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“Sometimes, My ADHD Looks a Lot Like Autism.”

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My husband once explained to me, in pain-staking detail, why J. R. R. Tolkien excised every French word from The Lord of the Rings saga, down to swapping “Bag’s End” for the French-derived “cul-de-sac.” The explanation lasted 45 minutes; I know because I counted each one.

My husband owns multiple copies of every Tolkien book ever written, and most authoritative texts on his life and works. Mention Denethor in passing (somehow, it’s happened), and he’ll ask, “Do you mean the Steward of Gondor in The Lord of the Rings, or the 10th Steward of Gondor, or the elf?”His psychology professor once told him, “You’re not on the [autism] spectrum.

But you’re not not on the spectrum.” In other words, my husband has ADHD, which was diagnosed late in life; he certainly does not have autism.

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