I am dyslexic. There are times when a written or spoken word makes absolutely no sense to me, or I'll "process" it as something totally off the wall. My mother thinks I am really funny (meaning comedienne) because of some of the things I say as a result of brain mis-processing.
The nuns in school didn't think I was so funny. In fact, they thought I was a pain in the rear. I had an ability to visualize solutions to mathematical problems and provide the right answers, but couldn't write out the solution without getting confused. I could learn to write more than one language fluently, but could not speak or hear them as fluently. They accused me of cheating and being scatter-brained. Not very nice of "holy" people to treat a student that way; but, this was my plight all through my elementary and high school years.
Were it not for a high school teacher/counselor, who happened to be working on his Ph.D. in Education and recognized the symptoms of dyslexia, I would not have learned that I was not stupid, I just needed to develop different learning habits from most kids. He urged me to join the debate squad, on which I was the only girl, so that I would be forced into learning how to think on my feet, and learn public speaking (I was scared to death about public speaking, but I did win awards). He also encouraged me to join theater, which established my reputation as a comedienne because I kept getting things backwards. And he taught me methodical, disciplined learning habits when the nuns pretty much gave up on me.
The result was that I graduated in the top 5% of my class and school overall, and won scholarships and grants all the way through Grad School at a prestigious private university. As an investment banker, I could crunch bond yields to maturity in my head faster than someone could with a calculator. Later, I learned web programming languages and became a Web Strategist and enjoy a fun career as a consultant in "new web" technologies. I also became a Literacy counselor teaching ESL in adult education.
My husband learned long ago to never trust my sense of direction, though, because I have none - I still get things backwards. But, it just goes to show that, with the right help - and influence - a kid with dyslexia can fare well in school and in life.
And, the kid you think has ADHD, might really just be a frustrated, dyslexic genius!
The International Dyslexia Organization - Promoting Literacy Through Research, Education and Advocacy