Lauren has ADHD. She also has a high IQ. If you know her…or read my blog, neither of these things will surprise you.
I haven’t written about her ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder — though I quibble with the “disorder” part) diagnosis yet…I’ll get to it, but…for the purposes of this blog post, all you need to know is that one of the primary symptoms of people with ADHD is that they have problems with “executive functions,” which is a fancy way of saying they’re often disorganized, can’t find stuff, are chronically late because they dawdle and get distracted, and they rarely remember to do basic things.
From all the stuff I’ve read, they learn to compensate in ways that make sense to them (not necessarily in ways that makes sense to the rest of us). Case in point, this conversation that occurred early one morning…before she nearly missed the bus…again:
Me: You never showered last night? Lauren, we have haircuts right after work. You have to shower as soon as you get home from school.
Lauren: OK, OK. I’ll throw a pillow in front of my door.
Lauren: If I have a pillow in front of my door, I’ll think…why is this pillow here and then I’ll remember that I need to take shower.
Me: *quizzical look*
Lauren: It’s like when I throw my dirty, stinky socks on top of the TV stand so I remember I have to do something after the show is over. I see the dirty socks and I remember I have to do whatever.
Me: Most people just write a note. There’s a whole drawer full of post-its right here.
Lauren: That is so boring.
Me: You know who picks up those socks, right? I do.
Lauren: And that’s why I never remember to do stuff.