Pupil diagnosed with ADHD wants to help others
Year 11 student Nick was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder when he was five but has learnt to control it thanks to support at home and at school.
And now he wants to help others who have to deal with ADHD - which included inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness - on a daily basis as he has come to terms with it and now embraces it.
“I always knew I was different,” said Nick, who turns 16 in July. “My mum took me to hospital when I was younger as I was extremely bad and I was diagnosed with ADHD.
“It wasn’t easy growing up. When I was 11, I was in the newspaper for damaging my bedroom. I was just fascinated by fire and then I lost concentration.
“But I have had superb support from my mum and brother and sisters at home and at St Peter’s Primary School and then Shuttleworth and I have learnt to deal with it.
“Everyone has problems in life and this is mine.”
Nick lives in Coal Clough Lane with mum Tracy and siblings Bex, Jess, Leon and Chloe.
“I am the only one with ADHD but my mum is brilliant. She works as an outreach worker for a charity in Burnley, East Lancashire People First, for people with learning disabilities so she knows how to calm me down and deal with me.
“I just see life differently and I am easily distracted. I do things like forget my blazer to school, I forget my bus pass as, if I see something else, my mind just goes onto that. I can set my alarm but if I don’t get up straight away I forget about it so I need another alarm and a phone call just in case.
“My brain can’t keep up with the amount of information it has to process and I get sidetracked and easily distracted.
“My concentration levels are extremely low and so I can never revise but somehow, when I go into exams, I can work out the answers.”
Nick is excepted to make outstanding progress, hitting or exceeding all his target grades in his GCSEs this year, and plans to go to Burnley College to study to be a games designer which combines his love of art, music and graphic design.
“I write poetry in my spare time and, if I am doing something I enjoy, I can concentrate. I do struggle remembering words so by writing them down in a poem it helps.
“I also play hockey with a group in Scott Park as physical sport entertains me and keeps me focused.
“I do get hyper and I do understand that, when I am hyper, I get on people’s nerves. My friends don’t see me as different but I can tell they do tire of me at times when I get a bolt of energy.
“Then again sometimes they think I am great as I am the life and soul of the party. They don’t mind as it’s me.
“It means I am unique.”
Nick did need a lot of care at Shuttleworth College in his early years and needed a teacher to sit with him in every lesson to keep him on track.
Medication, anger management sessions, the support in school and his own strong will have helped him to control his ADHD.
“Shuttleworth College teachers have been brilliant. They understand my condition and adapt for me as, if teachers talk really loudly, it helps my concentration.
“I once threw a pen at a friend in class and had to sit in a room on my own to study but that was for my own good. They understand that I can’t help being naughty due to my condition.
“Through my school years, while I had a lot of support in Year Seven, it has been cut down to help my independence which I have needed.
“I also take the highest medication I can for my age which helps me. In turn, I want to help others and get people to understand ADHD and show people what I go through.
“When I was younger, I doubted myself and wondered why I was being naughty but I now I understand.
“I want to show people it’s not a curse to have ADHD and you can live with it and be successful. I feel like I am one of a kind and am proud of that.”
Nick organised his own 7km fun walk/run along with sister Bex partly for the charity MIND raising over £60 himself.
“I don’t need the support of MIND as I have a strong network around me but I want to help others with similar conditions.”