Out of the Mouths of Babes

My son daleMy son Dale is 10 years old and has ADHD. This story took place when he was in Kindergarten. Dale has a late birthday so he would have to wait a year to start school. To avoid that, I enrolled him in private school. After one week they told us they weren’t equipped to handle his behavior, but once he gets diagnosed we could bring him back because he was so smart. We were devastated, but that was what we needed to get a referral to have him tested. Needless to say we didn’t send him back. We just waited a year and sent him to public school. In Kindergarten he had an amazing teacher that allowed him to be him. She used different strategies to pull the best out of him. One day I picked him up from school and one of his classmates said to me, “Hi Dale’s mom. Dale is my friend. He’s a little crazy but a lot good”. I almost burst into tears. It was so heart warming to see this young man truly accept Dale for who he is.

Tocquinn Cordice

There’s Nothing Wrong With ADHD

I was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, I even went to a camp to help me with it. As a kid I was ashamed of my ADHD. In 5th grade a teacher called me out in the middle of class asking if I had “taken my medication today?”

Shortly after that I realized there’s nothing wrong with me, there’s nothing wrong with ADHD. I became proud of my ADHD and what it allowed me to do; multi task, hyperfocus, be creative etc. I utilized these skills to be the best person I could be. I started working with the ADHD community in 2015 as a counselor at the very camp I went to as a kid.

I worked with kids to show them that ADHD is not something wrong with you, its something that can make you better at things. For me ADHD isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength. It’s what makes us different from other people, it can excel us to levels we could never imagine. So anyone out there who is discouraged about ADHD or think that there’s something wrong with you, please remember my words, and use your ADHD as a strength.

Zak

Just A Teen Girl With ADHD

I have lived with ADHD since the moment I was born (although my parents never told me until the 4th grade). When I was young, I have always struggled with attention, organization, and other executive functioning skills.

One thing that bothers me the most that some non-ADHD’ers have said is “oh well you can’t have ADHD because you are in all honors classes.” Omg people, just look at Albert Einstein and Justin Timberlake. You can totally be successful and have ADHD. I have all A’s and am in honors. In fact, we can be smart (and have more creativity than most people). I would love the world to know that ADHD doesn’t define who you are, although it is a part of you, and it is so much more than not being able to sit still. ADHD does need more awareness, and I am so happy to be celebrating ADHD awareness month with my fellow ADHD’ers!!! Trust me, the ADHD community is a good one and it is safe to share your story!❤️❤️❤️

Broughton(B) Taylor

My Strength

ADHD on a t shirtGrowing up with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder I’m very thankful for my parents acknowledging my disorder and giving me the resources that I needed to learn how to utilize my ADHD to help me in life and not hinder me.

In 2015, I started working with the Cleveland Clinic Summer Treatment Program, a program I attended as a kid. Utilizing my experience with ADHD, I was able to help kids who are like me for 4 years and When it was time for me to pick an internship site, the only one I could think of was the Cleveland Clinic ADHD Center for Evaluation and Treatment.

My goal is to eliminate the negative stereotypes of children with ADHD, that they are “demon children” who have no attention whatsoever and who need to be pumped full of medication all the time.  I choose not to hide my ADHD instead I wear it on my arm, literally.

ADHD is not a weakness,  it’s my strength. #ADHDAwareness #ADHD 🧡

Zak

ADHD, mental illness, and creativity

Surrounded by books

I’ve struggled my entire life (starting with memories from preschool) with inattentive ADHD, mental illness, and learning disabilities. I was born ten weeks early, alongside my twin sister, and lived in the NICU for several weeks. I often wonder if my premature birth and low birthweight contribute to some of my struggles. Regardless, I want to share how I use my challenges, particularly ADHD, to my advantage.

All ADHDers here know that hyper-focusing is a huge part of how our brains are wired. When I write, I am often able to transcend into this hyper-focused mindset. I even credit things my conditions such as ADHD, OCD, and bipolar for why I am so creative, especially when it comes to writing.
I am currently in a Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing program. I am composing a novel, one in which the main character struggles with ADHD, mental illness, and addiction. I got this and so do you. I am grateful for my unique brain everyday.

Kelly McNamara

Learning to breathe again

Woman with IceCream

Sat in a hospital puzzled and confused, I had an untreated eating disorder, untreated alcoholism and undiagnosed ADHD. I had almost given up trying – even trying to breathe. Comments like these were all too familiar,
“You just need to apply yourself or try a bit harder.”
“You have so much potential”

My family always joked about me having ADHD but the other struggles I had at the time needed urgent attention.

After many setbacks, I got sober with the help of a 12 step fellowship and a higher power. At a year sober I realised that life isn’t meant to be this hard. The harder I tried, the more disheartened I felt. Especially when comparing myself to others around me. ADHD popped into my head. I did some research and for the first time, I felt hope.

Finally at the age of 28, I was diagnosed with ADHD and treated with medication and therapy. Life can still be painful and unfair but it’s also exciting and meaningful. I am finally learning to breathe again.

Emma

Becoming an ADHD Fantasy Author

Roller coaster Awareness MonthLife with ADHD can be a magical wonderland; sometimes charming, sometimes dark. This is the inspiration for the ADHD fantasy I write. It’s fantasy that takes place inside the mind of someone you know. Possibly love. Maybe, yourself.

Although I managed to earn a PhD, learn four foreign languages and homeschool three kids through high-school, some things always remain a struggle for me. Like punctuality. Listening to you talking to me. Remembering where my phone is. And where it is now. And now.

Decades in, I learned my spacey over-enthusiasm had a name. I also noticed I managed quite a lot despite it, or was it through it? I fail to perform the obvious, but shine in the unique. While others smoothly move from A to B, I lose my way, but get to M, A, G, I and C instead.

I’m grateful for my ADHD, without which “ADventures Heading up and Down” and “Distracted Magic” –my ADHD fantasy writings – would never have been born.

Join my journey, and own your own ADHD!

Adva Shaviv

ADHD and Identity

It’s not uncommon for people to use ADHD as a synonym for inattentive or hyperactive. It wasn’t until a sociology course at my university that I realized why I used to get so annoyed by this. Humans have a tendency to assign moral values to labels. In a culture that emphasizes individualism, it can be easy to focus on a single aspect of our identities, especially if it’s stigmatized.

It can be difficult to accept a diagnosis, but ADHD isn’t inherently bad. When I catch myself starting to only discuss the struggles with a friend, family member, therapist, or coach, it’s helpful to remind myself of my strengths. I can’t change the way my brain works, but I can learn to use the tools at my disposal to succeed. I have ADHD but it is not all that I am.

Tina

On the struggle bus

I am currently struggling with ADHD, still need guidance with school.

Anyways ADHD can be good, bad at the same time. Because of the impulsiveness I do get in trouble. But there are ups, like being social.

I know, having a disorder sucks because of people make fun of you. But maybe, people could change. I do have my problems. I struggle with keeping my locker organized so, for the zoning out I decided to ask all my teachers to let me sit in the front because of zoning out, they said yes. I also lose stuff frequently and get mad easily, no idea if that is part of it so, yeah..

Kaydence

ADHD for Me

Everywhere I turn, it seems there are messages about who can and can’t have ADHD, its causes, how to “fix” it and what it has to look like. Some of these messages are informative & empowering, but many of them are confusing & dismissive.

These messages often distract me. Instead of using the strategies & tools that help me thrive as an adult with ADHD, I find myself trying to force my ADHD to “make sense” or look a certain way… but the problem is it never works. My ADHD never stays in the box I make out of all these ideas that I try to fit it into.

Slowly, I’m learning that I don’t need to listen to all the ideas & messages out there- my ADHD certainly doesn’t! I can take the ones from those I trust and set aside those that distract me and lead to confusion & shame- the ones that dismiss & reduce the complexity of ADHD in my life.

My ADHD is a lot of things and it’s not a lot of things. I’m learning to embrace that it doesn’t need to be anything other than exactly what it is.