Confessions of a High School Student with ADHD
by Marty Weis
Being a high schooler with ADHD, it is a challenge to survive high school after many years of failure, followed by a diagnosis of ADHD, rather than the other way around. Life as a teenager with ADHD is not a fun journey, because high school takes a lot of work, and ADHD sufferers are generally swamped with hard work and not enough time to finish it all.
High school: the most stressful place to be before going to college for a teenager. High school starts early in the morning, earlier than elementary school kids and the junior high schoolers, and to any normal student, getting up in the morning is definitely a challenge. From the start of school to the end of school, most students are about ready to pass out onto their desks and fall asleep. The classes go on for hours and hours and the students are all doing their best to get work done. Homework is issued, and the teens go home to their houses. The teens spend time having fun, finish their homework, eat dinner, and go to bed. This is an average routine for a teenager to go through.
However, ADD and ADHD students play a whole different game than the average teenager. The mornings are hectic, and breakfast is out of the question, unless its in the form of a bar or packed into a small plastic bag. The boy is off to school. At school, he sits in his normal desk at school, pulls out a note book and prepares himself to learn. Though the student may seem focused, the student may be having “black outs” which is noticed by blank staring at an object, or a fixed stare on the educator’s face. Having my fair share of blackouts, i can explain blackouts the best i can. Blackouts are periods of time where ADD takes over, and basically, you’ll be listening to a teacher for a few minutes, and a minute later, you think about something mentioned in the topic or something like it, and just forget that the teacher is talking and teaching, and you only think and “see” the topic you’re thinking about. I call it a blackout because you don’t see anything but what’s in your mind. Another kind of blackout occurs when a student pays attention for a short bit, and trails off into doing something like drawing, playing with eraser dust, or anything else. These blackouts are as bad as falling asleep during class or listening to music because it almost seems to block out the world around you.
Homework is a serious case for some children with ADD. When a child gets home from school, it is mostly assured that the child wants to enjoy some games or watch tv after a long day at school. Typically, if i were to enjoy myself after a long day’s work and be expected to do work, i’d have more trouble getting started than starting when i got home from school. Homework is an issue with ADD because it takes a lot of effort to stay focused on the work, and be able to complete the work assigned. Doing work may be a challenge to ADD students because ADD students have blackouts, focusing issues, and “brain-fog”. Brain-fog occurs when a student is required to remember or even think about a subject, and there is a literal feeling of the mind being fogged up. The mind becomes blank, and the ADD student bangs his or her head into the table in frustration (Its what I do when I get frustrated). All these matters are very tough situations to work with, and with brain-fog, it may take an hour to do a 10 minute assignment. A solution to brain fog and help prevent attention problems, is the medication Adderol XR (eXtended Release) which gives the ADD student relief from brain fog within the week of taking it, and gives him or her an enormous boost in *good* energy in class to stay focused and learn well.
“Adderol should be called a miracle drug, because its keeping me, being ADHD, focused and attentive in 1st period Calculus class and writing notes like crazy.” – My friend from choir