An Explanation of ADHD

How Learning Disabilities Affect My Life

According to the CDC, 9.4% of children have ADHD, with boys more likely to be diagnosed with it than girls (12.9% compared to 5.6%). ADHD is a learning disorder that stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. I’ve been trying to get tested for it since 8th grade, and I’ve always brought it up as something that could possibly be affecting my work in school. There are two types of ADHD, inattentive and hyperactive. As someone who is likely falling into the inattentive category, I’m less likely to be diagnosed.

I’m someone who goes to therapy regularly, and I’m on medication for my other issues. I’ve been pretty stable as of late. I’m finally on medication that works. The main problem I’ve run into is how hyper I get. I become very energetic and can’t stop moving until I get halfway through school and crash because I realize how tired I am. It’s so much energy all at once, and there’s no real regulation for what’s happening to me. It’s difficult and frustrating because once E period comes around, I’m drained and lifeless.

Special education teacher Amiee Hayner works with students who need help every day. She has been a teacher for 12 years, 9 years teaching special ed. She shared the hardest part of teaching students with ADHD. She said, “Students that are really struggling but don’t want support because it‘s embarrassing to them… you can’t take it personally if they don’t want your help.”

Ms. Hayner said “Being honest helps, but there’s no magic solution. Sometimes the students need to just own the fact they have that disability, and as teachers, if we help them, that can make things easier for them.”Ms. Hayner said she typically sees more males because of the struggles that come with diagnosing women. Due to females presenting with the inattentive style of ADHD, those who struggle often go undiagnosed.

The diagnosis procedure is actually very difficult in my experience. Professionals dismiss my concerns about ADHD. They tell me it’s probably just depression or something else that causes me to not focus as well as others can. To get the official diagnosis, I need to go through a psychiatrist who will use scales called the “Vanderbilt Scales”, which are used for a variety of testing. They’re used for ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc. My issue is that it took until this year for me to even receive the scales to begin the testing process. I’m glad to have access to testing, but I don’t think it should be taking this long if the problems keep persisting and make my educational life harder. No one should have to struggle like this, especially if it causes this big of an impact.