Relieved! That was how I felt when my daughter Jadyn was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) in the first grade. Finally, we knew how to help her.
Jadyn was also relieved. She now had a name for the way she felt. In the car on the way home, she asked, “So, Daddy, what do I have?” He answered, “Well, you have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but we’re just going to call it the wiggles.” She could understand that. She asked what we were going to do about it. We told her medication would make her feel better.
I had always suspected Jadyn had ADD/ADHD. When I was pregnant with her, my stomach used to rock and roll from her lurching. In nursery school, during circle time, the teacher sent her into the hall to do 10 spins. Her high-energy bounciness has made her a good performer on the gymnastics floor.
We have always discussed every aspect of ADD/ADHD with Jadyn. It’s part of who she is, the way she was born, and a factor in what makes her tick. We have worked hard to make sure that her meds do not change her positive traits. I don’t know why some parents try to hide the fact that their child has ADD/ADHD. We have said to friends a hundred times, “If our child had diabetes, we would have it diagnosed and get the proper treatment.” Jadyn has ADD/ADHD, she takes medicine for it, the medicine works beautifully, and we go on with our lives.
This article appears in the Summer 2010 issue of ADDitude.
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