I’m Alex, and I have an ADHD diagnosis

boy on swing

For me ADHD is a superpower. With the right medication it’s super helpful. It takes away some privileges but did you know I love having an ADHD diagnosis even though it takes those privileges away?

It makes me learn so fast that I am in the gifted class on Thursday’s. It also makes me moody in the mornings and evenings. Did you also know that when I haven’t had any electronics I act amazing and am super respectful? I also love to read and ADHD boosts that and makes it a good habit. Having a diagnosis helps my mom realize these things and so she forgives me easily.

The next thing I want to share with you guys is just like any other kid I want people to know me. I am Alexander, a 9 year old kid from Thomaston, GA. I have been diagnosed with ADHD since the age of 5. I like to collect different kinds of trading cards like Yugio and Pokémon. My favorite colors are gold, silver, and bronze. I love metallic colors because they are used in the Mycenaean period.

Alexander


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What are the challenges of parenting a child or children with ADHD?

Our children aren’t trying to provoke us..

They are struggling with an executive function challenge. It’s normal for a child with ADHD to be inconsistent. Dulce Torres, LPC-S, BCC, ACC, has tips for parents to help their children with ADHD to better manage their behavior.

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My Child Has ADHD. Could I Have It, Too?

Symptoms to Look For and Steps to Take

Many parents, and aunts and uncles, will begin to look at their own life’s history when their child has been diagnosed with ADHD. They recognize the symptoms of ADHD have been present in their own lives and may be the cause of some of their experiences and struggles. It’s common for parents and family members to seek their own evaluation when a child is first diagnosed with ADHD. J. Faye Dixon, PhD gives some pointers.

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Which is better for treating ADHD? Medicate or not?

Both have value in the treatment of ADHD.

Medications and non-medication, often lifestyle, approaches have their roles to play in a treatment plan for ADHD. Often, the two approaches support one another, making each more affective. Samuele Cortese, MD, PhD discusses the roles of both.

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How to Cope with ADHD

At age 18, I was diagnosed with ADHD. Here is how I cope.

  • First: yoga, deep breathing and stretching. Slowing down my breathing dissipates negativity and I transform into a happy-go-lucky person. The stretching and yoga gives me body space, flexibility and raises dopamine levels. What could be better?
  • Second: address fear and trauma. During childhood, it was unsafe to talk due to my Christian, family values. Also, I was bullied during high school and by my sister. I learned to develop my own self-worth and ignore toxic people.
  • Third: talk therapy. In 2019, I sought therapy. (I’m on my third therapist and she gets me.) She’s a nerdy, cat lady who accepts me, which is amazing. She reminds me of my accomplishments and grants me new skills to use immediately. I take notes to remember important details.
  • My final strategy is writing down daily goals and priorities. I use bright, neon sticky notes. Write down appointments and daily obligations first, then do fun stuff.

HilDizzle


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Losing My Shame

Sherri Duggan

For so long, I bought into the labels given me – “space-cadet,” “blonde,” “day dreamer,” “inattentive,” and “careless.” I heard the words of my father in my head, “Sherri, remember to engage your brain BEFORE…” If only it were that easy. I continually lost and misplaced things, forgot important dates, and left projects half finished and started new ones.

I have totaled at least three cars and been involved in so many other accidents I’ve lost count. Most times this was my fault.

My hateful self talk changed one day when a co worker labeled me as ADD. That is NOT me, I thought. However, when I looked up all the traits, it WAS me. I was looking at a chart that explained me.

Now, I give myself grace as well as implement coping strategies such as the timer on my phone, digital calendars, not eating, drinking or texting while driving, taking mental breaks before a long project, and visual reminder cards. I no longer call myself names. I am just me, perfectly imperfect ADD me.

Sherri Duggan


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Knitting for Attention

When I was younger I had trouble focusing in class. Even if I was interested I just couldn’t pay attention. Everything was too long, and had too much or not enough detail. It became more of a problem in Uni where you had to sit like an adult and not play on your phone.

After an anecdote a lecturer told about a French obstetrician knitting in births, I started to knit in class. I suddenly was able to concentrate. By keeping my hands busy my mind could focus – finally! I continued all through Uni and then took it with me into the workplace. Whenever we have education days, out comes the knitting. It’s a lifesaver.

Every now and then you get someone who isn’t familiar with my technique and they frown when they see me bring it out. By lunch they’re commenting on how amazing it is I can knit and pay attention, since I’m always asking questions/involved in discussion. I patiently explain that I have ADHD, and knitting is actually the only way I CAN pay attention. It really is a lifesaver.

Leanne

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