My ADHD Story Part II

Many people ask my why I went into this field. The next part of this story really is the main reason. My ADHD was never properly dealt with through the school system and I didn’t want kids to experience some of the same issues I dealt with as a child.

In fourth grade, my parents told me they were taking me to visit a place. Being the inquisitive little dude that I was, I kept asking where we were going. Well, it turns out, it was to a place called Borg School in Morton Grove, Illinois. It was a school that was supposed to help children with behavioral issues become better students. There’s only one small problem…I really wasn’t a behavioral issue.

I remember my first day at that school things seemed wrong. The other kids were violent, angry, swore and just weren’t like me. Plus, learning was optional. We really didn’t focus on academics…we focused on improving behavior. During the process, my behavior became significantly worse. I began picking up some of the habits of my peers and really was becoming a different child. There was a room at the school for children that had issues controlling behavior. Needless to day, I began spending more time in the room. It was very sad.

Meanwhile, the school kept telling my parents a totally different story. It got to a point that my inclusion in the mainstream wasn’t considered an option. In fact, my ability to even finish high school was in question. However, my parents didn’t stop believing in me and told the school that I was going to attend high school and college.

During my transition to eighth grade, I told my father on our annual fishing trip that I needed to go to the regular high school. He promised me if I behaved during eighth grade, he would make sure that happened. During the transition meeting, the school was pushing for the alternative high school. My parents refused the placement and I was mainstreamed. If my parents didn’t do this for me, I do not know where my life would have gone.

My next installment will be about high school. That’s it for now…

Please follow me on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach and Facebook. For more information on my work, check out and Feel free to email me at if you have any additional questions.


  1. Joe Russell says:

    John.. you’re the man. I also struggled in school with what I now know to be ADHD, and even though my story is different from yours, I also feel that the issue wasn’t dealt with as well as it could’ve been. Anyway, I’ve got to hand it to you for using your experiences in a positive way for the benefit of kids currently going through struggles you and I went through years ago.

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