Shawn Smith for [EDIT] Magazine, Volume 16
Don't Dis My Ability
by Shawn Smith
Diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type at the age of 30, prescribed medication that gave his brain the jump start it needed to awaken from a life-long hibernation and took his thought processes from dial-up to high-speed. Shawn Smith is an extreme example of a middle-class kid who slipped through the cracks of the public-education system.
I refer to the pre-diagnosis period of my life as my “NeanderShawn” era. Life was a living hell in many ways. I struggled academically and socially throughout my time in the public education system. As I got older the expectations increased, as did my anxiety and depression. High school was the worst. It took me four years to finish three years of high school, 32 attempts to earn the 18 credits required to graduate – I failed grade 10 math four times. Each school year consisted of two semesters, and one semester I failed all four classes. I attended summer school every year in high school, including my graduating year.