Some of the odd things I did as a kid that should have been clues….I didn’t play with other kids easily, so I would climb the hills by myself at age 6, to pet the horses at the top, (not mine) and come down when it got dark, or climb a tree and read a book in silence. I liked spinning in circles until I was dizzy, then I would do it again and again until someone stopped me. I was fascinated by patterns in the plants, dirt, my own skin….I liked strong bodily feelings like swinging on a swing, and disliked being touched. School was overwhelming, so in 4th or 5th grade I took the wooden classroom dividers and built a fully enclosed cube around my desk. This was frowned on, and lasted 15 minutes. I stuttered and had a lisp, but was reading and comprehending at a college level in the fourth grade. I had either no attention or complete hyperfocus, depending on the subject. I was constantly told I wasn’t trying, when in most cases I was just befuddled by what they wanted me to do. Why did they want me to read Dick and Jane out loud when I had just finished much more interesting books? It was confusing, and the noise and input coming in was too much for a kid with no coping mechanisms. Thankfully I developed those as an adult. School was not a happy place for me until I studied science, creative writing, and nursing. I discovered when I went back to school that I excelled in biological sciences, and that made me reach higher than I ever knew I could.

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