There has been a few mentions lately of ADHD girls getting dissed by the world. I just want to offer a few bits of support: a) I’m a girl, grew up undiagnosed—I was that annoying friend, that unsuccessful student, on and on. No one EVER suggested that I was ADHD, even though I’m classic. I barely graduated, despite being smart as a whip. I failed math every year. I was put on academic suspension my first year at the university.
I finally connected all the dots while I was doing EBD screeners for my students. I was self-diagnosed for about five years. Before that, I figured out strategies to survive on my own; I went back to school at age 31 to complete my undergrad in elem. ed, graduating magna cum laude, then went on to get my masters—all without a formal diagnosis, all without meds.
I took myself in for a diagnosis at 41. I am on Adderall now, and I LOVE IT. I don’t think I feel normal, and hope to god I never do. I love my shiny self. She’s fun. I get in trouble on a daily basis for being the way I am.
I see lots of ADHD girls in my classroom. It is true that most people don’t understand the huge spectrum of ADHD and the unique ways it can manifest. And even if they do, most people lack the tolerance and patience to work with ADHDers. It’s sad. Our classrooms are not set up for ADHD students.
But….we all know the brightest stars have been (or are) these insanely unique ADHD souls. Stacy Turis wrote a great memoir about being a Shiny girl. ADHD is a really tough road, but it’s an extremely interesting one to travel. I think it’s my superpower, to be honest.
Please feel free to pass this on to any chicks who are frustrated with the “ADHD and Your Son” books . If I’d have known someone who was like me when I was in middle and high school, maybe I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself. Being a girl sucks. Being a Shiny teen sucks. The combo is a killer.