Luis’s ADHD story
Luis did well in his early years at school, however, he had always found it hard to listen for long in class, he struggled to take good notes and write down homework tasks reliably. He had always taken a long time to settle to work, was often late with his homework (sometimes, even though he’d done it, he forgot to take it in to school) and he was constantly told he could do better but was too chatty and would distract others.
He was described as inconsistent as he could do well if he was enthusiastic about a subject, but struggled to show any enthusiasm if he didn’t like the teacher or the topic. He was constantly walking into class without the right equipment or books, without having done the reading or preparation. His teachers had never suggested a problem could be the cause.
Luis had always managed to do well enough as he was clever and good at last minute revision. He had done reasonably in his GCSEs, although had not achieved as many top grades as his parents and teachers had felt he could have done if he had been more diligent with his work. He was now in sixth form college and enthusiastic about his subjects, but his latest exam results suggested he would not get the grades he needed for university unless he changed his approach as it was becoming harder to succeed with his previous strategy of last minute intensive revision.
His parents were disappointed and asked why, if he could focus and dedicate huge amounts of time to computer games and rugby training, surely his concentration was not the issue.
Despite being confident and sociable at college and enjoying life there, he was not getting enough work done. His latest report said: ‘Luis is a vocal presence in class. He consistently advertises his knowledge and understanding but does not always deliver on homework. He has plenty to say and is not afraid to say it. Whilst Luis has lots of excellent ideas, sometimes he doesn’t express them at appropriate times. This exuberance can be distracting for others. I had high hopes for him as he clearly has ability and he looks like he is enjoying his subject. However, his exam result is well below his ability.’
Luis had also noticed that in the longer exams, which he was now expected to sit through, he struggled to maintain focus. He described how, if someone dropped a pen, he had to look over and see who dropped it and where it fell. He would then try to settle to his work again, but struggled to remember what he was about to write. Then he would be distracted by the ticking clock and noises that other people didn’t even seem to notice, like the telephone going off in a distant office, the birds outside, the creaking of chairs used by other students and the annoying cough of a student at the back of the room. He said it was as if he was trying to focus on one channel or programme and yet he had four or more radio channels being fed in to his mind at the same time.
We have heard hundreds of people describing how their lives have been affected by undiagnosed ADHD. Some of these real life stories, but not real names or images, are shared here.
Typical ADHD Symptoms
ADHD presents in many different ways. It is characterized by three main groups of behavior traits and a range of typical additional behaviours within these.
About Dr Sally Cubbin's ADHD Clinic
Dr Cubbin’s passion for ADHD has been developed in response to the growing understanding that this condition has been misunderstood, ignored and under-represented for too long.