I have five children, four of whom have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), and one toddler who loves to imitate them. My three-year-old has swung from the kitchen chandelier. My six- and nine-year-olds have raced each other up a pair of 50-foot evergreens and waved to me from the top. They curse at me one moment, and can’t stop hugging me the next.
On the other hand, their enthusiasm is infectious. They love people, knowledge, life. They can read three books at the same time and keep the story lines straight. They can focus on a science project and spend a full weekend researching it. They can do math problems in their heads. They love intensely, and often have a can-do attitude.
If your child has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, I want to reassure you, it is not the end of your world or your child’s. It does not mean he will end up in jail when he grows up -- the conclusion I came to when one of my children was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) several years back. Every child and family has something to overcome, some weakness to be managed, some personality flaw to be tweaked. In our case, it’s ADD/ADHD, with the outbursts, broken windows, lost papers, and pulled fire alarms that go with it.
It takes a lot of skill to teach my children to manage their disorder. We have to change the ways we do things, how we organize, what we choose to pursue as a family. We have to accept ADD/ADHD, minimize its damaging effects, and try to achieve our potential. When you learn to manage ADD/ADHD, you can find joy in your children and life.
Adapted from powermomsunite.com
More Inspiration for Parents of ADD/ADHD Children
This article appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of ADDitude. SUBSCRIBE TODAY to ensure you don't miss a single issue.