I posted this part on the BRG but I wanted to talk about it for a bit as well. I developed a tick from being so stressed out from the pressure of trying to keep up with the other readers in the 4th grade. I remember reading the same sentence over and over again and I just couldn't focus! I really would try. What really did help was when my mom read to me. I'll talk about that part later. Below is what I asked my mom about:
ME: When was did you first notice that I had attention problems?
MOM: I began to notice that you had a little attention deficit when you were pretty young. But I would not have used that term. I just remember being aware that it seemed noteworthy that I had to ask you a half dozen times if you wanted orange juice or tomato in the morning. I recall being sort of astonished that you wouldn't answer. You were always pretty wired at home. Do you remember asking us to count laps as you ran around the house? Your uncle Ted was probably the first one to comment on your temperament. You were tiny, I mean maybe just weeks old when he held you and said, wow she is very alert. Your hair stuck up like you had been electrocuted. I mean you were wired. You were well behaved in school but let it all hang out at home. You were never mean or destructive, just lively and we did enjoy you.
ME: Was this apparent at home or just in school?
MOM: Your fourth grade teacher (who had a hyperactive son) was the first professional to mention it to us. Or maybe the third grade teacher said it in a very vague soft way. But Mrs. A. referred you to a neurodevelopmental pediatrician
ME: I remember going to a doctor to be tested but I was never told what it was for. I thought it was some sort of intelligence test. It really stressed me out. Why didn’t you guys explain what it was for? Or did you and am I just not remembering?
MOM: I am afraid I don't remember what I told you about why you were going. I usually try to explain things so I would imagine we said it was because the teacher thought you were having trouble paying attention. The funny thing is, that you were first referred for a test to see if you had auditory processing problems. That came up negative. And the Dr. who wrote an evaluation on you, left it up to us, to decide if you should be tried on stimulant medication.
ME: Bridget was a huge bookworm. I really didn’t like reading all through school. I don’t remember you forcing us to read but I do remember having to read a number of books during the summer months as a requirement to get into the next grade. I always tried to get the smallest book possible. You really can’t make someone be a reader I guess! Were there any tricks you tried on me? Or did you just let me be?
MOM: I do think I tried to get you to read. We went to libraries and bought books and encouraged you to read during the summer for fun. But it just wasn't fun for you. I wonder if you would have liked books on tape when you were younger. You seem to enjoy them now. You could have listened while you did other things. I would tell parents of kids who don't seem to enjoy reading to try that.
In the 4th grade I was brought to a very stern, scary-type doctor who made me answer questions such as: "Repeat after me: Ball, dog, blue shoe." Then I'd do so. Then he'd say: "Remember those three things. Fifteen minutes later he'd ask me to repeat them again. I wouldn't remember them. Was it a memory problem or did I never process the objects to begin with? I was very good with the visual parts of the tests.
Even in college, I'd drift off very quickly when I wasn't interested. So I stopped going to lecture halls entirely. What was the point? I managed to get mostly As and Bs anyway. I studied on my own. After years of dealing with attention problems I'd found ways of dealing with them. But there are many times when I miss pieces of conversations and I pretend that I don't. I MUCH prefer doing publishing business via internet than over the phone because I can concentrate better. Some editors understand this better than others.