Confused and frustrated!
I am 13 and feel blessed that I was finally diagnosed with combined ADD and ADHD. This may be long, to warn you. I've been labeled as "lazy" my whole life, and "I don't check my work so that is why I do badly."
First of all,I attended a wonderful private school when I was younger. It had small classes and looking back, I truly enjoyed it, but didn't know why my brother attended public school and I didn't. It wasn't like we couldn't afford it for my brother too. I also went to a special room and played with what I thought were fun games, but never overlooked it.
When I got older, my parents told me I had a "visual processing issue", but I didn't know exactly what it was and continued along in school as I normally would. In elementary school my grades were average, but I was often punished for talking or not waiting to be called on. Last year, in sixth grade, I remarkably got almost straight A's the whole year. But, then this year, everything changed.
In the beginning of the year I decided to not work as hard. I learned helpful techniques from the previous year, and I was still consumed by summer, or so I thought. When the work finally piled up and I was snapped to reality, long nights of frustration and crying ensued when I didn't understand a concept. I realized that I wasn't smart enough, or so I thought. When I actually tried, it was impossible to read a chapter in under an hour or do research for my big report without heaps of effort. It all seemed so strange. How could most of my friends get all A's without staying up until 11? They didn't seem THAT much smarter than me. I was in a whirlwind of anxiety and self-doubt and even felt depressed a times. The word lazy came up every time I received a bad grade, and I began to get into fights with my family and said hurtful stuff to my mom, shocking even myself.
Finally, my parents knew something was up. They knew it had to be something. I was taken to a center for educational testing and sat through several three-hour sessions. I would often get headaches from all the work. Finally, we received the results. I have combined ADD and ADHD, but that isn't all. I also have an above average, almost superior IQ to my friends, and a visual processing issue, which explains my trouble in math. Now it all makes sense, but I have found it even HARDER to concentrate. However, there are so many helpful strategies, and I'm just happy to know I'm not dumb and can be whatever I want as I get older.