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
To the Public HS Administrators and Teachers: My child is not lazy! My child is smart and loves to learn, but my child does learn differently. My child wants to do well, but needs support from qualified teachers that understand learning differences. My child does not have the skills that you think he/she should have by this age. Please help him/her develop those skills. Just because my child is very smart, does not mean that he/she does not have learning difficulties. Create an environment that truly focuses on promoting the success of all students. Create an environment that is supportive of learning differences and helps students develop skills needed for future success. Create an environment that promotes self-confidence, self-esteem and independence. Create an environment that cares about the success of all students.
I was so reluctant to try meds for my son. I thought it would sedate him, make him a zombie and stifle his creativity. But I got to a point where I felt his ADHD would destroy our family, and we turned to medication. It turned out to be a wonderful decision. His grades turned around completely (top of his class), and he began to feel intelligent and capable. He could focus enough to express his fabulous ideas. Soon, we realized his dad also suffered from ADHD. We got him on meds too, and it’s been a life changer for our whole family dynamic. Dad feels bitter about not getting the meds as a child, and feels he could have done more in life (it’s not too late!). So I want people to know that just as someone with bad eyesight needs glasses, ADHD medication can allow you to reach your potential.
– Tamsin, California
It’s magic and fire all rolled into one. My son is bright and energetic yet easily frustrated and distracted. It is a constant battle to help him, to get help from others, because so many are ignorant on the issue and think ADHD doesn’t exist. I accept my son as he is and think his ADHD just makes his world that much more colorful