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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: 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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posted: Tuesday July 9th - 12:15pm

We Can't Hold Hands Forever

I worry if my son will be able to stay safe in the world when I’m not with him.

Mother and child holding hands
With the arrival of our third son, people joked that my husband and I were now “officially outnumbered.” Friends with more knowledge of sports than I (which is everyone) said that we now had to move from something called “man-on-man” to “zone” defense. Anyone who tells you three children is a breeze — especially when they’re home alone with them — is lying. When one of your...
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posted: Monday July 8th - 11:28am

The Picture That's Worth 1,000 Words

A revealing self-portrait by a boy with attention deficit jump-starts his mom's search for treatment solutions.

Samantha Hines, Different Drummer Blog, ADHD Art
To write this post, I must admit to something that, in my world, is borderline blasphemous. It was something I did because — as a mother, and a mother to my Edgar — I felt I had no choice. It’s not easy to admit, let alone put into print for public consumption and posterity, but admit it, I must: I destroyed one of Edgar’s works...
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posted: Wednesday June 5th - 11:02am

Why My ADHD Son Loves Life Now

ADHD meds have helped put Edgar in charge and given him his special voice.

Happy Boy Jumping
This conversation could not have happened a year ago — not in word or deed. Before starting medication to treat his ADHD, my now-seven-year-old son wouldn’t have been able to stay at the kitchen table to have it, nor did he have the ability to express thoughts and feelings about himself. ADHD medication has given him the ability to have the conversation; it has given him his...
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