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Enter to Win

To win one of three ADHD gift baskets featuring reader-recommended products (a $30 value), use the Comments section below to tell us: What do you wish the world knew about ADHD?


Wednesday, October 31, at 11:59 pm EST.


Only Comments posted with a valid email address will be considered valid entries. One entry per household per day. The editors of ADDitude will select one winner at random and notify the winner via email on Friday, November 2.
(Official rules)

450 Comments & Reviews

  1. I wish the world knew I was worth any trouble my ADHD brain might cause and with a little understanding and patience I can wow you. ADHD means we operate differently than most successful people. It doesn’t mean our ways are wrong just because they’re different and you might not understand them. Don’t underestimate me. Don’t tie my hands with unimportant rules or unnecessary restrictions. Let me think and work outside of your narrow little box. My work doesn’t always fit in a box. It’s bigger than your box.

  2. I wish the world new, especially here in Ireland ADHD does not mean Bold. The stigma attached to ADHD is based on ignorance and the not knowing what ADHD is all about.
    My son is 11,yrs old, yet when we mention his recent diagnosis, there is shocked bordering on horror.
    People have asked me, Why have we had him labelled. How dare they , but then again it’s plain ignorance.
    If they knew our son, they wouldn’t dare ask…
    The world needs to he educated and FAST .

  3. I wish the world could see that it’s not a behavior problem and that my son can and will be very successful in his life! He is a highly intelligent child and we need to learn how to adapt to help him achieve all that he wants to in his life.
    I am new to the community and i have so much to learn. My son was recently diagnosed with ADHD and it’s seems so overwhelming. But i need to try to help him and to do that i will need resources like this one. I’m so glad i found ADDitude!

  4. I wish that people understood that ADHD affects both adults and kiddos and that it is a real condition. I am an adult who has ADHD that was once a child with ADHD. I have a college degree; BA from NIU in nonprofit management, and I was able to graduate from college with having support and adjustments needed by enrolling in the Disability Office at NIU. It was a long road but I was able to be successful academically. I wish that the world would be more understanding and accepting of people who have ADHD and other neurological conditions; that our lives can be fulling and meaningful to us. give us a chance to show the world what people who have ADHD have to offer.

  5. I wish the world knew that ADHD isn’t always stereotypical. That when I say I was diagnosed with it, they wouldn’t immediately start to question my psychiatrist’s credentials because I’m not loud and noisy. I wish they would understand that my symptoms (a few people have made the effort to learn them), I can’t always help it and they get angry with me and it makes me feel even worse. I wish they would do their own research if they don’t understand where I’m coming from. I wish they make an effort to understand even just the basics, and then remember what they learned when my symptoms pop out.

  6. I wish the world knew that there is a growing movement of people who are neurodiverse and we don’t consider ourselves sick, flawed, dumb, dysfunctional, lazy, crazy, unlovable, incapable, or without anything to offer. We are slowly learning to have pride in our unique gifts. Ask us about our hyperfocus sometime!

    We are gifted, loving, bright people living in a world that says our differences are unacceptable. This is difficult, but we don’t need or want pity. We have challenges – we are not challenges. We are different – but equal. We are made the way we are by God or The Universe or what have you. Teachers and nannies used to punish kids who were left-handed, saying it was wicked and wrong. They’d make the kid use their right hand to write, use a fork, etc. That was wrong, foolish, and harmful. Perhaps we are moving to a more enlightened time when neurodiverse people will be no more ‘odd’ than someone who is left-handed.

    Please be patient as we make our way through your neurotypical world. The world would be an infinitely poorer place without us. Open your mind to the possibilities we bring.

  7. I wish people didn’t judge a book by its cover. You can have ADHD and a high IQ. There are those of us who experience periods when we may not appear intelligent (i.e. difficulty processing language, forgetful, etc.), but it’s often due to specific circumstances (i.e. noisy environment, emotional exhaustion, social burnout, etc.).

  8. I wish the world knew that not everyone fits into the same pre-approved mould or follow the prescribed owners manual given to us at birth. Just because 95% of the class, employees, family or friends live, work or think one way it doesn’t mean that we are slow, stupid, naughty, distracted or broken because we cant follow the prescribed methods, checklists or schedules that the majority use.

    I wish I understood this at an early age because I really did feel broken and grew up “acting” like everything was okay, because I didn’t want to be different or admit that I was struggling with the simplest things like, following steps 1 to 10 because in my brain steps 2 to 9 were completely useless – why do 10 steps when i can get it done in 2!! – But now I Love being different! I love that everyday I’m still figuring this thing called ADHD out, everyday i’m making changes to how my “owners manual” works for me. I love that my “Weaknesses” have now become some of greatest “Strengths” & all it took for me was for someone to take some extra time to sit down with me, talk with me, encourage me to be honest about my struggles & worked with me to see what didn’t work & what did work for me.

  9. I wish that more people realized that ADHD doesn’t always look like a kid who can’t stay still and is bouncing out of their seat. Sometimes it looks like anxiety and emotional meltdowns at the slightest trigger, or depression stemming from the inability to conquer procrastination and do the things that you KNOW you’re supposed to do. It sometimes looks like feeling completely overwhelmed with the world around you and all the things you are supposed to accomplish within it, and feeling like a failure because everyone seems to be able to do things you can’t. I also wish more people realized what a life changing difference medication can make.

  10. I wish that people understood that ADHD is real and it isn’t a choice and that it impacts all ages. I wish that people would look beyond what they feel is “typical” and see that although I may not present my idea in a typical way, I may also have a really good idea that just needs someone to listen with a different ear. I also wish that people understood that I experience the world in a different way and that my sensitivities are a gift and not something to try and “get over.” I wish that people could recognize more of the gifts that come with ADHD and not just see the deficits or perceived deficits of a person with ADHD.

  11. I wish people could understand how much stronger children with ADHD are than the average child. Not only do they have a constant party in their minds but they have to try to ignore that party and behave like others otherwise they are seen as “bad kids”. I watch my daughter struggle every day to make the right choices eventhough her mind is leading her down a different path.

  12. I wish that people understood that ADHD is real and it isn’t a choice and that it impacts lots of kids. I also wish that life wasn’t so tough for kids with adhd!

  13. There is nothing wrong with him he is not a bad kid. If you give him a chance he is actually very intelligent and loving! It is just a little harder for him to show you. He tells me his mind just wont stop.

  14. I wish that people knew that even adults can struggle with ADHD and that it’s not as easy as “just put your mind to it” to get focused and complete tasks. I also wish that people knew the side of ADHD that isn’t listed in the criteria. It can impact your mood and create anxiety and it’s just a cycle that’s hard to break. It doesn’t make us weak!

  15. I wish people would know that being a little ditsy or having forgetful moments is NOT ADHD. It’s not a short attention span. It’s a difficulty with our executive functions. It’s actually our brains on all the time, but focused on anything else BUT what we need right now. And it’s always, and it comes with great stress to our loved ones and great harm to our self esteem. There’s nothing “cute” about ADHD.

  16. I wish that people understood that ADHD presents differently in boys and girls and from individual to individual. I also wish they understood that just disciplining a child with ADHD is not necessarily going to stop the undesirable behaviors or change the response an ADHD child may have to a situation. I wish people understood that although ADHD is viewed negatively on a child and parent that there can also be positives to having a child with ADHD.

  17. That ADHD can be fun, too and a learning experience for those who support a child who has it. I would never have learned the many things my child holds dear, like Minecraft, Terreria and Trove, which are computer games that help use time management, computer skills like coding and higher level functioning skills I could never teach. Embrace the differences and enjoy the learning experience with them!

  18. I wish people understood that it is not the persons fault they are the way they are. They cannot help the way their brain functions. It’s not fake it’s not pretend. It is real and needs advocated more.

  19. I wish people knew that kids with adhd are trying and that it is very hard to control. My son is very smart but has the hardest time concentrating but if you spend a little time with him and use little reminders he will do amazing. Medication is not a fix all it can be a boost but will not get rid of all of the symptoms.

    So much of what was “known” has changed, and so much is still being learned about ADHD. If we, and everyone else, could know everything, understanding and support would surely follow.

  21. I wish people knew that just because you learned to cope without medication as a child and early adult life doesn’t mean those coping skills will sustain you through life changes. You can figure out what works for you to get things done…to a point where there’s no diagnosis or no treatment and no recognition even internally. But later events may create situations where those things no longer work. Getting help is not a failure, you aren’t lazy or unmotivated or difficult if you can’t manage it on your own. And talking about it is not an excuse, just a recognition that its a challenge that needs to be worked through.

  22. I wish the world knew how much my daughter struggles. She’s not trying to be bad. She’s overwhelmed and doesn’t know how to express it. I wish the world knew how anxious my daughter gets, how truley terrifying it is for her to feel like she is behind her classmates. I wish they could see how fast her little brain moves. I wish the bus driver could understand that even a thirty minute bus ride is an eternity for my daughter. I wish the world could see that my daughter isn’t like them. That she thinks differently, reacts differently, and feels differently than them.

  23. I wish people knew that the stigma/label of ADHD, does not determine or identify the person as a whole. It also hurts the person & they can feel the hurt, whether they acknowledge it or not. This is really a loaded question…cause there are definitely more things I wished people knew.

  24. I would like people to know that ADHD is a real and well-studied neuropsychological condition with real symptoms – that the behaviors they see are not necessarily the result of antagonism and negativity, but the manifestation of delays in executive functioning.

  25. I wish more emphasis was placed on what ADHD really is, how it manifests differentlay per person. Also that there was a “test” to know early it exists and help would be so much better and beneficial to the individual and faMiley.

  26. I wish people could look past the fidgeting and hyperness and see my sweet boys teh way I get to see them! I also wish I could find more easily accesible, free goal planning and calendars and helps for my 17 yearold as he starts life on his own.

  27. I want people to know that I’m trying. I’m trying /so hard/. And I feel like if I stop trying, I’m just going to get thrown off the back of the treadmill.

    *He-Man voice* Oh my god do I try.

    1. I wish people understood that when my kids say they need to step back and take a break to regroup, that’s not giving up but a huge step in recognizing their needs and saving everyone from the meltdown that follows if not allowed that chance to regroup. Also, that social deficiencies are not a reflection of mental capabilities. That, as said above, We ARE TRYING, not making excuses, but our life, parenting, development all look different and that’s got to be okay.

  28. I wish people would understand and believe that my actions aren’t always an accurate reflection of my intentions or priorities. For example: I’m not late because you aren’t important or I don’t value your time….I’m late because I was trying to do ‘just one more thing’ (often for someone else) and didn’t gauge my time appropriately. I am probably more upset with myself than you are with me, which is why when I realized I was late, I drove to meet you while simultaneously having a mild panic attack and berating myself for being late AGAIN!

  29. I wish the world knew that this is a disorder that hides in plain sight. I wish people knew the struggle I go through every day to just appear functional.

  30. I want people to know that for women treatment isn’t straight forward. We can’t just pop a pill and do behavioral therapy and we are all good. We have hormones that fluctuate monthly and no matter how well we think things are going at least for me everymonth there is 1 week where I still truly struggle my meds aren’t as effective and I feel like I am going backwards.

  31. I would like people to know that ADHD is real and a well-studied condition with real symptoms. That it’s not due to poor parenting or because the child wants to behave badly.

  32. Academic performance is, at best, a weak proxy for ADHD. I am competitive and can “hyperfocus” on tests. This doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with other facets of academics or my life. Testing whether I have ADHD based on what are essentially timed IQ tests–regardless of any empirical justification to do so–ignores and marginalizes so much of my day-to-day experience. And CPTs ignore the pressure I feel to perform “well” and my ability to develop coping mechanisms to do so.

  33. I wish the world knew that there are many different types of people who have ADHD even though I may be calm outside inside it’s a different story. I don’t know why I can’t get interested in a job, and can’t hold a job longer than a year. It’s sad when you have boss that can’t relate with you and why it takes longer on easy tasks. There is so much I could say. Thank you

  34. I wish people knew that it’s not just a “quality” you pick up at work, but that it is real and it affects real people in their everyday life. The lack of executive function affects ADHD people in every area of their lives. It doesn’t mean we’re stupid, lazy, or disorganized. It just means we’ve got deficiencies and we need help working through them. And it also doesn’t mean you have it because you’re easily distracted, so stop trivializing our disorder!

  35. I wish the world knew…regarding medication…for many many parents it wasnt easy to make decision to medicate or not medicate…and there is overwhelming guilt tied in to that decision. Until you’ve been in a position to raise a child with ADHD, and get the daily phone calls from school and the disapproving stares while at public places.

    I wish the world knew…how lonely it feels to raise a child with ADHD.

  36. I used to work in the natural supplement industry where I was surrounded by herbs, homeopathy, and other holistic treatments. There were many people adverse to psychiatric medication, but they have no idea how much proper treatment can be a game changer. While many natural healing techniques come from established traditions sometimes you need targeted pharmaceuticals to really make a difference in your quality of life.

  37. I wish the world knew that the same traits my child is celebrated for, such as her energy, imagination and artistic skills, are one side of the coin called ADHD, and that the other side of the coin is not her choosing to be willfully bad, disruptive or defiant. It’s her never-give-up spirit and million-track mind that helps her cope and adapt through difficult times, and her resilience and curiosity that keep her going, so to treat her negatively for one part of her behavior is to insult her as a whole person. Too often, a layman’s idea of ADHD is far more damaging than ADHD symptoms can ever be.

  38. I wish that people knew ADHD is not an excuse for not paying attention or being able to focus.
    That both Adults and Kids have a lot of gifts from their ADHD: unending creativity, thinking outside the box, energy, enthusiasm and passion about their interests.
    The hardest thing about ADHD is that it’s ‘invisible’ to outsiders. It’s not like other conditions that people can clearly see. I just wish they’d realize I need to fidget and that fidget spinners and fidget cubes can help me to focus on the task at hand; by allowing me to fidget.
    I need to listen to my music loud to drown out my racing mind. I talk fast because I want to get it all out, and if people are listening and engaged I can stay on track easier. When I come home from school my ‘coping skills tool box’ is almost empty. I need to withdraw and rest. I am ‘done.’ During TV time, rocking and bouncing help me to follow what is happening. I also needs subtitles on every show that I watch.
    It’s not that I don’t pay attention. The issue is my mind is always in 1 million places at once and I easily forget things because there’s always so many things going on in my head and with so many things on my mind it’s almost impossible to decide what to remember and what to forget. I think folks need to remember that kids with ADHD grow into adults with ADHD.

  39. I would like for the school to know that you cant tell a child with adhd that its their fault they cant understand the work and that they need to make their family happy and to the work.

  40. I wish people knew that when I do something stupid, it doesn’t mean that I’m stupid. When I appear disorganized, it doesn’t mean that I’m lazy. When I’m late, it doesn’t mean that I’m inconsiderate. I wish people knew that when my expression makes me look like I’ve “checked out,” it’s because I am actually processing about 10 things at the same time about the conversation we are having and I’ll be right back. I wish people knew that all my life I’ve felt like a square peg in a round hole and that no amount of threatening, cajoling, or therapy is going to make me round. I wish people knew that I am actually highly, above-average intelligent and that if they would just get into my world and my head a little bit, I can bring incredible stuff to the workplace and relationships.

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