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9 Ways I Hacked My ADHD Brain to Cipher School

I was a smart, creative, tenacious girl who happened to have undiagnosed ADHD. In Catholic school, I had to invent crafty workarounds and peculiar strategies that engaged my ADHD brain in just the right way. Then, these methods were unconventional; today, they would make for great accommodations in an IEP or 504 Plan.

3 Comments: 9 Ways I Hacked My ADHD Brain to Cipher School

  1. I was not a successful student, but I recognise plenty of these tricks. Particularly going to the bathroom. I started taking walkabouts when I was in second grade. I remember the day when I was 7 years old it first occurred to me that I could go slow and wander about, and sometimes just sit in a bathroom stall and hide for half an hour. I then wandered further, including to the playground, where I would run to the end of the field and hide in the bushes for a while before heading back in. I’m 49 now, and still to this day I can’t stay where I am supposed to be without taking a wander. I get to know everyone in the office, and pop round to visit everyone daily. I don’t know why I feel such pressure to escape the environment. It is such a relief though.

  2. These are great tips for teachers and students! As an adult looking back at my school days for inspiration, I remember writing detailed homework notes in pen on my left hand every day until I started using a paper agenda. Every year I customized it with colored pens and collaged textures and images so it was visually compelling and felt like “mine.”

    The idea of set time to check your work is fantastic — what a great habit.

  3. I loved the article. It sounds like your teachers had figured out ways to help you. I wish my teachers had put two and two together. Anyway, I loved the article. Until my son got diagnosed with ADD did I know I had always been ADD. I’ve learned tricks to get me by and have shared them with my son. Yes, sometimes he doesn’t like what i request, such as, you must sit in the front two rows of class. There so much you can see and daydream about in the back row.

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