Friday, August 8, 2008


Written 16 April and 6 August, 2008


When I look at my first and second grade report cards (I keep everything!), I see comments in the comportment section like, “Cheyenne is bright but won’t stay in her seat” and “Chey’s’ mind seems to wander.”

Hey, I remember those days! I would be three pages ahead of the class and my exercises already completed as the teacher plodded along with the lesson. I was bored! Of course!

But did I have Attention Deficit Disorder? DO I have Attention Deficit Disorder? Certainly not.

Or maybe I do.

I have a friend with ADD. She tells me I’m one of the few people she knows who can keep up with the half-dozen threads she interweaves in her conversations. She’s like that guy who used to spin the plates on the Ed Sullivan show. He ran from plate to plate, giving each attention so it wouldn’t fall. My friend jumps from topic to topic in much the same way, as if to keep the topics spinning. Without warning. And I keep up with her. It amazes our one-topic-at-a-time friends.

I have no problem attending to slow-paced movies and novels of interminable length, but I also have no problem jumping in my reading from Silas Marner to Vittorio the Vampire to A is for Alibi-- simultaneously. I have the ability to work on a half dozen things at a time, jumping from one to another with facility. And I like that about me.

I know some children are indeed hyperkinetic, but I think a lot of kids diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder get zapped because they are smart and bored and not because of psychopathology.

I was a smart and inquisitive child. I may have been out of my seat at times, and I may have tuned my teacher out at times. My mind might have raced (which it was supposed to do, wasn’t it? What else is school supposed to achieve?), but it was never because I was driven to move or unable to pay attention. I had completed my assignment, and the next days’ assignment, too. I was just bored.


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Cheyenne Palisades said...

Ummm, is anyone screening these comments?