When Someone Tells Me to 'Stop Faking' My ADD


“You don’t actually have ADD. You are just using it for the accommodations,” is, sadly, something that’s been said more than once to me.

I am a sophomore in high school, and my school has special learning accommodations for those who need them. I get extra time on tests and sometimes even a different room to take them in. It helps immensely, but some others just see them as something I’m using to get good grades. What they don’t see is the extra hours spent studying so that I can get those good grades.

I don’t like to mention my ADD to many people. My friends and my teachers are pretty much all who know about it. Sometimes, though, someone will overhear a conversation with a teacher or will ask me why I go into another room to take a test. I just tell them the truth. They don’t believe me, since in their mind, I am labeled as one of those “smart kids,” and to them, having ADD would change that. You can be smart and have ADD; you just have to work harder to do some things. People who don’t have ADD can’t understand.

I like to think of my ADD as a secret superpower. I can’t multitask or focus on more than one thing for a long time, and my thoughts constantly jump around, but my ADD makes me special.

To those people who tell me I am faking my ADD, “go fly a kite!” I wish more people would understand there are different experiences of ADD, and there is medication that can help it. That means, a person who seems “normal” and focused could have ADD, but they could also be on good medication to help them manage it.

I am not “faking” my ADD, and I am not using my accommodations to help me get better grades. Those who can’t understand don’t deserve my time trying to explain to them. If someone tells you to stop faking your ADD, just let it be and try to focus on more important things.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock image by LuckyBusiness

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to ADHD/ADD

To the Loving Grandparents of Our Kids With ADHD

Thank you for listening to us when we began to tell you that we felt something was “off” with your grandchild. Instead of dismissing their hyperactive and inattentive behavior as a “normal” part of being a kid like many others do, you were receptive to the idea that something else might be going on. Thank you for [...]
Black-and-white image of steps between trees in a park.

Learning to Let Go of Shame as a Mom With ADHD

So much overwhelms. Choosing an outfit, what to pack for lunch, what kind of coffee to order… on and on the list goes. I have always felt incompetent, unable to choose from all the options life offers. As a child, I had someone to choose for me; as an adult, not so much. My family [...]
Closeup of woman reading book.

When I Don't Feel Smart as a Ph.D. Student With ADHD and PTSD

I am in a Ph.D. program, so everyone thinks I am smart. Even my cohorts tend to look at me that way. It’s true, I can be intelligent, and I possess many gifts, but the way I got those was an alchemical process of trial by fire in my childhood. I live with ADHD and [...]
A woman at a lake

I'm Not Inconsiderate, I Have ADHD

I am not inconsiderate. Although, I can see how it may appear that way. I am late (a lot), I interrupt (working on it, I swear), I forget important dates, events, names… (but I know I like you!). Just writing this makes me mad at me! But the definition of inconsiderate is literally “done thoughtlessly.” [...]