WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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ing him extended time on exams. He performed so well that he was accepted as a special student at Bowdoin College, where his fraternity mates read him his homework and professors gave him special accommodations. He ultimately graduated from there with honors. Weaver knows now that he had (and still has) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)—at a time when that diagnosis was virtually unknown—coupled with dyslexia. After graduation, he made a decision to help children and other adults impacted by "learning and attentional differences." In 1985, he opened The Weaver Center, close to his childhood home, in Wayland. It was a one-of-a-kind center in the '80s and is still thriving today, much to Weaver's credit. As President Carter said in his letter, "Teaching others the skills, which you yourself worked so hard to master, is a very noble endeavor." Many adults who have ADHD—a bit more than four percent of the population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health—had similar childhood experiences, although maybe not so extreme. Some recall "marching to the beat of a different drummer" or "never living up to their potential" as both children and adults. In fact, all cases of adult ADHD start in childhood. According to the Mayo Clinic's website, Adult ADHD symptoms may include: n Trouble focusing or concentrating n Restlessness n Impulsivity n Difficulty completing tasks n Disorganization n Low frustration tolerance n Frequent mood swings n Hot temper n Trouble coping with stress n Unstable relationships Weaver says he looks for verbal clues as well when he is diagnosing adults who he suspects have ADHD. He says the words he hears most often from patients with ADHD are "It depends" on their interest level when you ask them how they are doing in work and rela- tionships, or "I know, I'm really dumb or lazy," or "People think I'm doing the wrong things over and over on purpose, and I'm not. I'm just not aware or attentive in that moment." The difference between adult ADHD and childhood ADHD is that most adults do not have the hyperactivity component kids have, and instead of suffering in school, which can bore them, adults are able to choose jobs that interest them so they can focus. Many adults are diagnosed with ADHD at a center such as Weaver's when they get a promotion at work and can't handle the extra pressure or when they bring their child to a professional to be tested for the disorder. fitness & health "all cases of adult ADHD start in childhood" 146 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 6

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