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She started to learn how to turn it into an advantage.


Even today, 20 years after my childhood diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I am still keenly aware of how my attention wavers, lapses, or holds differently from that of most people. I’m prone to experiencing “blank” patches in conversation, when I suddenly realize I have no recollection of the past 30 or so seconds of what’s been said, as if someone has skipped forward through the video feed of my life (occasionally, I resort to “masking,” or feigning comprehension—which is embarrassing). When watching television, I struggle not to move, often rising to pace and fidget, and I dread being the “owner” of complicated documents and spreadsheets, as I’m very likely to miss some crucial detail.

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