Sometimes I wonder what would have been different about my school experience, had I been diagnosed as a child. My IQ is high enough that I wouldn’t have been put into the special ed classes, and I probably wouldn’t have qualified for an aide since I “only” have ADHD (and I don’t remember anyone having an aide in any of my classes growing up), so there probably wouldn’t have been much difference. I went to school in basically rural areas (well, small-large towns in Alberta), and I don’t think any of those schools had gifted tracks, either.
So really, except for the possibility of medication making it easier for me to focus (and I already read everything I could get my hands on – the more pages the better) it probably wouldn’t have mattered much. That added focus might have helped me more in high school, when I needed to be able to focus on things like math (which suddenly got really hard for some reason), but that’s about it. Of course, it would have been a fantastic thing to have during university; I do wonder what my GPA would have been if I’d been medicated and had accommodations!
The nice thing about not having the diagnosis was that I didn’t have to ask for accommodations or deal with discrimination over my disability. The bad thing about not having the diagnosis was that I didn’t qualify for any assistance (especially since tutoring wasn’t really what I needed), and I was often penalized for things that were definitely caused by my disability.
In spite of all that, though, I succeeded and was able to graduate. Next time I go to school full-time (assuming I ever do), I’ll be taking advantage of whatever accommodations are available to me.
There are some things having a diagnosis is good for.