Executive Function, ADHD & 2e with Seth Perler

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Ever heard of 2e, AKA, “Twice Exceptional?” Most haven’t, even the people that have 2e never received a proper diagnosis. 
I learned about 2e while trying to help my girlfriend, Tina, with her daily struggles. She used to think it was trauma that made many things so difficult for her but I knew better and now after 44 years, she is finally getting the help and treatment she needs. There may be hope for me too.
Ironically, like Tina, I exhibit the same quality traits as 2e Kids, but just in different ways than Tina.
2E Chart
In school, Tina was in gifted classes while I got kicked out of schools regularly. I refused to attend many of my classes. If I wasn’t interested I wouldn’t go believing that I could pass the required tests when the time came. I was often correct but I underestimated the fact that they would kick me out of their schools for too many absences. I eventually dropped out of the 12th grade (at ‘a last chance’ school) and got my GED a year later. I never considered myself exceptionally smart but I thought it was interesting that they told me I scored the best in my class on the GED even though I barely even studied on my own. Nor did I imagine I may have special needs but it was obvious that I struggled with some things that most people didn’t struggle with. More on that later.

Later in Tina’s life, in her mid 20’s, she became more and more ‘book smart’ but struggled in most work environments that depended on teamwork and productivity. Especially if they were stressful, competitive, and or required deadlines. 
In my mid 20’s, these environments are where I learned to shine the most. I often found myself time and time again to be a top producer for all the companies I decided to work with (as long as I believed in the company service and or product). But I’ve always been kind of finicky and if I thought for a second that anything became unfair, dishonest, or that I (or anyone) was being taken advantage of, I was always quick to walk away regardless of how damaging that choice might be.   
I also have some other unusual ways.
  • I can’t stand small talk for long.
    • I’m easily bored with any person or subject that doesn’t stimulate my mind or interests with deep conversation.
  • I’ve ‘mastered’ many careers and occupations only to walk away over and over again…
    • But, this eventually led me to depend solely on my own entrepreneurial skills and launch many successful businesses of my own which is one of the best things I have ever done.
  • I’m not known for being the best team player…
    • But I am known for being a successful team leader, time and time again.
  • I’ve refused to use an alarm clock in over 20 years. I like to wake up naturally according to my own rhythms. To jump out of bed on cue or schedule without first finding a natural motivation to do so feels to me like leaving my soul behind and operating like a robot. No offense to anyone who chooses to operate that way. I don’t judge others for how they choose to navigate their life. I’m just honest about how it feels to me in my life. 
  • I avoid structures like the plague.
  • I lose track of time…
    • But, if you ask me what time it is, I can often guess the time, spot-on.  
  • If I’m truly motivated to wake up at a certain time because I’m excited about something, I’ll wake up naturally, on the dot, without an alarm clock. The more important it is to me, the more certain that I’ll wake up in time.
    • But, no matter how excited I might be about something, I avoid making any type of commitments to be at someplace at a certain time (unless it’s VERY important) because I’m very uncomfortable with time schedules. I know when that time gets closer it’s likely I will have moved on to other priorities and I don’t like to let people down.  
I can go on and on about why I think I might be 2e (a form of ADHD/ADD) but until I see a specialist like Tina is, I will never know for sure I guess. Either way, I have the same traits as 2E kids and adults. I refused to see it at first but the more I learn about it the more obvious it becomes to me.
Either way, I suppose I’d like to be recognized for both my unusual abilities AND my unusual challenges. If nothing more than in hopes that some people won’t be so offended or puzzled by my different nature. Don’t we all want to be better understood?
It’s actually relieving to learn that I likely have this disability. It explains so much… like why I beat myself up constantly struggling to live up to all of my own high expectations of myself. Expectations that say “If I know I’m so ‘exceptionally fortunate and talented’ with ‘This and That,’ then ‘Here and There’ can’t possibly be challenging for me, Or Else…”  
I’m lucky I didn’t get caught up in too many negative stories. I mostly just attributed my differences to the fact that I grew up without a father and my mom worked a lot so I was often alone in nature. I considered it a blessing and a curse, but mostly a blessing – to have so much alone time in nature. 
I remember when I first started to lose focus/interest in school. I always thought it was just because I missed my mom a lot and we never had time to bond. That might have been true too. I remember on about 3 occasions, in the 1st and or 2nd-grade, I made myself cry by imagining that something bad happened to my mom so that I could get sent to the school nurse, and then convince her to send me home.
By the 3rd grade, it (whatever it was) was bad. I would daydream, sleep, and or check out daily in class. I don’t remember longing for my mom as much, but some. I mostly just didn’t want to be there. I hated it. It didn’t feel nurturing to my soul at all. I can still to this day remember, very vividly, how unhappy I was there. All I wanted to do is play with my G.I. Joe’s, draw, spend time in nature, and shoot my Dasiy BB Gun Rifle, that’s all I wanted to do. 
My struggle to pay attention to things that I wasn’t genuinely interested in never got better. I never imagined ADHD/ADD because I didn’t even know what it was. When I got older I had a complete misunderstanding of what it means to have it. Now I know more about it, for sure, and hopefully, you do too! 
– – –
Parents and teachers, 2e means Gifted AND learning disabled at the same time.
This video dives deep so you know exactly how to support your child.
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