I am dedicating my ADHD coaching practice to childhood friends who, like me, had ADHD but were undiagnosed. These were the kids who were labeled as troublemakers, lazy, and unmotivated. But we weren't bad kids; we just had brains that were wired differently.
Our teachers in the 90s didn't have the resources available today to best support neurodiverse kids. They didn't understand that good kids could fidget and doodle while learning and that messy handwriting or twirling hair didn't mean we weren't paying attention. Well-meaning teachers often embarrassed us, not realizing how sensitive we were. As we became emotionally flooded with shame, we struggled to comprehend school material and were often chastised for it.
I believe our parents, teachers, and social workers all did the best they could with what they knew. But for many of us, it wasn't enough. Some of us turned to self-medication and dangerous behaviors to cope with undiagnosed ADHD, leading to tragic outcomes. Many people's paths lead to the prison system, where they still remain, and a few golden children lived fast for a short time.
To my friends who took these paths, I am sorry. I haven't forgotten about you. You are my inspiration. I will advocate for better resources and support for neurodiverse children. I will be a safe place for adults with ADHD who struggled for a long time without a proper diagnosis and treatment.
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