Yesterday I blogged about an incident with my Daughter’s
ADHD and Ethical hacking and how the school said it was unethical and counter productive to her education.
part of this article doesn’t finish with her, but more with me.
From the time I was three years old everyone noticed there was something different about me. I couldn’t sit still, talked excessively to a point that everyone around me, including my parents, could do nothing but avoid me, or send me to another room just to get a break, and not have to deal with me.
I felt ignored, unheard, and shunned by everyone around me, and even at age seven I was led to believe I was “different”, and the punishment for this was isolation.
Lets Start with the timeline of this disorder.
· 1902. ADHD was first recognized as a disorder in 1902. A British doctor, Dr. Still, documented cases of impulsive behavior. He gave the disorder its first name, “Defect of Moral Control.” Despite this name, he believed that the disorder was a medical problem, not a spiritual defect.
· 1922. It was not until 1922 that ADHD symptoms were described and diagnosed as “Post-Encephalitic Behavior Disorder.”
· 1937. In 1937 stimulants were first used to treat children who exhibited signs of ADHD. This was introduced by one Dr. Charles Bradley.
· 1956. In 1956, Ritalin came on the market. It was used to treat children considered to be “hyperactive.”
· 1960. Throughout the 1960s, stimulants were increasingly used to treat hyperactive children. In the early part of the decade, the term “Minimal Brain Dysfunction” was used to describe the disorder, but this was changed to “Hyperkinetic Disorder of Childhood” in the later part of the decade.
· 1970. In the 1970s, more symptoms were recognized to go along with hyperactivity. These included impulsiveness, lack of focus, daydreaming, and other lack of focus type symptoms. “Impulsiveness” as a category was divided into three subtypes: verbal, cognitive, and motor impulsiveness.
· 1980. In 1980 the name “Attention Deficit Disorder” was invented by the American Psychiatric Association.
· 1987. In 1987, the name was revised to “Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder”.
· 1996. In 1996, Adderall was approved to treat ADHD.
· 1998. In 1998, the American Medical Association stated that ADHD was one of the most researched disorders, despite the fact that its cause is unknown.
Given that time line that put me in college before there was an “real” acknowledgement of the disease let alone a “REAL” medication to treat it.
It was in the 3rd grade my parents made the decision to hold me back a grade for falling behind the other children, and sent me for psychiatric treatment, further branding me as mentally ill, thus leaving the few friends I had, pass ahead of me.
In the psychiatric sessions I had to put pegs in boards and look at pictures, and asked questions like “Was I having thoughts of killing my parents.”
It was humiliating.
By High school I was still getting C’s and D’s and barely passed.
In 1985 I joined the Army to get away from my family, and put the past behind me.
It turned out the Army was good for me. The condition was beaten out of me with complete control of what I was allowed to say, do, or when it was appropriate to speak. The key to this treatment? I was no longer ignored or isolated, and I welcomed that!
After the Army I was diagnosed with PTSD and once again found myself in front of a psychiatrist. But this time I was not only treated for PTSD but also diagnosed with ADHD, and put on a medication called Adderall.
I almost instantly felt a change in my behavior and control of my emotions and thought processes. I was able to read and absorb what I had read.
I enrolled in college and was top of my class, often setting the bell curve on exams.
In the late 90’s I found a career in Information Technology and excelled at an incredible pace. Never once attended a class, but only reading books and, researching by asking questions from other people in the industry.
I couldn’t get enough of the field; I took Cisco certification after certification with no classes but just reading books. (Remember there was no YouTube).
Soon I had many certifications including Voice Professional, Security Professional, Networking Professional, and anything else “Cisco” I could get my hands on.
By 2004 I was no longer Interested in Cisco networking and wanted to learn more about Information Security. Already having experience with Cisco solutions I expanded out to other tools and certifications…
I started attending Hacking Conferences like DefCon
, and DerbyCon
and meeting other professionals in the industry, and still craved to learn more.
THEN I found malware, and Advanced Threats to our Nations security.
Already having knowledge of debuggers and code injection through training for the OSCP certification, I had no trouble jumping head first into deep forensic analysis of Malcode, and exploits.
By 2010 I was using most of the top APT
or Advanced Persistent Threats (I hate that term because even malware tries to be persistent) tools on the market.
I continue to follow the new and innovative ways to detect and track these attacks to this day.
I’ve done all this, and yet I’m “brain damaged” because I have ADHD.
So. When I went to that principle and her shrink to talk about my daughter, and her ADHD, and my parenting techniques for educating my child with information she can use in her career, and the challenges I give her at such an early age, what do you think I said? I don’t think I have to tell you the answer.
BTW: While I was there I found most of their computers completely infected with PUD and malware and offered solutions for them to pay someone to clean that mess up. I told them my daughter would be happy to help them out for a small fee.