I talk to each one of my teachers for the upcoming year, and we talk about what we are going to be planning to do for the year, and how we will manage that, and what can be done, and what we’ll be doing in class sometimes.
The teachers are supposed to have sent something– like the 50 thingamajiger plan [Stephanie is referring to a 504 plan], but I don’t think most of them know that I have ADHD. I could tell them and they’d believe me, but I don’t think most of them would assume right off that I had it.
One thing that is bad right now is that it seems like ADHD is a laughingstock. All these little kids sit in front of a video game all day and everyone is like “My kid has ADHD.” The thing is that they don’t have ADHD, you just don’t make them do their work. So it’s become a laughingstock. So when you say, “I have ADHD” your teachers are like, “Oh, huh, right, sure.” It kind of makes me mad that parents let their kids go crazy and then blame it on a disorder that they probably don’t really have. I know that might sound mean, but the effect it’s had on so many adults is that they don’t take it seriously….Teachers need to understand that no matter how smart, no matter how hard working and no matter how determined someone with ADHD is they have to realize that there are special allowances that do have to be made. You have to be understanding and you have to not just brush it off because it’s something you’ve heard of as being overdone….
Advocating for myself
Supposedly everyone knows about my ADHD, but for the past two years I’ve had to go up to my teachers and tell them about it. Finally it was taken out of the hands of guidance and put in the hands of the guy that one of the things he does is teach a Special Ed class but he also runs stuff for people who have special requirements for school. Once it was put in his hands things started working out. But before, the past two years when it was in guidance, I had to advocate for myself. Sometimes the teachers seemed annoyed with me for saying I needed extra time. They’re like, “Well, she’s smart she doesn’t need extra time. What is this? Why should she get more time then?” They didn’t say that, they were like “Oh, okay” but you could tell from the look on their faces that they were like “She doesn’t need extra time, why should I give her extra time?” That just made me so mad because I shouldn’t have to justify myself.
Needing extra time
There was one teacher who was a nice guy, but I always needed extra time on his tests–always. I did perfectly on the homework, perfectly on everything else, but I needed extra time on his tests and I could never have it because he would not let me come after school because I had his class early in the morning and he thought I would cheat. He was like, “I’m sorry I just can’t do that.” Well, yes. I know you’re not supposed to do that but you kind of have to, but you can’t tell me that I can’t take your test. I know that it is a general rule for normal people that you do not let them have all this time between parts of a test. But I’m not normal people. I can’t finish it in the time that you give me. He wasn’t doing it because he was mean, he was a nice guy, he just wouldn’t/couldn’t understand.
I used to wear hoodies in school. I used to put up the hoods, and I could wear my headphones up through my jacket, so you couldn’t really notice it. Now the school took away letting people wear hoodies and now that I can’t do it, I can’t focus as well, which annoys me.
Special Ed helped
When I was in middle school I worked with people from Special Ed. That was helpful. They worked with me 1-on-1. I don’t know what would help other kids who have ADD in school, it’s different for everyone, so I don’t know. The 1-on-1 helped me when I needed it.
I definitely pissed off the teachers a lot because I would speak out loud without raising my hand if I had to say something because I couldn’t wait. It bothered me, by sophomore year it definitely started to bother me because I just couldn’t concentrate in class. I wasn’t doing well at all. I couldn’t focus.
My tutor helped me with planning, study habits, how to have a good time schedule for everything. She was great; she was really helpful. I use a planner now. I’m really good at getting stuff done. I don’t usually wait until the last minute. A few times in school, during finals things kind of overwhelm me. But other than that I was always good at it this semester, planning my schedule.
Medication in college
I don’t mind taking medication. Since my schedule at college, it’s not like high school where you go from 8 to 5. My schedule is so off. I have some classes at 11, some at 2. I try to take it right before class and when I study.
Differences in boys and girls
Boys seem to have it more severe and be more outward about it, like getting in trouble. Girls just seem to not concentrate as well or do as well in school.