Columns | Late Bloomer

Getting Diagnosed with ADHD Changed Everything and Nothing

The doctor said she knew in the first five minutes. In eighteen years of schooling and thirty-nine years on the planet, no one else had ever noticed.

This isLate Bloomer, a column byCarla Cicconeon

On a sunny day in eighth-grade math class, my eyes darted between the blackboard and the softball in my classmate Tyler’s* hand. Math was one of my worst and most dreaded subjects, so I wasn’t rapt with attention at the problem our teacher was writing out, but rather at the promise of chaos from our class’s most reliable agitator. After three fakeouts, Tyler launched the ball with incredible precision at the clock just above the teacher’s head; it ricocheted off the door and bounced on the floor before rolling triumphantly to the back of the classroom. The teacher’s chalk stopped moving and he turned around, red with rage. The pin-drop silence broke when he pointed at Tyler and yelled, “Principal’s office.”