living with ADHD

Katherine - Des Plaines, Illinois
Entered on April 10, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: disability
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When I was about 3 years old, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I was prescribed to generic brand of Ritalin, and took it from the age of 3 up until the age of about 13. When I was young, I would talk so fast that nobody would be able to understand/comprehend what I was saying. I grew up drinking diet soda’s because there was too much sugar in the regular ones. I had to go to a different elementary school for kindergarten than the one close to my house. In school I was put into special education, because of my “adhd.” I was taken out of classes regularly, and quizzed on spelling, and grammar. Extensions were given for tests and quizzes throughout elementary school and junior high. During 6th,7th,and 8th grade I had to have my assignment notebook, with all my homework written signed by my study teacher. By the time I was 13 years old, I was so tired of being treated like a child. I wanted to be out of the program, and put into regular classes when I entered high school. I didn’t want to take my medication anymore and found it useless. My point was to prove the teachers and my parents that I could get the grades I wanted to get, without being babied or having alterations of time on schoolwork. I got my wish, and was dropped from the special education program end of year 8th grade. My freshman year of high school I really struggled. I dropped out of two classes, and barely made the cut for being considered a sophomore. I was so used to being babied, as I was throughout school K-8 that when I was on my own, I struggled tremendously. Although it was hard, I did not give up. The beginning of sophomore year, my grandpa saw my grades and was shocked at what I was getting. He was very disappointed in me. He told me that I should be getting straight A’s. I took this to heart, and by the end of sophomore year, I almost had straight A’s in every class. Even though my grandpa never got to witness it, because sadly he passed away Thanksgiving Day that year, I kept my grades up throughout the rest of high school. I believed in myself, because of what my grandpa said to me. His disappointment was all I needed to turn my grades around. Still to this day, I keep my grades up. Just for my grandpa. So that he can see, that I am doing good in school, and succeeding. All you need to do is believe in yourself. A child does not have to be given “drugs” to prevent some silly disorder like ADHD. Other things can be accomplished without using the drugs. All you have to do is believe in yourself, like I did. Now I am enrolled in college full time, with the dream of becoming a college professor.