As a parent, it is extremely important to be an advocate for your child.My child was adopted at birth, and I feel strongly that God gave her to me because he knew I would stand up for her and guide her and be her biggest cheerleader, no matter how exhausting it is.
– SP, Florida
Once diagnosed & treatment started, the changes have been incredible. Math, multi-tasking & overall cognitive abilities have increased many times over! What was once almost impossible for me is now effortless & I find ways to improve daily.
When a disability is physical and obvious people are 100 times more willing to help you because they can see it… when it is neurological and behavioral they will acknowledge it but will not give you any special treatments or considerations, to them it is just pure “bad behavior” contributing and perpetuating the depression cycle these kids suffer.
I would like everyone to know that ADD/ADHD is REAL. Unless you have lived it yourself or your child has, you may never understand it. It is both a curse and a gift, I believe, and my wonderful, talented, funny, smart son has ADHD, but it does NOT define him—it is not who he is.
Throughout middle school, I had several conferences with teachers regarding my daughter’s inability to complete work and homework. Teachers brushed off my concerns. My daughter was always placed in a desk at the front of the class because she would talk to others, but still teachers did not see this as a problem. In high school, grades plummeted, homework was not done, I requested testing, and still my concerns were brushed off. I read every book my small library had on school success, and it lead me to think she had ADHD. My pediatrician confirmed this. The semester my daughter started on medication she received all A’s for the first time ever, and stated, “this medication is like a miracle to me.” Her self-esteem has sky-rocketed and she thinks it’s OK to have ADHD. There are a lot worse things to get. Unlike some other medical conditions, this one can be helped.
– Mom of ADHD High School student
I used to see misbehaving children in public and think that the child really needed discipline…until I had an ADHD child. I used to think that ADHD was way over diagnosed…until I had an ADHD child. Now I know it’s real, and I can pick an ADHD child out in a crowd. No amount of perfect parenting can undo ADHD behavior. And ADHD isn’t always just about not being able to pay attention or acting hyper. ADHD also drastically affects a child’s ability to process information inhibiting learning and affects behavior limiting friendships and teacher relationships. Medication helps, but there is no cure. It isn’t about bad parenting; these children truly often can’t control themselves. And until you have an ADHD child in your life, you can’t possibly understand. Please don’t judge us.
– GW, Tennessee
Having a child with ADHD is the most difficult thing you will ever have to deal with, because it never ends. Every single day is an exercise in patience (or lack thereof) and forgiveness (you trying to forgive yourself for lack of patience!).
ADHD is real and valid. The sooner we recognize the patterns and learn to work with these kids, the better assured we will be that they as adults with be healthy members of society. Teachers and education administrators need to be the strongest advocates of early intervention and support. Unfortunately, many of them deny the existence of this ADHD and aren’t willing to look at sound science that supports this.
– Rhonda, Washington DC
ADHD is a neurological and behavioral disorder that affects not only the person with it, but the entire family, including parents and the extended family of parental siblings and grandparents. It tests the limits of the family’s ability to be supportive, understanding and loving.
– Larry, Pennsylvania
I recently read that parenting a child with ADHD is like parenting five children. This couldn’t be more true. After years of behavioral therapy that was making just a dent in my son’s organizational skills, we finally put him on medication. What a difference! I’m back to one child instead of five. We can now put into practice all the things we learned from those years of behavioral therapy. For all parents who are reluctant to try their child on medication, I strongly encourage you to look into it. I really didn’t realize how much our family unit was suffering until now. Now we all have hope for a brighter, more productive future. And, the best thing is that my son see’s the difference and is proud of himself.
– Suzanne, New York