This is from Matt, a reader and now contributor, its long but has strong merit:
AS A CHILD
When I was a kid I was loved by my teachers. I was a 'good kid.' Really good. I sat in class and never acted up, never spoke up and never caused any problems. So, of course, teachers loved me. Why wouldn't they?
What was I doing? Was I learning? Was I taking it all in? Was I so focused that I never acted out?
Nope. I was daydreaming, as I recall. My thoughts were a million miles away, and nowhere near anything being written on the chalkboard. Not being engaged in any way whatsoever, I wasn't learning and I wasn't bothering anyone. I was just there, so my teachers were content to leave me be. They had hyper kids to deal with.
There is a story my step mother likes to tell. It was time for dinner, so she came to get me. Standing about 10 feet behind me as I sat on the edge of the patio, staring at the sky, she called my name. "Matt," she said, trying to get my attention, "It's time for dinner."
There was no response.
"Matt, can you hear me? Matt? Matt!"
I didn't hear her, and yet my hearing was fine. My mind was somewhere else, hyper-focused on some sort of daydream. I entered into such states often, and because of this I was very often accused of being shy (and I was) or 'quirky' (and I still am).
ADHD was never thought of. We don't think of it this way. It's what the bad kids have… It's something that those really hyper kids are diagnosed with. It's not for the shy and inattentive kid at the back of the room who isn't causing any problems.
That's the myth. (At this point, I'd encourage you to read about 'Inattentive ADHD.')
People thought of me as artistic (and I was this as well). It was easy to see this, as one could easily observe by looking at my school notes. Such an observation would demonstrate where my mind was: Doodling.
I doodled on everything, all day long. My notes were filled with drawings interspersed with occasional notes. It's not just that my hands were doodling: My mind was doodling as well. My mind was somewhere else. It's always felt this way. I've always felt a little 'disconnected,' as if viewing life through a TV screen rather than being there. And despite the fact that such feelings have always been present, I never attributed such things to any kind of psychological concern. After all, if indeed I have a problem, it's minor enough to deal with it in a number of ways.
The question this raises is a big one: Am I describing something called 'Inattentive ADHD' or am I simply describing laziness? That's the million dollar question.