Banding Together As a Family: Parents & Children with ADHD

My son's ADD diagnosis inspired me to examine my own fears and preconceptions, seek a diagnosis and form a family treatment team.

ADD Experience, Part 2

Giving meds a try

When the doctor finally saw David, he suggested medication as one option, though he was careful to warn us about possible side effects. My wife tends to believe that “doctors know best,” so she was in favor of medication from the start. I wanted David to have the best chances of success—but I didn’t want to “drug” him.

Eventually, we agreed to start David on a small dosage to see how he did, then increase it, as needed, until we found the right level. David also started attending group therapy. I attended a few sessions as an observer. The idea was to become familiar with the techniques being used, so that we could practice the same things at home.

Joining forces

By this time, I was pretty sure that I, too, had ADD. I asked David’s therapist to recommend someone who treated adults. I promptly made an appointment. At the first visit, the therapist gave me a symptoms questionnaire. I filled it out and asked my boss to fill out a copy about me. (I had told him that I suspected I had the disorder, and he had been supportive.) Both of our responses suggested that I did, in fact, have ADD. I was not exactly happy to learn that, but at least I had a condition with a name, something I could deal with.

After undergoing tests to make sure I was healthy enough to handle the medication, I started on a program similar to the one that has been so helpful to David. Although he continues to make spelling mistakes, he is holding his own at the Gynmasium. In fact, his mid-year grades were better than we had expected.

It’s been almost a year, and I feel calmer and happier than ever before. I’m not angry that my son and I were created like this, nor disappointed that neither of us is perfect. And it’s been great for David to know that he is not alone. Now, when I see David getting frustrated for losing his concentration or making mistakes, I can talk with him as someone who knows. I can share my own experiences and problems.

Each morning, as he gets ready for school and I get ready for work, we remind each other to take our pills. For us, ADD is a shared condition, and we have joined forces to overcome it.

This article comes from the October/November 2006 issue of ADDitude.

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TAGS: Adult ADD: Late Diagnosis, ADHD Medication and Children,

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