Samantha Hines, a high school English teacher for 23 years, is mom to a eight-year-old son, Edgar. In October 2011, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. A year after, he was diagnosed with ADHD. Hines is in awe of her son’s magical way of seeing the world

posted: Friday November 6th - 9:30am

I Worry That ADHD Has Taken Its Toll on My Son

I sometimes see sadness in his eyes, but take comfort in the fact that I can help him move through it and life with a smile.

The Toll of ADHD in Children: Moving Past Sadness
A picture tells a thousand words, but today, as I stare at my son’s fourth-grade school picture, only one word comes to mind: sadness. Other people might see it; they might not. He may have felt it at the moment the photo was taken, or perhaps not. But the image speaks to my greatest fear—a fear shared by many parents, I suspect, and not...
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posted: Thursday April 16th - 9:46am

Back Off, World: My Son and I Are Doing Our Best

My son with ADHD and I are on a journey that is ours alone—no one else’s.

It was an expensive week at our house and required more math and more money than my English teacher brain and bank account were accustomed to finagling: Repairs to eyeglasses: $25 New couch cover: $80 Repair to wall: $120 Not one of these could be chalked up to an accident...or the inevitable wear and tear of life, bad luck, or even bad...
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posted: Thursday December 18th - 8:16am

Spread the Word: My Kid Can Read!

Edgar earned his moment in the sun, thanks to hard work and medication.

boy reading book
Here’s what my nine-year-old son Edgar’s reading teacher wrote this week: “Strong vocabulary and high interest; motivation levels are hallmarks of Edgar’s work in reading. He has outgrown my expectations, and he should be proud of his continuous hard work. He is remarkable!” A year and a half ago I couldn’t fathom hearing these words, though my heart knew what was under the shroud of undiagnosed ADHD. Instead,...
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posted: Tuesday August 19th - 11:28am

Handle with Care — But Have a Little Faith

My son pulled off a small victory, but for me it was a much bigger deal.

Basket full of eggs
On the surface, they are just eggs — four little eggs in a basket. A basket with four eggs carried by an enthusiastic young boy who had been asked by one of the women at Coggeshall Farm, Rhode Island’s only living history farm, to collect them and bring them back to the house. He took the basket, collected the eggs, walked 30 yards through the mud, and...
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posted: Friday August 1st - 11:50pm

The Best Version of My Son

Deciding to treat my child's ADHD with meds was agonizing, but it has helped him have a great life.

ADHD Medication
It was an innocent enough question from my oldest son: "Mom, why do you have to take pills for your high blood pressure every day?" I wasn’t caught off-guard, and I didn’t feel defensive. Instead, I explained the genetic hand I had been dealt and how, despite my best efforts, managing it myself had proved ineffectual. However, I wasn’t prepared for his response: “That means if you had...
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posted: Monday April 14th - 11:00am

The New King of Lego

When Edgar deposed Oscar as King of Lego, it made parenting them that much harder.

Sibling rivalry has always been alive and well in our house. With three boisterous boys, competition — for space, for attention, for the mastery of skills — has been elevated to an art form. But when you have a child with ADHD, a child whose diagnosis and medical regimen have changed his life for the better, sibling rivalry has an added dimension. Edgar, now eight, and...
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posted: Tuesday February 4th - 1:12pm

Side Effects May Include: Humiliation, Judgment, and Stigma

Yelling “Fire” in a crowded movie theater is a crime. So should yelling out that ADHD medication is “a narcotic” in a crowded pharmacy.

Pharmacy, Pharmacist, ADHD Medications
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word narcotic as “a drug (such as cocaine, heroin, or marijuana) that affects the brain and that is usually dangerous and illegal.” If you’re the parent of a child with ADHD, who, after profound and often heart-wrenching consultation with medical professionals, has determined your child would be helped by the use of a small dose of stimulant medication, it’s apparently a...
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posted: Wednesday December 4th - 1:47pm

“I Feel Wonderful, Mom!”

I’ve been waiting a long time to hear those words from my ADHD son.

Boy at the zoo
“I feel like I want to come out of my skin.” This was my then-six-year-old son Edgar’s response to the same simple question we ask each other every day: How are you doing? A year before his recent diagnosis of ADHD, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. Though he has been seizure-free for well over a year now, for a while he was having several seizures a day,...
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posted: Friday September 27th - 11:05am

I Wish My Son Hadn’t Been Dealt an ADHD Hand

Edgar’s birth sister skipped the challenges of attention deficit. I want the same for my son.

My son Edgar’s recent failure-to-thrive diagnosis has thrown us all into intense action — if not an actual tizzy. After having been on stimulant medication for nine months and experiencing the appetite suppression that too often accompanies it, my son gained only one inch in a year and no weight. We’re concerned. Incredibly concerned. We — parents, teachers, relatives, physicians, and Edgar himself — are doing everything...
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posted: Thursday September 5th - 11:24am

ADHD Is Not an Excuse — Ever

Taking medication helps my eight-year-old’s symptoms, but we still have a lot of work to do setting his misbehaviors straight.

Boy walking outside
My eight-year-old son Edgar does not always behave well. Neither do his brothers, but he has ADHD and they do not, so his behaviors and actions are under closer scrutiny than those of his siblings. Though I might initially like to stomp my foot and say, “That’s not fair,” I think it actually is. As a teacher and a parent — as a human being...
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