Guest Blogs

“Reading, Writing, and the Communication Challenges We Face with ADHD”

ADHD affects each of us differently in often small but profound ways. But the barriers we all face to getting our stories out sometimes seem insurmountable, especially when we’re young.

The posts in response to my earlier blog about reading and ADHD got me obsessing in my typically circular fashion about not only the way those of us with ADHD read, but also about the different ways we approach writing, as well as the other ways we have to creatively reach out and communicate with other people.

The stories in the responses to my blog varied from a doctor refusing to believe a child had ADHD because she was an avid reader, to another ADHDer whose difficulty with reading lead to seeking help, to another who finds peace in another world when she reads (as I do), but has trouble retaining what she read.

Once more it seems to me that ADHD affects each of us so differently in often small and profound ways. But the barriers we face to getting those stories out sometimes seem insurmountable, especially when we’re young. And if we don’t break through, the barriers get stronger and stronger until they seem permanent.

Of course by the time you reach my age, you realize that nothing is permanent. Not even permanents are permanent. Okay, cheap joke, but come on… the whole idea of using a word synonymous with eternal and everlasting for a hair treatment, which is by nature temporary, is completely nuts. And worse, it seemed to me when I was twelve, it’s a big fat lie that all the grown-ups went along with just to make words mean nothing.

I spent much of my early teens being indignant over how little the reading and writing rules I’d been trying to nail down in my brain since first grade mattered in the adult world. Cripes, my seventh grade Social Studies teacher who every day took pains to let me know what an idiot he thought I was, ended every other sentence in a preposition, and insisted emigrants meant the same thing as immigrants (he was against them).

Funny how, like the “peace in another world” poster I mentioned above, I sometimes have trouble retaining the stories I read. I do, however, remember in detail some ding-bat teacher I had in junior high. But I don’t think it’s because the teacher was a real-life event. In truth, I’m sure I remember as many fictional events I’ve read as actual events I’ve lived. And occasionally get them confused. The reason the junior high incident sticks in such detail is because it represents one of those barriers that can keep us from reaching out and communicating.

Anyway, my point, I think, is about my 13-year-old ADHD daughter and her freaking out the other week about a Social Studies presentation she had put off preparing until the last minute. But, I’ve gotten a little off subject, so I’ll have to pick the thread back up in my next post.