Singing My Own Tune

A singer sounds off on life with attention deficit.


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Songwriter Leah Hanna King was diagnosed with ADHD in fourth grade.

When I was in fourth grade, I remember being escorted out of class and taken into a small room with a lady I didn't know. She gave me a test and, after taking it, she told me I got the easy questions wrong, and the tough questions right. I was flattered. Then they dropped the bomb: I had ADHD.

I started taking medication at nine and it worked. That's when I started writing songs. After starting medication, I wanted to do my math homework more than I wanted to go to recess. I liked how focused it made me, but I didn't like feeling like a robot.

I always sang. I did it as a baby in the tub, as a kid in the tree, and now as an adult everywhere I go. Most of the songs I write these days are on my website, including "High on Adderall."

My advice to fellow ADDers is to get educated about the condition. I don't like the word "disorder." My other advice is to find out about your natural strengths rather than trying to play catch-up with the normal kids by taking a pill to think like them.

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This article appears in the Fall issue of ADDitude.
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