Autobiography by Larry Larcom
(The Redefining of ADHD)
Introduction to a Different Kind of Person
I’ve spent a lifetime dealing with a personal condition called ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I prefer to look at it as being different, rather than being cursed with some sort of defect. It is a different way of being that has its advantages as well as its setbacks. You can look at it like, most people fit into square holes and a minority of us fit into round holes. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, the less common of us types of being can have a tough time fitting in.
Nowadays, there is a lot being stressed about being WOK to the realities of racial discrimination. By telling my story, I hope to stress that ADHD lives matter too. It has been estimated that somewhere around 3 to 4 percent of the population in the United States has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to varying degrees and types. There needs to be a better awareness and understanding of ADHD and the people who have it.
For example, a person can be a brilliant artist that wows the world with what they are able to put on canvas. However, if they are not good at taking multiple-choice tests, their grade point average in school is potentially going to be much less than remarkable. They may not fit into the educational mold that represents being a stellar student, but they can have their own types of brilliance which can contribute greatly to the betterment of society.
If employers understood it better, they could take advantage of their unique talents which potentially can dwarf the efficiency and quality of normal persons taking on the same specific tasks. I will be providing true to life examples of this phenomenon. By not understanding it, there are many potential accomplishments being overlooked and left unaccomplished. These accomplishments easily include supper stellar level varieties that can boggle the mind.
Having a super active mind that wants to go in its own direction is a more accurate description of ADHD. It is a mind that is opposed to being corralled and disciplined. It has places to go, much to see, much to discover and behold. On the creative side of it, if it is going to create something it has the propensity to desire creating that which is unique in its expression. Be it simple, or complicated it desires to be on fresh ground. The norm seems boring and stupid.
Depending on how you look at it, in some ways, it is superior to the established norm. Why dwell on “what is” when there is a superior “what will be” to behold. If it is the established normal it is mundane and dull. It is like a “let’s get going and get to something else” attitude. In a sense, being normal can be looked at as more of a “disorder” than having a super active mind.
I plan on showing you that which I know that you don’t know. My mind has been in many places that your mind has never ventured to go. If you stick with me and hear what I am saying you will be enlightened and gain a better understanding of life. If you are more on the normal side of this sort of thing, I know more than you do because my mind is super active and it is probably safe to say that it has been to more places than yours has.
The ups and downs of my Younger Years
I was born and raised in Muskegon, Michigan where both of my parents were born and raised.
Between my kindergarten and first grade years in school, my parents packed their family of 8 into our old Studebaker and moved us all to Colorado where my siblings and I finished our growing up. I consider Salida, Colorado as my home town where I spent my sixth grade through high school years of my life.
Salida is where both of my parents spent the majority of their lives and are buried side by side in a quaint cemetery in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. After, arriving in Colorado my parents added four more children to the family which added up to a total of 12 family members, two parents and 10 children which included a set of twins. Surprisingly though, we were toted around in the same Studebaker. It was a four door sedan like the one shown below but not so new looking:
Notice how the back door opens backwards and looks much smaller than the front door. How would you fit a family of twelve in something like this? My father was asked that quite often. His favorite response was, “Well, in the front, I sit behind the wheel to drive, my wife rides shotgun with the youngest in her lap, and one kid sits between us. Then we open the back doors and tell the rest to get in.” This car had two bench seats and no seatbelts. The chart below shows the typical seating arrangement that we ended up with.
My all time favorite person in life was my dad, Louis Edward Larcom. For sure, he wasn’t perfect, but to me he was an ideal “daddy.” He was friendly, had a listening ear, and always had something interesting to say. He loved to go for walks and make friends with complete strangers he met along the way. I don’t remember him ever punishing me. He always treated me kindly and endeavored to give me and others advise in a positive manor.
My father was a marine during World War 2 who fought in the pacific arena. The main battle he participated in was the battle for the island of Okinawa. He said, while in the worst of the fighting in Okinawa he lost ten foxhole companions in three weeds. After the war he returned home and married his high school sweet heart, my mom, Alice Ruth O’Dell. At that point he quickly proceeded to father his ten children. He was proud of his fathering the same number of children as the number of foxhole companions he lost in the trenches of Okinawa.
My mom though, hated housework and being cooped up with ten children. She wanted to be a world traveler not a stay home slave. She however was of a fruitful family line. Her mom had 10 children and lost one to a childhood disease. She had 10 children before reaching the age of 32 and feared that she was going to end up with 18 children and needed to put a stop to it. Without telling my dad, she had her tubes tied to keep herself from having more children.
Neither of my parents graduated from High School which was probably due to growing up in a rough neighborhood and having been sidelined by WWII. They were both ashamed of their lack of education and encouraged us children to get a college degree. Three of us succeeded at getting college degrees. I, however, was not a good student and struggled all the way through it.
I basically didn’t learn how to read until I was halfway through high school. No one could teach me how to read. I took my parents advocacy seriously and wanted to get a good education. After my sophomore year in high school I realized that I was in trouble. I decided to device my own way to learn how to read. I spent the whole summer teaching myself how to read and succeeded at doing so. I eventually earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. My grades weren’t great but I did it anyway and had a successful career as a research and development engineer. I have my name on some patents and feel good about my career as an engineer.
The journey along the way though was not easy, because I am a different kind of a fellow. As mentioned I was born in Muskegon, Michigan and attended kindergarten before moving to Colorado. When I think about it, my growing up years as a youngster and my experience in Kindergarten was very telling.
To set the stage, we lived in a two bedroom house that resembled a shack. It wasn’t much bigger than a mobile home. Interestingly, we lived between an American Indian family and a black family on the other side of us. We were good friends with the black family, but the Indian family never seemed to come out of their house; like they didn’t ever want to associate with anyone.
There were two small mom and pop stores within a block of each other. To me they seemed to be there mostly to sell people candy, which was my little boy’s perspective. I probably didn’t care about the other things they had for sell. I can’t remembering anything else they had for sell. Here is a layout of our street as I remember it:
(To be continued)