I didn’t know what attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) was when my son’s teacher brought it up. I just knew that Khris was busy and rambunctious. I learned all about the condition, but I resisted medication. We started counseling and behavior management, and we tried to structure Khris’s home life so that he could succeed at school. Nothing worked.
The hardest thing for Khris was being fussed at and punished for his classroom behavior. Teachers asked him to leave the classroom a lot. It can’t be fun to be told all day to keep still, don’t do this, and don’t do that.
Finally, when Khris was in third grade, the principal suggested trying medication. The first day he was on meds, Khris’s teacher said, “He’s a wonderful addition to the classroom now.” I felt so bad that we had not taken advantage of this treatment for an entire year.
Given my experience, l would advise parents to learn everything they can about ADD/ADHD and how it affects your child's health. Become the expert on your kid. Stay up-to-date on ADD/ADHD research, because people who don’t believe the condition is real will challenge you. Never be swayed by uninformed people.
Seek the facts, so that you are confident about your child’s diagnosis and how you’re treating the condition. When Khris hit puberty, his medication didn’t work as well. I talked with the doctor about switching, and he agreed. I felt good that I had done the research to know I made the right decision.
Advocating for Your ADHD Child
This article comes from the Winter 2010 issue of ADDitude. To read this issue of ADDitude in full, buy the back issue.