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Isn't it just an umbrella term for lazy?

Isn't it just an umbrella term for lazy?2012-06-13T10:08:43+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? "He can focus when he wants to" Isn't it just an umbrella term for lazy?

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    Post count: 14413

    Did you ever try and stare into the mirror for a really long time and say your name over and over again until you’re left asking;

    ‘Wow do I even exist?’

    Well, it’s a trip and I am starting to feel like that with my ADD. I have always been one to supply answers to even the most obscure questions with a fairly sturdy argument, yet the other day I found myself unable to respond, not that response was needed as I was not being questioned. I was being informed.

    ‘You don’t have dyslexia. declares my guidance councillor from across her disconcerting circular office desk as she stares at my aptitude test results uninterestedly, like I had asked, like I had called HER into MY office. I open my mouth and nothing comes out, every ill-gotten day of schooling up to that point at seventeen was thrown into perspective as she casually notes that sufferers of dyslexia can often grow out of these symptoms in adolescents. My mouth flaps around a bit as i keep my hands carefully and ‘composedly’ folded in my lap. I just nod in silence as she gives me a sympathetic look that says;

    ‘It must be so hard for a teenager to loose there excuse blanket when it was there only blameless defence against all that poor academic performance. Such a shame that you have no one to blame but yourself from this point on.’ I am struck dumb by her ignorance

    I wanted to tell her to explain that to the eight year old girl drawing f into a flat pan of flower with her finger fifty times a day to learn how to write it the right way round that her bad spelling is caused by laziness. I mean, really? Dyslexia doesn’t go away even if the symptoms do. The skills needed to get through a day in school for Mary Sue are very different to the skills needed to pass a test when you’ve got a classic case of ‘laziness’.

    The most ludicrous part was that once the test came through as something not typical of a dyslexic it was decided that my D average was disheartening as clearly I had grown out of my dyslexia. Well, for me, being accused of being a lazy teenager was a good day. I had put in so much effort that I was catching up on the regular teens who liked to lie in. So dyslexia was just like running along the same kids who liked to stay home on the wii in favour of academic performance except without all the playing on the Wii and with much more gut wrenching frustration.

    A year later I am on my way out of school. The beginning of my last year. 14 years, from the age of four. I was so close to getting out I could taste it. I am not really sure at that point how to write a college application, but I’ll be damned if I was going to talk to the great doubter again.

    I find a leaflet about applying with your disability and I fork over the earnings from my summer job to complain to Psychiatrist and hope he writes a letter to the University.

    Dyslexia you say? says he. I think we can do better then that.

    ADD, dyspraxia, ODD, numeral dyslexia, ODD and hey, a little apraxia, chuck it in, why not?

    It made literally no difference because no matter what name you put on something or how many names you put on something, ADD often comes with extras. In fact it rarely travels alone. It doesn’t make any odds to me whether I have the trendy Northern European DAMP or the big bad, ADHD. It’s just dependent on which symptoms the individual had and which name best suits it.

    So I am going to day a mixed neurological profile because hilariously that’s less of a mouthful then a never ending list.

    But the trouble for me isn’t that I have trouble believing I have ADD or what have you, it’s that the more coherent or logical the argument of its reality it, the less inclined people are to understand.

    My sister has it, my Mother has it, my Dad, my Uncles my Aunties literally three of my twenty six cousins HAVEN’T been diagnosed. I say it and people tap there chins and say, ‘do you think because you see it so much in your family you have started looking for it every where?’

    No I don’t think that. I think I have it, I think I know what it looks like, I think I understand it. But then I think back to how that woman turned to me in her office and just said it like it had just been one big misunderstanding;

    ‘You don’t have dyslexia.’

    What then?

    If it doesn’t exist and it’s a code for ‘brattyness but don’t worry we have prescription for that.’

    Then why do I know how an engine works by looking at it with an IQ of 70?

    How come I’m not allowed to say there is anything wrong with me except a lack of tact and interest because I can read a book from cover to cover?

    How can anyone even start to understand ADD or ADHD or any neural disorder if being obnoxious and 18 and saying that you are sorry you can lose the run of yourself sometimes when you have has you losing credibility with nearly every new acquaintance as they snoot at you for trying to gain pity for being girl interrupted?

    I don’t know how to explain myself, I don’t know how to look at some kids and spot every sign for ADD and know so much about what it is going to mean and not have an idea what to say to them about it.

    I just want to help but if one more person explains what ADD is to me who only ever saw that episode of the Simpsons where Bart steals a tank I’m not sure I can even help myself.

    So what do you say when your very nature contradicts your every word to the lay man?

    because I have no idea.


    Post count: 1096

    Hello ADayDream – thank you for your heart-felt post. I would like to respond with something useful but am too exhausted and it’s going to be a long night (again) to meet a deadline for tomorrow morning. So I am just saying ‘hi’ and letting you know I read your post.

    I don’t explain myself to people now. But I am not young and having to make people listen anymore. It can be a battle but the trick is to have self belief and an understanding that we are who we are and we don’t have to explain or apologise to anyone for that. Sometimes it’s hard to hold that thought but we should.

    I am impressed that you were speechless in front of that dreadful councillor – at that age and undiagnosed I would have probably told her exactly what I thought of her. Of course there would have been consequences but….! This forum is littered with tales of incompetent people in positions of (medical) authority.

    Anyway….back to it.


    Post count: 802

    Oh dear. How is that woman in a job like that? How dare she speak to you that way.

    Dyslexia doesn’t go away. Ever. And even if it did, I am disgusted at her attitude.

    You’re right. 70% of people with dyslexia have co-occurring differences with it – such as ADHD, dyspraxia and…well, you know, clearly!

    I don’t have any solutions, but I wanted to say that most of us have similar stories to tell about similar fwits who, ironically, consider themselves the normal ones.

    And, the rest of your post, well, yes. I completely understand. Sometimes I tell people that there is a chemical deficiency in my brain because it doesn’t produce enough dopamine or noradrenaline. That illicits a more positive response than saying ADHD straight away. Then, when I’ve explained a bit more and I’ve got the response I was looking for, I’ll call it what it is and watch their faces.

    It’s fun. ;)


    Post count: 929

    Dang!, that sounds so frustrating. I’m a 47 year old man, but I can relate to much of your frustration. I have a friend who is a teacher, I’ve been struggling to get this guy to understand or at the very least seem to care at all about the kids in his classrooms that have these very real problems. He keeps thinking I’m talking about myself, and that I want him to understand me. Well that’s partly true, but I’ve had all these years to learn how to hide my symptoms. I don’t do it very well. In fact my ability to hide the symptoms has gotten much worse.

    Maybe ADHD doesn’t get worse as we get older. Just our ability to hide it. We get freakin worn out!!!!! grrr. talk abouta really real realization… Shoot, what was I talkin about?

    Oh yeah.

    Please don’t give up. Watch the video’s here, lot’s and lot’s . Spend some time reading the blogs by Dr. Jain, Rick, and please remember you are welcomed here, but at the same time. it’s likely you’ll find other gals your same age that can help you cope much better than we can on other sites around the net, like CHADD.

    I hope you can forgive that darn guidance counselor. In the meantime, please try to document every interaction you have with her. This is very hard work, but please try. Details like time, place, exactly what she says. Also ask for copies of as much of the paperwork as you can get from her. Get some help with this. The dyslexia will be making it more difficult. But you will be sticking up for your human rights. And the more you do that, the better you will get at it. Later on, you might be in the position to file a complaint. Yours might be one of many that add up to helping this person change, and do a better job.

    You do exist.

    You do matter.

    It’s perfectly okay for you to have all the unique symptoms that you have. You don’t need the permission of some ignorant guidance counselor to struggle. Even people without all the extra struggles people with the ADHD, dyslexia, and plenty of other life problems struggle. Life in general is hard. But it’s much harder with this particular area of human problems. Life is not fair.

    Congratulations for finding this web site. Scatty and Tiddler are two of my favorite people on this web site. You can consider them a couple extra Internet guidance counselors. They’ve helped me tons and I’m a dude. :-) I bet they will work wonders for you. They’re funny sometimes too. Lot’s of us clown around along with helping each-other get through painful problems.

    Right click on the blue underlined member link below a persons name to read more posts on more topics from that person. The link takes you to the profile. That’s how I find lot’s of really cool threads in this web site. Also when you’re in a persons profile, click on “favorites” and “comments” I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure this out. I just know it took me a month or so before I realized I could find more helpful threads by going to a persons profile. I’ll bet that’s why they are there.

    Whoops! holy moly. I just copy n pasted my post into a word processor to try editing out the typo’s. I didn’t mean to write ya a dang book. It’s kindof an ADHD related thing with me. I’m gonna give myself a break today and not try to edit out all the rambling. Heck, none of us are perfect. And it’s not a crime to skim through some of our posts, heck I won’t even know so I won’t feel bad. ukay?

    Peace, and good luck.

    PS, maybe you are just lazy, just try harder! lol… jus joken :-) That’s crap huh?



    Post count: 1096

    Wow – rock on Robbo! Thanks for the compliment!


    I did wonder where you’ve been this week – glad it was just an internet glitch – bad enough I suppose.


    Post count: 14413


    Hello! I can relate to the last minute. I have a finals Exam in six hours and I am online instead of cramming! Alas’ its only art history!

    So to say thankyou for taking the time to read my post. The I can tell you that the only reason I didn’t through the little paper cup of water she foolishly handed me into her face was because I hadn’t had any blue M&M’s that day!

    I like to think that school is a harder time for ADD kids and that college students will be to uninhibited to think of me as anything more then vivacious. But then I really can’t keep my mouth shut for any length of time before I spill. ‘oh sorry did I cut across you there? Well get used to it!’

    It’s only ever a matter of time.

    I think its just one MORE thing to not worry about! That councillor was just ignorant and it was as much my fault as any other student she had slurred her jargon to for not speaking up to correct her.

    Whose to say she wouldn’t have listened *goofy shrug*

    Thanks for replying.


    Post count: 14413


    You know you might be on to something there with that fact before fury system. Duly noted!

    I like to think the school councillor does good by her generic students, but then… Well. Yeah, why not? I’m sure she’s not completely incompetent anyway

    Meanwhile I do think its unfortunate that she has been saying that dyslexia goes away. My cousin who now lives in.Spain has been seeing a ‘specialist’ who promises to mentally excercise the dyslexia right out of you, I tried to explain to her that practicing a ‘fail.and you.have dyslexia’ test so many times that you pass does not a cure make. If anything showing no sign of dylexia because you had the habits drilled out of you could only internalize the problem.

    Like covering a need to pace with nailbiting. Shutting it up isn’t going to fix anything. But i guess she just really doesn’t want dyslexia, even if it means a thousand euro to tie your legs down and call it a cure for restless leg syndrome!

    Anyway thanks for reading and replying, it’s good to hear from you!


    Post count: 14413


    Hello and thankyou for your thorough response!

    As you can tell by relatively ‘short’ by my standards post it is clear that I to have the uncanny ability to talk the hind legs off a donkey. Fortunately for those of us who don’t have all day I am currently on my phone and my fumbly fingers are throwing such a hissyfit that I shall be arguably brief.

    You know that guidance councillor might not need to be reported through I haven’t entered any office since without my dictaphone set to snoop, I think she just needs a good talking to.

    Hearing teachers doubting SLDs always makes of panic. A seven year old boy I say counting twelve on his fingers was sent to thelibrary during class time. That was the teachers way of dealing with him.

    The school actually stood by the teacher aswell and they were so persistent in there inability to be proactive that apparently no amount of intervention was gonna pull their heads out if there arses and the.kid had.to.move schools. As you can imagine ‘you have to start.doing your.homework again’ was not good news for the kid. Stuff like thar makes me freak.out. Makes me think that i.got off.easy even though. I took the class that was at the time unabashedly called ‘remedial’ as in ‘I can’t play tennis today I have to.go.to remedial’

    Gotta fight for the right though I guess!

    Atleast you don’t have to worry about being brick in the wall when you’re more snake then Tetris.

    Thanks for the warm welcome and for your time!

    I’d write more but I’m lazy


    Post count: 802

    thank you robbo. right back atcha! i don’t know what I’d have done without this site and the wonderful people here.


    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Post count: 473

    The amount of ignorance is incredible! The smug dismissal, and “I know better”, and “In my day we got a good smack and I turned out just fine.”

    And I want to say, “No, you turned out to be a friendless, lonely, dead soul, and a sad, close-minded, shut down, deliberately cruel and smug person who has no idea what they look like, no idea why they have lost their joy for life, no idea how hurtful they are, no idea how much of a bully they have become to protect their fragile ego.”

    But I don’t say that. Cause it makes no difference. Here’s the thing, folks, and I hate to say it, but there are people you have to cut out of your life until you are ready to handle them. They may be people in your family, or friends, or whatever. But they will vomit their garbage on you and claim they’re helping to get you motivated and get over it and get on with life. And what they’re doing is just taking their own hate, guilt, and shame and passing it on.

    I have a few friends who are awesome, generous, wonderful people. Everyone loves them. And they have never, ever dismissed my ADHD. Those are the people you want around you. And that is the kind of person I am striving to become. Which is why I don’t say what I want to say to people who dismiss ADHD.

    With love,



    Post count: 14413

    Two things: 1) High school isn’t the real world, and 2) there’s a reason she’s working an a HS, and not in a successful private practice. Forget her. I know, easier said than done, but you just can’t listen to ppl like that.

    Good luck. Uni is better. They treat you like an adult and let you do things your way, as long as they get done. Plus, you can work a few years and talk your way in as a mature student. Then your marks don’t matter.




    Post count: 430


    And people wonder why I don’t like to be with other people. I deal with ignorance all day, or worse: people who not only don’t know about the subject at hand, they don’t want to learn about it nor do they think it important enough bother with at any level. Yet they come to me to fix their problems because I do have that knowledge.

    I have Dyslexia. Over the last 40 years, I have read just about every book written about it. Talked to a number of “experts” on the subject and have explored many techniques on working around it. Educate yourself about it. Dyslexia is a pain to deal with, but because you have to twist everything around in your head to figure out what it is, your spacial orientation skills will probably test off the charts!

    I am learning ADHD is the same way. I am absorbing as many books and talking to people about that now. No offense, Dr J, but it is alarming how little the medical community knows about ADHD. There are even segments of the medical community who believe ADHD doesn’t exist. (I read those papers as well).

    There are people like Dr. J and others who are working with us, and I wished there were more out there that were studying us, to understand the condition. We have a lot to offer the world and typically we get marginalized because we aren’t “like everyone else”.

    In short, consider the source. Where has she worked? Where has she published? and where did she get her credentials? Bone up on Dyslexia and ADHD. Become the expert she isn’t.


    Post count: 14413

    @DayDream: Welcome home buddy, this site has no secrets so just see us as extended family who are in it with you x

    @ Raven : I sometimes use the “THIS IS NOT THE REAL WORLD” Its WORK, to people at work when they find that it is all getting a little heavy for them. Just because people say things, does not mean they are right. Who knows you better than YOU :)

    @ whom ever: It’s easy to plaster over a personality with a umbrella term, but, as we all know on this site, there is no ONE TERM. We are all on different parts of the spectrum and together make one hell of a rainbow :)

    Take care and stay in touch

    Pete x

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