Over the weekend, I attended a talk organised by the Society for the Promotion of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Research & Knowledge (SPARK) and got to hear an inspiring account of 19-year-old Ezra Tan and how he triumphed over ADHD.
In school, his ADHD caused him much trouble and due to his short-term memory, he would frequently forget to complete his homework. As a result, he would be punished by standing outside the classroom. A caring form teacher eventually decided to buy him a notebook and ensured that he would write every homework item assigned to him by checking with his various subject teachers. For this, Ezra is still very grateful to him.
In addition, because of the side effects of taking the medication, Ritalin, he would often be very tired in class. This made learning in the classroom ineffective and he didn’t manage to do well in his O Levels.
However, upon signing up and doing a course with Kaplan he decided that change was in order.
He realised that he was not able to study for 2 hours straight, instead he would set himself up for a 10 minute study session and then would take a 10 minute break.
After this proved to be effective, he reduced the break time to 8 minutes, and subsequently 5 minutes.
Eventually, he was able to complete a 20 minute study session with only a 5 minute break. This he did repeatedly.
Also, it was with his discovery of powerlifting that helped him better cope with his ADHD.
After being introduced to the sport by his friend Melissa, he soon developed better discipline as he needed to complete a set number of sets of reps per session, and also had improved concentration as he needed to focus his full attention to the task at hand.
Eventually, with much hard work, he was placed 1st in the Singapore Powerlifting Invitationals 2016. Because of this, his confidence and self-esteem was boosted because for once, he felt like he could achieve something instead of always placed being at the bottom of his class for doing poorly academically.
During the Q&A he also shared that because of his ADHD, his tutors would often quit after the first or second session.
It was only after finding an understanding tutor that he was able to continue for a longer period of time.
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