How do I explain being 2e to my parents?

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    • #123320

      I’m 2e (severe ADHD and profoundly gifted), but my parents don’t understand. My mom doesn’t even think that ADHD real and my dad is skeptical. They say I’m stupid and weak-willed because I can’t control my impulses or pay attention. They also underestimate my intelligence. Whenever I bring it up, they scoff and say “Sure, you’re very intelligent. Just not as smart as those people who get perfect SAT scores!”. I’m thirteen, with severe ADHD. I can tell you anything you want to know about the Romanov dynasty, Alexander Hamilton (I even have the entire Hamilton soundtrack memorized), eminent domain (I’m into law- I have law books already), King Ludwig II of Bavaria, jellyfish, big waves, architecture, HGTV, Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland (I’ve read that book too many times), American and British politics, the Fibonacci sequence (I once calculated out to the quintillions!), etc. I’m also confident in my ability to debate any number of subjects. Sorry for the list of things I have relentlessly researched. My parents care about performance, though, so they may say this list is ‘impressive’ but I need to study more. When I said my classes were too easy last year, they said no, they weren’t because I wasn’t making perfect grades. When I told them I would rather study history, they said history won’t help on the SAT. They don’t understand that my ADHD makes hard to sit and study for something I couldn’t care less about extremely difficult. Or that with severe ADHD tests like the SAT are torture. I almost exploded when I took last year. I did fairly well, scoring 1080. I thought was a miracle all in itself because I lost interest about five minutes in and I didn’t give much thought to my answers.
      Some days, my ADHD is a blessing, like when I taught myself trig (and then promptly forgot it) in 30 minutes because I was so focused on it. Others days, when it’s acting up for whatever reason (usually too much sugar/time sitting down), I can’t anything done. When I try to explain that I spent four hours washing quarters, it doesn’t go over well. Or when I tell my mother “I’m sorry, but no I have not finished that book you got me because I haven’t started it. I know that I really wanted it, but I’m already reading about 27 different books, so…” They don’t understand that I can finish Dear Evan Hansen in 2 hours, but not be able to even read one page of some book they want me to read because they don’t understand how ADHD works.
      Wow, that took forever. I kept getting distracted my fan, door, and map of the USA that’s right above my head. Idaho is a really weird shape and Alaska is really close to Russia. I wonder if Russia and Alaska are friends. Someone should write a children’s book about that. Anyway, thanks for reading this! Do you have any suggestions? Or can you relate? Or are you an author/illustrator who wants to write a children’s book about Alaska and Russia?!! Bye! Have a great day (or night if you’re reading this at night)!!

    • #123348

      I am not an expert, just a mom with ADHD kids. You ought to get an official diagnosis, meds, and a 504 plan. You cannot do that without your parents’ help, so you will need the help of other adults who can bring them to seeing you differently. Here are my ideas: 1. If you have a pediatrician/doctor visit planned soon, tell your pediatrician. It might be difficult doing that with a parent present, but since you are 13, your doctor may ask them to leave the room so that he can talk to you alone. Take the opportunity to speak with her/him at that point. Bring the letter you wrote to speed matters. If you fear you will not have time alone, call ahead and ask the receptionist to leave a note for your doctor that you want to speak with him/her alone.
      2. When school starts, try to get an appointment with the school psychologist. Talk to your counselor, to a favorite teacher, to a teacher who always fidget (I bet he’ll know what you are talking about). Ask them to quiz you on your favorite topics to show them that you are smarter than your grades would indicate, bring the letter you wrote today. Find an advocate. All of those avenues might be terrifying, esp. if you have other anxieties associated with your ADHD, but you need to speak up for yourself in order to get the help you need.

      Btw, 13 seems way to0 early to be taking the SAT. When you try after you have had the courses you need to succeed, a year or two to mature, 504 accommodations, and adequate medication, you will do much better.

    • #123353
      Penny Williams

      Intelligence is not the sole predictor of capability, even though most believe it is, including your parents it seems. If you can’t get through to your parents, you’ll have to find an ally to help you with that. Your school guidance counselor would be a good place to start.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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