While I’m putting so much out there about myself, I thought I would share something else that has been in my way. I have ADD. I attract acronyms apparently. Although ADD will never kill me, like ALS will, it sure did hold me back from achieving many things.
I never repeated a grade but school was always hard for me because I truly could not pay attention. I wasn’t diagnosed until my teens. I remember wanting to pay attention, but it was extremely difficult. My grade school teachers always told my Mother I was day dreaming, I wasn’t trying, or I was disrupting the class. I would go in at the beginning of the day saying to myself I would listen to every word, and I wholeheartedly tried. But people shifting in their seat, something outside of the window, a sneeze, something always distracted me. Then I would suddenly realize a lot of time had passed and I had no idea what had been said. What page are we on? Wait, When did we stop reading and switch to math? Why didn’t I see or hear this happening? I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. I would blurt that question out and be in trouble for intentionally acting out and disrupting the class when I wasn’t. My mind had been far away. I began to think, maybe I am stupid. Why can’t I will myself to pay attention?
By the time I was diagnosed, I was frustrated, angry, and rebellious. I was put on Cylert in my teens, It has since been taken off the market in the US. I didn’t take it long. I had dealt with enough of failing at something I knew I was capable of, only to be told it was because I wasn’t trying or I didn’t care. This came mostly from my teachers. I know there are many great teachers who would have picked up and probably could have reached out and helped me sooner. I was hoping for that. It just didn’t happen with me. So what they told me became truth. I wasn’t meeting my academic potential because I didn’t care anymore.
I started skipping classes and getting detention, the only enjoyment I would get was surprising a teacher with something I knew that they didn’t expect me to know. I was so angry and felt like they saw me as stupid. In my young thinking I was proving to them I was not stupid. To them I was just reinforcing their opinion that I was rebellious and rude. It really wasn’t the case. I deep inside wanted them to say, you really can do this, and well, I want to invest more time in helping you. I never heard those words. They thought I needed discipline and my Mother was told what a trouble maker I was. After all the years of trying, I stopped. I started living up to their expectations of me with a vengeance.
The course of my life was changed forever. I did finally get my life back to a good place, but as I heard my whole life, I never did reach my academic potential.
ADD is better understood today, and a lot more children get intervention early enough, but there are still way too many who fall through the cracks. Sometimes even with the best of teachers. They are overwhelmed more than ever, and I’m not bashing them. I do realize now that the school system did failed me. I did have some teachers who really hurt me along the way, I would love to speak with them now. Some deserve an apology from me, and some need to apologize to me.
Now, If I want or need to learn something, nobody teaches me better than myself. I get me.
This touches the surface of the history of me, one of many children falling through the cracks because of ADD.
Parents please educate yourself. There is too much information out there to not be aware now. My Mother didn’t have this information. You don’t have to drug your child either if you are against that. Their future depends on you being aware and willing to learn how you can help and following through. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_signs_symptoms.htm
Until next time, take care,
This article was written by April