One of our former PGB students has shown such courage and determination in sharing her “awaking” with others. Tess, we are so proud of your self discovery and we will continue to follow your journey into young adulthood, watching you blossom as you go along your way. Enjoy, as you read her story……..

Can you imagine living in a world where you are trying to listen but you can’t seem to process any of the words? Can you imagine drifting off so much that you completely zone out and don’t notice the world around you? Can you imagine reading the same line repeatedly because you can’t process it? Can you imagine taking twice as long as other kids on easy worksheets because you zoned out and don’t know what to do? I can, I know what this feels like. I have ADD.

From grades one to six, I always felt stupid. School was so difficult for me and I never seemed to understand anything that was going on. I was not organized and I often relied on others to help me with my work. I didn’t believe in myself and I never thought that I was smart, I just always felt tired. No one would have expected me to have this condition because I am very outgoing person and not socially awkward. We didn’t know much about ADD and those were characteristics. One of my best friends has ADD and he wondered if I had it as well. He noticed in class that I was much like him; drifting off often, asking the same question over and over again because I forgot the answer, fidgeting with everything near me and all of the other typical symptoms. Eventually, I got tested.

“Tess, you have Attention Deficit Disorder” said the doctors. I was shocked and relieved at the same time. I thought that I had an excuse not to pay attention in class and to be a bad student. After taking all of this in, I became excited because I thought that it was a free card to do whatever I wanted in class. My parents took me to an ADD coach to help me stay on top of things and learn different strategies to keep me focused. I soon realized that having ADD was not an excuse for being a bad student, it just meant that I had to try harder than the other students. My parents then took me to a pediatric doctor who specializes in ADD and she was going to try to help me find a medication that works for me. After trying many different types of medication, we finally came upon one that was perfect for me.

It was like someone turned the lights on. It felt like I had just opened my eyes for the first time in my life. That is when I had my turning point. After that, everything started improving. I finally felt smart. Since then, my grades have improved, I have become much more organized and I have also become more independent with my work. From ADD, I have learned to believe in myself and to persevere through difficult times. ADD is not who I am, it is just a part of me and part of what makes me unique.