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Old 07-02-2021, 08:49 AM   #1
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Default Growing up with ADD in past

I'm in my 50s, and I believe manage ADD OK enough as an adult and it helps to acknowledge it. As a child I had various issues consistent with ADD but there was no diagnosis then. In the late 1990s I started to research it more after finding out about it, and decided then that likely I had/have ADD. Subsequently I have learned a lot more.

I was at school in 70s, early 80s, and that was 10 or even 20 years before the schools (in UK) started to understand ADD/ADHD, In other countries maybe you might have been luckier, at least in 1980s.

So I went to multiple schools, had all sorts of issues at school, and some at home, and probably didn't get the education I could have. I had labels attached to me, naughty, disruptive, stupid. I was punished a lot . There must have been many others like me.

The first school I went to I remember as being OK and I got a good start there. Then a new school when i was 8 and that's when I remember being identified as a 'problem', parents called in, visits to Headmaster. And they did tests for dyslexia which I think is what they did for all the problem kids.

My Mum had an Aunt who was a Headmistress, just retired then, and I'd go and see her, and she'd do extra work with me, and then they decided that actually I was quite bright. So she put the school problems of being careless, not concentrating, being disruptive in class down to me being bored because the work was too easy and needing a bit of discipline from the teachers.

I started school number three after Easter 1977. it was fee paying, more academic, more strict. In the June I had my second visit to the Headmaster, and I know it was June, it was the Queens Jubilee week. And as he had told me he would on my first visit this time he caned me. Forever I remember being told that I was badly behaved, stupid, disruptive all sorts. In the September after that they put me in the class with the stricter teacher, a woman who had a slipper in the desk drawer. She took badly behaved kids out in the corridor to slipper their backsides and often enough that was me.

My parents, mostly Mum were very fed up by this time, and i can remember my Mum asking why when my older sisters could behave themselves i was so badly behaved. One of the secondary school options was a boarding school, and i think seriously my parents saw that as a solution to my problems (it didn't happen).

In my last year at school number three - I have to pass my exams. I'm told about the crap school i will be going to if I don't. I remember this distinctly and being told how miserable it would be to go there. And of course my sisters are both at 'good' schools. My mum was called into the school, and then me in the office with her and Headmaster too, and the thing I remember most is she is the one crying when we left.

I was still going to the Aunts, and she was helping to make sure that I'd pass the exams. My Mum used to leave me there on Saturday mornings. She somehow could get me to concentrate and she was making sure my weekend homework was getting done. and old exam papers, which weirdly I was quite good at. I didn't dislike her or this and she helped me do some good work that helped at school - i wasn't always stupid. She and my Mum decided that we had reached the last resort though.

The cane - if you went to school in the UK in the 70s you likely came across it - it was common then to whack badly behaved kids across the backside or the hands with it. 9 year olds, 14 year olds no different, just get a longer cane. It hurt, two strokes hurt like hell and it kept stinging the rest of the day. Mr Evans, the Headmaster increased it to four strokes. My Aunt, I knew, had caned pupils at school, she had told me she had and now she was going to cane me.

She and Mum had a talk with me and she told me unless I stared to behave better she would cane me. This wasn't my Dad who left all the difficult parenting to my Mum, and it wasn't my Mum, who beyond a few smacks as a youngster didn't give me corporal punishment - but obviously they thought it was a good idea and they left it to the expert, the ex Headmistress to do it. Maybe that is a measure of how fed up and desperate they were. Now its more than forty years later and its hard to think that they could think that this was going to suddenly solve the problem that i was. Actually I was the one with the problem, but they saw me as the problem if that makes sense.

Anyway a few weeks later the verdict on my behaviour wasn't good and I got what had been promised and it was as horrible as I thought it would be. She made me sit down and do the school work and only when that was done did she tell me she was going to cane me. She gave me four strokes on the bare backside and if I thought she wouldn't hurt me as much as Mr Evans I was wrong. She told me she hoped I could behave better and she wouldn't have to do it again. She did though, several times.

I passed the exams and everyone was very happy about that - and maybe the best thing about the next school was that they were enlightened enough not to use corporal punishments. Its another story and it wasn't easy, but the path through it was a lot easier than the two and a bit years at the previous school. the punishment obviously did not make it better, but maybe it had the opposite effect and made it worse.

I'm not the only one, and apologies if its my sob story, but years later it makes me angry that things were so screwed up and nobody thought I was anything other than badly behaved. Lots of kids were caned or beaten, and many of them would have had underlying reasons why they couldn't concentrate or behaved impulsively.

Interested in others experiences.

Last edited by 105alpha; 07-02-2021 at 10:56 AM..
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Old 07-02-2021, 03:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Growing up with ADD in past

Dear 105alpha,

I am so sorry about the terrible abuse you suffered in school and from your Aunt. How horrible. I was never caned but received corporal punishment from my parents at times. It was awful. Wish I knew what to say that would be helpful. My heart goes out to you!

Sincerely yours, Yao Wen
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Old 07-06-2021, 04:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Growing up with ADD in past

Thanks Yao Wen,

I appreciate your support.
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