If you have ADHD then you had a pretty good chance of being in a “special” class.
And it was always about challenges. Either they felt the curriculum challenged you or they believed that it didn’t challenge you enough.
And the truth is that any one of us could have ended up in either group.
If you have ADHD than you know that there are things you can do better than most people around you.
And you know there are things, seemingly simple things, that are close to impossible.
Simple yet impossible?
I spent years of my public school career struggling to learn simple things that seemed exceedingly difficult for the paradoxical fact that they were simplistic to the point of being dull.
It took me a long time to figure out that if something were so dull that it could not hold my attention, then it was not something I was going to learn easily.
And it took me even longer to figure out how to make things challenging for myself so they would hold my interest.
As a child …
My mother knew these secrets, but she didn’t know they were secrets and she didn’t know why she used them. She didn’t know I had ADHD and she never knew that she too had that affliction to some extent.
When I appeared bored at some task she would dare me to make it more challenging. She would set me to the task of doing a thing in a certain way that was not required, and was nearly impossible to achieve, in order to help me to focus on it.
My mother taught me how to cope with being special. She gave me my first coping mechanism.
But I didn’t realize
I didn’t understand until years later that it was a weapon I could wield myself.
And even when I did figure that out, I still did not know why or how it worked, or why I needed it.
I had no idea
I was unaware of how special I was, how special I am, if that’s the word we’re going to be using for this.
And I don’t have a problem with using that word. I am special. I do require being challenged in order to maintain a focus on many tasks.
But the challenges I set for myself would likely make an NT shudder and turn away from the job if they were requirements of it.
Life is hard
And for us there are aspects of it that are even harder.
And when we make our lives harder still, many people don’t understand why we’re doing that.
That’s okay, they’d be able to figure it out if they were just a little more special.
But they’ll never be, it’s all us!