My son spent middle school and high school in Special Ed classes. He suffered from ADD, hyperactivity, learning disabilities and psychological issues. He needed all the help he could get.

So does Donald Trump. Trump’s behavior reminds me of many of my son’s symptoms. He, like my son, could benefit from some of the strategies taught in Special Ed.

People with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) have trouble organizing their things and their thoughts. My son could actually put full sentences together, so, at 12, he was way ahead of our President at aged 70. Trump would have needed extra remedial help, even in Special Ed. But, my son did have trouble staying on topic, in speaking and in writing. His writing was jumbled, random thoughts strung together. He couldn’t organize logical paragraphs. Sound familiar?

Trump’s tweets and speech are really word salads attempting to form sentences and meandering, disjointed words masquerading as coherent thought. Trump would fall at the high-end of the disability spectrum for his thought processes and his ability (or lack) to express himself. And we’re talking middle to high school levels.

In terms of behavior, my son was hyperactive. He couldn’t sit still or pay attention for more than a few minutes at a time. His teachers had to help him reduce his class material down to a couple of pages of bullet points so he could study and pass tests. In the school system, this is considered a disability.

Who’d have thought that our President would require his staff, just like the Special Ed staff, to reduce all presentations to him down to one page, even security briefings! And for Trump, that one page has to be double spaced, in big letters, with lots of graphs and maps.

Another symptom of ADD and hyperactivity, is restlessness and jumping from activity to activity, topic to topic. Trump is known for this. He frequently gets bored and turns on Cable TV News. He goes off topic all the time, with world leaders, in speeches and in interviews, as well as in tweets. It’s hard to figure out what he really thinks about anything because he doesn’t stay on topic long enough to get an intelligent position across. Of course, he may not have one on most issues, so this point may be moot.

My son had other behavioral issues that are associated with ADD and hyperactivity. He didn’t always understand how people would react to what he said or did. He had terrible impulse control and had trouble reading social cues, so he would blurt things out in class, out of turn — all the time — then not understand why other kids made fun of him. He would say inappropriate things and be surprised when he got a negative reaction.

I don’t need to point out all the times that Donald Trump has exhibited these traits. I do need to point out that these are considered issues severe enough to warrant removing a child from mainstream classrooms and giving them remedial help in Special Ed.

My son also had emotional issues. He had trouble dealing with failure and setbacks. He was also very sensitive to criticism and slights. He had to be praised a lot and needed to have frequent, even small, successes to build his confidence. He would often have meltdowns. But. At his worst, he never, ever was as mean or vindictive as Trump is during his twitter rants against people who disagree with him.

If my son had exhibited behavior half as nasty and over-the-top as Trump’s behavior regularly is, the school psychologist would have been called in for a consultation. My husband and I would have been read the riot act by the psychologist and told we needed to teach our son self-control and acceptable social limits.

My son has worked hard over the years and, as an adult, has mastered most of his childhood issues. He’s trained himself to write clearly and well. He writes for work all the time. He has harnessed his energy and focus and can now concentrate on and absorb long papers for his job. It might take him longer to read and write than other people, but he gets through it. He has also matured. Now he can now handle disappointment and opposition and his social skills are well above average.

With effort and special help, a kid with a lot of issues managed to conquer them and become a compassionate, thoughtful, sensitive, responsible adult. So, for the sake of the country and the world, can we PLEASE set up a Special Ed Department in the Oval Office?


  1. You have some very good points here. Trump reminds me of family member in the poor impulse control, the need to have constant validation and reassurance, insists own way, is argumentative, etc. No diagnosis for ADHD or ADD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There have been many articles by psychiatrists saying that Trump is truly mentally ill. My point is that whatever you call it, he behaves like a middle school Special Ed kid. At least in school people like him are recognized, diagnosed and removed from the mainstream classroom of life. Waiting for that to happen with Trump!


  2. You could be onto something with this. I had read that ADD & ADHD were not diagnosed in our generation and kids with these issues did not receive special education.Basically they were just “bad kids”. Your son’s case shows that with the right help a kid can still grow up to be a responsible adult. However, with Trump I suspect that even if it were not too late for him to learn he would not think he had a problem. It’s everyone else. Of course if you are mean person by nature you are probably going to be mean whether you have ADHD or not.


    1. Even if Trump has ADD or ADHD, he also has other mental illnesses like extreme narcisistic disorder. That’s what makes him so mean and vindictive – he has to punish people who diss him and prove how great he is. He would never understand that anything is wrong with him because that’s part of narcissism – you think you are fine and everyone else is screwed up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations to both you and your son, Ellin (oh – and Tom too, of course!) 😉

    I could see why you would want it, but of course it is now way way too late to even hope 44.5 might one day become a compassionate, thoughtful, sensitive, responsible adult as your son did. Your son was willing and had the love and support of wonderful parents and it still took him years of hard slog to get there. Donald is not willing, has no living parents and hopefully has no more than four years before it won’t really matter all that much if he gets the help we’d like him to or not.

    By one perspective ‘fixing’ someone’s ADD may not actually be all that necessary anyway – All of America saw him just the way he was, warts on warts, and they still liked him enough to vote him as the President of the U… – i’m sorry, i just can’t bring myself to finish that sentence 😦


    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s too late to fix anything about Trump, except his job title. He doesn’t believe there’s anything wrong with him and he doesn’t care. And that’s because his base of supporters sees him and accepts him as he is. His comment that he could kill someone and not lose any supporters is true. One of the few true things he’s ever said. He doesn’t believe the negative polls so he has no incentive to even modify his behavior. That may be his downfall. Because he refuses to accept any criticism or any negative feedback, he’ll just stumple his way through his term doing what he’s doing now. Hopefully he’ll get voted out in a real landslide.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The word we are groping for is ‘rich”. If you are rich enough and powerful enough you can skip the entire process of maturing, and of getting help for themselves, since they are rich enough to hire staff to do the heavy lifting. That way if something goes wrong you can always always blame someone else and fire them.

    I think you and Tom have obviously done a marvelous job with your son–having seen ADD kids when I was in school, I can appreciate what it must have been like for you and him both.

    The sad thing is, we forget that ‘all of America” did NOT vote for him, and they honestly elected Hillary by a whopping 3 Million lead. The electoral college voted him in. I hope they are enjoying themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It took a lot of hard work by my son, his parents, psychologists, ADD tutors and the entire school Special Ed, guidence and psychology staff to get him through high school. He didn’t really blossom until he was in a wonderful two year college for kids like him, Landmark College in Vermont. That’s where he learned most of his coping skills, not in high school. Hopefully high school Special Ed today is a little better equipped to deal with ADD and learning disabilities than they were twenty years ago.


  5. Excellent piece, Ellin. From personal to political perspectives.

    I hate to admit this but I am still stunned when MacCheesehead 45 makes a brief statement. He’s the evil twin of Forrest Gump.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Garry. Lots has been written recently about Trump’s inability to put sentences and thoughts together. Some have said that he may not be capable of sophisticated thought processes. And he doesn’t pick things up quickly either, or he does and then forgets everything ten minutes later. So his learning curve is

      Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.