I was not born like you. Sure, being left-handed was still misunderstood, but I was a good white boy in a protestant Christian pre-school. Little Lamb Pre-School, in Washougal, Washington [the state]. I don’t have any tales of abuse [from them].

But I still remember being shy and wanting to play by myself. I still remember saying my favorite color other than black, silver and blue, was clear. I’m sorry, but I remember this. I remember our favorite animals. I was quiet, so when they asked me to mimic an animal, I said nothing. Kurt, you have to say an animal. ‘I’m a giraffe’. I don’t know how I knew that, but I’m not making this up, they aren’t mute, but they’re mostly quiet.

I remember Second Grade and they would always have to send me up to third grade because I could read past the other four classes in my grade. And yet, I was still taking speech classes. I could sorta hear, I could read, but I couldn’t even say my own name. I would always screw up directions.

I shined in drama as a pancake, and reading; but they would sit us down for math. Simple arithmetic. 2+2. We would go around the circle, and when it came to me, even if I did know it, I would freeze. My brain just shuts down. I knew the answer, but ask me what a story meant, I got that. My mind goes so many ways, that, I knew four was the answer, but why is four the answer?

I know that sounds stupid, but – I wasn’t a maths genius, but – put me on the spot for any rote memorization? Yeah, me and um, rote memorization and um… my point here is ADD had you not caught it yet. I kind of want to go into grade 3-5, because I got by, because I’m smart. If you know that my parents were teachers and think I had them help me? They would have, if I asked. I knew the system was fucked early on for someone with ADD. Even my parents didn’t know, because I got by, being smart and knowing stuff.

I’ll explain the Depression and Anxiety later. And why I HATE how ADD is associated with hyperactivity, and not treated as something deeper. Next chapter, Junior High.

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My son’s best friend has ADD but was never hyperactive. As he wasn’t diagnosed at an early age or ever given therapy which could be called adequate even for that time (the 1970s on),he’s never been able to live up to the potential he clearly had.

And as a neuroscientist, I don’t have to guess why you “…HATE how ADD is associated with hyperactivity, and not treated as something deeper.” Even though the two conditions are often seen in the same person, I think it’s absurd for anyone to think hyperactivity causes ADD — assuming that is your point — and that ADD does not have far deeper roots.

Part I of your story is as fascinating and informative as it is succinctly told and by itself gives very important insights into how ADD has shaped and affected you. I thank you for writing and posting it and look forward to reading future installments and learning even more from them!