Then decided to be a luxury home builder. The last home I built was 8,000 square feet on acreage for over a million dollars. All “self taught” because of ADD. I said all that to illustrate and bring attention to the focusing qualities of marijuana on ADD adults.

I would also like to share my thoughts on how and why people have ADD/ADHD.

This article also applies to “Combat Vets”.

I believe DNA is only one avenue for ADD. There is another premise I believe as well... Trauma and/or abuse...

Personally, growing up I remember being bothered all the time because of a very dysfunctional and abusive home life. Who can focus when they are bothered all the time? Minority children (African American, Hispanics and Whites living in poverty neighborhoods) have a much higher percentage of ADD because of their environment. The stress and worry of living in a neighborhood where you are afraid to walk to or from school. Where there are drive-by shootings. You probably live at poverty level with only one parent at home. Guns going off at all hours and sirens are heard all night as well. How could anyone focus on school or home work in an environment like that? It doesn't seem much different than a “combat zone” in the military which generates "Trauma".

In my opinion, these children will be diagnosed as being unteachable and a trouble maker. Simply because they're bothered and therefore can't focus. They will fall through the cracks for not caring about school work and being a poor student. They will drop out of school with no education or job skills because they will be convinced they can't learn anyway. They will join a gang because they believe they have no choice. As I almost did.

They will become incarcerated with a lot of other ADDer's all learning how to be a better criminal so they can survive on the outside. They have no other skills because of ADD, induced by their environment. To me, this explains the higher percentage of minorities incarcerated in prisons across the country. They come from a much more extreme environment growing up. During their formative years and school age years they were continuously traumatized. Anyone could acquire ADD in that environment. Ever hear the term... "criminal genius"? They are incarcerated ADDer's with hyper/laser focus on becoming the most successful money maker in history when they get out. Some, can even rival a large company for structure, organization and profitability... and do it as a high school drop out. Their environment gave them ADD. ADD brings hyper/laser focus on whatever you want to succeed at... legal or not!

You may think that ADD wouldn't be a catalyst for violence. Try telling a black man or a brown man or a white man with ADD they have a problem and see what happens! Any inference of being inferior or being of less intelligence will cost you your life in prison. The only “gold standard” in prison is “respect”. All minorities and ADDer's have been made to feel “looked down on” their whole lives. I believe ADD is the cause of more fights and murder in prison than racism or gangs. I believe that ADDer's join gangs and groups to get their respect. And, that's what all the fighting is about... respect! And... being looked down on.

It's not whites against the blacks, Latino against whites and blacks. It's not race that starts the war... it's, someone disrespecting some one or their group.

It doesn't really have to be about race or gang related infractions. All it takes is one incident of disrespect to start a war. Even If you disrespect one of your own gang members, you can still be killed or beaten.

If there are over a million people incarcerated with ADD it would make more sense to have them grow the correct strain's of med marijuana on prison farm acreage. Not all strains will work. It should be a Sativa for focus. Unlike Adderall, (now used) pot is not harmful or addictive, even with chronic use. Indica pot strains are more for laying back, being sociable and even being friendly. Pot is tailor made for prisons in just about way you can think of. It eliminates anger, anxiety, boredom, depression.

Pot can give hope, stress relief, calmness, focus and a goal oriented future because now you have skills, all learned in a trauma free invironment . Which is all they needed in the first place. This is also true for most of the homeless.

A daily regimen of pot for focus and while going to school, learning a skill or discovering their passion for when they get out. Now, they're totally focused on getting out of prison with dignity and opportunity. Growing pot has become a legal and a fast growing industry in high demand. (thinking out of the box here) The big plus is, you don't ever have to return to a life of hopelessness. Remember, we're talking about super traumatized people with no hope, diagnosed with ADD and full of rage and fear. Now, dreams are attainable, life is finally worth living. The need to re-offend has diminished to zero. I don't know about you but to me, that's real prison reform!

I know this sounds insane to just about everyone, but for people that can’t focus because of ADD it’s the missing equation to a life long struggle. Don't put us in jail or divorce us because you think we're addicts for smoking pot. All we're trying to do is lead a normal and productive life. We don't need to be divorced or incarcerated... just understood. Why do you think minorities and people of all color living in low income neighborhoods seem to always drop out of school and smoke pot?
It's called "trauma, abuse and being looked down on". I believe that this could be the nucleus of all ADD/ADHD. It forces total and constant focus on the emotion of fear  about everything and everyone with no end in sight. According to the news, ADD is increasing worldwide and they don't know why. I believe ADD is on the rise because trauma and abuse worldwide is on the rise.
The brain will only focus on one thought at a time.
It will always be the dominant emotion, be it negative or positive.

I also believe almost all homeless people and street prostitutes are ADD. Homeless people, just like everyone else, need to find their passion for a happy lifestyle. This is especially true for homeless people with ADD. They don't believe they can get a job or keep one if they did. They believe they can't go to school for more education or up-dated learning skills, because without passion about their new job skills, there's no focus. New job skills may get you a job but they won't create the passion that is the main ingredient in any successful lifestyle.  People with ADD can only focus on their passion, not a job or education, that's why they're homeless! They live homeless because they know you can't learn "focus", it has to be acquired through passion. When your homeless, anything positive seems so far away. That's why they choose to live the way they do, alone and among other's like themselves. They are truly the forgotten people.

A perfect example of what I'm saying is the world famous motivational speaker...
Tony Robins. He was jobless, almost homeless and ADD.
His unbelievable success came from telling millions of people two things... find your passion and you'll find focus.

Maintain focused passion and you can succeed at anything.
Including being the best at what your passion is... even genius.

So, next time you are with someone that says the inevitable, "If they wanted to... they could get a real job and have a normal life". Maybe you can tell them for me that, it's ADD that has them convinced they belong there whether they realize they have ADD or not. Theirs is a horrible life, with absolutely no hope. They don't realize that many of the luxury cars driving by are owned by successful people with ADD as bad or worse than theirs. I drove a Ferrari for 8 years. They had no idea that, I was one heartbeat away from living on the street or being incarcerated myself.

What if... a homeless person or street prostitute walked up to you and said; "How would you feel if you were on your own, with no direction home, a complete unknown, a rolling stone, scrounging your next meal, how would you feel? Of course, those words came from the lyrical genius, Bob Dylan. In my opinion, Dylan has to be ADD to write those lyrics.

ADD has many faces. This fact has to be understood or change will never come... ADD is everywhere. Copied from highdefadd.com