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Re: Can you have ADHD but still excel scholastically?

Re: Can you have ADHD but still excel scholastically?2011-01-26T03:11:19+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? Do I Have it? Can you have ADHD but still excel scholastically? Re: Can you have ADHD but still excel scholastically?


Patte Rosebank
Post count: 1517

Sure you can. If you’re of very high intelligence, you can find ways to cope. It also helps if you go to a school with very low standards (as I did, until 2/3 of the way through Grade 6), and if, in high school, you can choose courses which really interest you.

In Elementary School, I got straight A’s in everything (except Handwriting, in which I got D’s and E’s), and won academic awards, and I barely had to try. In class, I’d finish my work way ahead of everyone else, so I’d flip over the ditto sheet (with its purple aniline ink and vinegary smell) and draw pictures on the back of it. When Mom had me transferred to a school that actually had standards, and that actually gave a damn when a kid was being bullied to death, suddenly, I had to really work…and I discovered that Math was a huge struggle for me. I still did well, just not as well as before.

In High School, I had a hell of a time with Math (which my parents made me take at the Advanced level, since I would be going to University), but most other subjects interested me enough (or had interesting enough teachers) that I made the Honour Roll in every year except Grade 9. When I graduated Grade 13, I got the Drama Award and the Latin Award, for earning the highest marks of any student, through all the years I’d taken those classes.

University was an entirely different matter. I always felt like a fish out of water, and very frightened. For starters, my parents (who controlled the purse-strings) wouldn’t let me pursue Theatre, even though I was really good at it, and I loved it. No, I had to take something sensible: English! There is a reason why there is a song called “What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?” In my case, most of the classes I took involved the study of plays, but even so, the lecture format (as opposed to the discussion-based interactive format of Elementary and High School) was anathema to me. So I frequently cut classes to go the the big Reference Library to watch and study old comedy films (especially Laurel & Hardy and Harold Lloyd films) and research their creators. I still have my analysis of “Leave ‘Em Laughing”, complete with plot graph. And I firmly believe that I did my studies at university, but I got my actual education on my own, in that library.

Also, I couldn’t handle the full course-load, so I switched to part-time, and worked in Front-of-House at a theatre, and took part in some campus drama groups. My first year, I was one of the old ladies in “Arsenic & Old Lace”, with Adam Growe—who now hosts “Cash Cab”. Even with the lighter load of part-time, I’m still not quite sure how I managed to get that B.A. in English, and I still have the occasional nightmare in which the university sends me a registered letter saying they made a mistake, and I need one more credit to graduate.

So, yeah, you can still excel scholastically. Provided you’re taking the right courses, and provided you can tailor the learning process to suit your unique learning style.

As for joining the entertainment field, there are so many of us on here with talent and leanings in that direction that maybe we should put together a “TotallyADD Showcase” some night. Other support groups do it, why not us?

(And the first one who says, “Because we’d never all show up in the right theatre, on the right night”, gets thumped…)