Autism + ADHD = Irrepressible Genius + Depression & Anxiety.

Born to fight the system or die slowly complying?

THE NEURODIVERGENT LAMENT

I nearly died in 2014. My brain ate itself. I now know this to be the result of a massive Autistic burnout at the age of 44, having flogged myself to be the best “Norm” I could, I had nothing left. I hit the stimulants and slid into psychosis.

In 2015 I sobered up, recovered my sanity and subsequently learned that I was Autistic. I like being Autistic. I have a great career and have managers who nurture my talent and help me optimise myself.

In 2022, I’ve concluded that my mind isn’t fully explained by Autism. I’m too flighty, my internal motor is running too fast. Pathological Demand Avoidance feels like the best Autism profile to explain the beautiful brain I have.

Now I’m exploring ADHD as framework to understand the way my brain works, I procrastinate, I avoid mundane tasks. I have, in the past hated myself for it. It has held me back from excelling in the way a “Norm” would have done with my intellect.

As part of that process I have had to review my school reports to find evidence of ADHD before the age of 12. I wanted to share the extracts, because it has been shattering to read how the school system took a boy who in 1977 aged 7 was;

a pleasure to teach – very quick and interested in all aspects of life in school.”

Comments from my Infant School.

1980 – “Gifted, Overzealous Personality

Comments from my Primary School

Spring 1981  – Exam Results disappointing, Acts the fool

Summer 1981 – Tries to work too quickly, thinks the work is easier than it is, occasional silliness

Summer 1982 – Careless mistakes, overconfidence

Comments from my Middle School 10-13

1983 – With a More Consistent attitude; Test results disappoint.

1984 – Test results disappointing; could improve with more consistent effort

1985 – Should have done better than this; interest too variable; inability to concentrate

Feb 1986 – Far from giving his best; enthusiasm for work has waned; needs a shock to take work seriously

June 1986 – Easily distracted; definite problem with inattentiveness, marring his performance; needs more consistent application; no doubt of his academic ability but he is not making full use of it

Feb 1987 – Careless slips; must pay attention to detail; 

July 1987 – Why is he frightened of pushing himself? Exam showed lack of preparation; must learn work in more detail; 

July 1988 – I find it sad that a boy of Peter’s ability should allow himself to be so distracted; romantic depression, snap out of it; results disappointing; needs serious systematic study.

Comments from my Senior School 13+

Those schools and their teachers witnessed the slow disintegration of a young child, who had much potential – more than most – into deeper dysfunction and depression as each year passed.

The system made that emotional disintegration my fault. These people were not just teachers, they were perpetrators. Insulated from responsibility because they were the system.

How can you “snap out” of ADHD?. This is the barbarity of School. I never saw it before, the signs were there and I can now see why I have been a slave to depression and anxiety my entire life.

This is happening right now, to too many kids.
It must stop.

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