My 9 year old son has ADHD and struggles every day for self-control. He is extremely intelligent and especially creative (an out-of-the-box thinker), with abundant energy. He cries to us frequently saying that he doesn’t want to be the way that he is…he doesn’t want to get in trouble for talking in class, he doesn’t want to forget to turn in his homework, he wants to be able to follow the rules. The anxiety over wanting to be the “good” kid is heartbreaking. I tell my son every night that one day he is going to do great things in this world. Be POSITIVE for a child with ADHD!!
– Michelle, Florida
For years I was fidgety in class, often unfocused, but I got the work done and I had good grades throughout school so nobody ever said anything. I finally asked for help when I was getting in trouble for doing or saying things that I knew were wrong. They just came out of my mouth before they went through my head. It was always something inappropriately timed or said in the wrong way. One of my teachers worked closely with my guidance counselor and me to figure out the problem and, eventually, we came to the possibility of ADHD. Since my diagnosis I have been much more focused in school and at home, getting in much less trouble, and overall I’m very happy that I was diagnosed before I finished high school, because trying to figure out college this year without knowing why I struggle with certain things would be less than successful for sure.
I find the lack of understanding and knowledge about ADHD, especially among teachers, to be extremely disturbing. These individuals have the most daily influence in the life of a child and an opportunity to assist and help these children develop the skills needed to work with this disorder. Teachers are sadly behind the times when it comes to dealing with in their classrooms and we as parents find ourselves spending inordinate amounts of time advising and educating the educators on how to partner with us and our child to help ensure his success.
It took me a long time to see how my “boundless energy and curiosity” that were helpful in my professional and personal lives were also limiting my professional and personal lives. Acknowledging and treating my ADHD has helped me see and listen more clearly, think ahead more thoroughly, and be more effectively creative. I am also less anxious.
Because ADHD is not a visible disorder, people don’t understand that it is just as disabling as those that are very visible. It requires understanding and acceptance that people with ADHD need some accommodations at times to perform to their potential.
For me, having ADHD is like walking one step in front of a rain cloud, two steps in front of a thunderstorm [and], three steps in front of a tornado. Forgetting things, making careless errors, being confused. … these things can create havoc!
The important thing I’ve learned is to accept errors as quickly as I can, remedy the situation, issue apologies as needed… and keep moving forward. Afterall, the sky is clear and the sun is shining up ahead!
ADHD is not a choice or the result of bad parenting. Kids with ADHD work twice as hard every day as their peers do, but receive more negative feedback from the world.
When I first took ADHD medications it was just like the first time I got glasses…the world came into focus. I just wish I could have had them forty years ago. My life would be very different.
It was a relief when I was diagnosed at age 46 and a lot of my past made sense. I wasn’t just lazy. The medication and awareness has helped me to adjust and cope. I can appreciate my strengths and work on my weaknesses now instead of just feeling like a loser.
Living with ADHD is like walking up a down escalator.
You can get there eventually but the journey is exhausting.
– Kathleen, Montana