I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 12. My parents told me that I fell under the inattentive type. This meant that I had trouble focusing and remembering things. I’m sure they also explained that there was also the hyperactive type. I imagine they did, as the conversation was so long ago and I don’t quite remember all of it. But I was aware of both these types of ADHD.
For the longest time, that’s what I associated my ADHD with. I associated with difficulty focusing and remembering things.
However, while doing research of my own, mostly for this blog, I have discovered that it’s a lot more than just that. Things that explain a lot.
Kids and adults with ADHD struggle with this.
Executive function is the part of the brain that helps us set goals, plan, and get things done.
Basically, executive function is responsible for skills such as: organizing, planning and prioritizing; starting and completing tasks; paying attention; and regulating emotions. These are just a few examples.
Knowing this now, things make so much more sense to me.
For example, when I was in university, I struggled to prioritize my homework, like which essay was due first. I would have a difficult time really planning out things I would write in such essay. My textbooks and notebooks would be all over the place in my dorm room. Thankfully, I did complete and graduate, but it wasn’t easy.
At the time, I was aware that I was struggling, but I didn’t understand why. If I had known, maybe things might have been a bit different. I do say maybe.
Part of me would have liked to have had a slightly better understanding of ADHD and what it was from the beginning. But you know what? I can’t go back and change things. They are the way they are.
At least now, I am moving forward and learning what I can about ADHD, so that I can make things a little easier for myself. That’s all I can really do. Keep learning and slowly make changes in the way that I do things.
For those who would like to learn a little more about executive function, here are some resources:
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