by Keith Carman
I can’t believe it happened to me.
At the recommendation of my child’s school, I took him for an Attentional Assessment. He struggled with focus at school, staying on-task, and generally getting things done.
While I initially chalked it up to lack of initiative and pure laziness, guess what? His assessment resulted in an ADHD diagnosis.
Of course, that opened my eyes to the challenges he faces daily, explained a lot of frustrations we’ve had as parents and created a map for him as an individual and us as a family moving forward. Seeing him excel and succeed has only made me happily admit I was wrong about my initial preconceptions.
So, what was the big shock?
Realizing that while we were going through the Attentional Assessment process and looking into his resulting ADHD, I felt that many aspects were hitting incredibly close to home.
Could I, a middle-aged adult, actually have ADHD? Perish the thought!
Still, I guess there’s only one way to find out…
Fast-forward a few weeks, and a full Adult Attentional Assessment later. Guess what?
I, a middle-aged adult, have ADHD. Apparently—and in retrospect, obviously—I always have, but given aged stigmas, a lack or absence of information (and some misinformation), I slipped through the cracks for five decades.
Now, in my personal circumstances, that lack of an ADHD diagnosis didn’t prove incredibly harmful to my mental or physical state, my overall relationships or my employment history. Yet, it could have. It could easily have resulted in many missteps, causing relationship woes, substance abuse issues and employment strife.
Still, having an ADHD diagnosis halfway through life…how could THAT be worthwhile?
I’ll tell you that it surely was. Not only did it explain a LOT of my past behaviours, choices and such—echoing all we learned about my son with his diagnosis—but it also helped strengthen the bond with my child. We understand/support one another’s ups and downs with ADHD and even call one another out when we’re using it as a crutch to underperform. It has helped my partner appreciate how my mind operates.
Most importantly? It helped me learn who I am here and now, where I deserve to be going forward, and how I can get there with the superpower that is ADHD—all thanks to one simple Attentional Assessment.
I’m an adult with late-diagnosis ADHD and am proud to admit it.