Reply To: Benefits to being clinically diagnosed?

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Dear Themodemo, my two sons (ages 13 & 18) have AdD and I was diagnosed at age 39. I have struggled since I was 5 years old and finally broke down and cried in my doctor’s office at 39 years old begging him to tell me if I had AdD or something else was wrong with me. Growing up as a polite but chatty girl in the 1970s I wasn’t pegged as “hyperactive” like a few boys in my class. I now know that girls often go undiagnosed even today. I urge you to get officially diagnosed in order to know who you are and why your life is the way it is. Remember that if you had a thyroid disease or diabetes (or your son did), you wouldn’t want to ignore it. Any issue that you have that can be improved by counseling, medication and or JUST Knowledge should be taken seriously. This is especially important since your son has it, too. Know that AdD/AdHD is a different way of living and learning but NOT something to hide or be ashamed of. The more you know, the better you and your son will thrive at home, school and work. I believe that you will come to realize that you can improve your life (relationships, career, taking care of your home and especially yourself) even though you feel it is satisfactory. I always believed I was just “broken” – messy, late, forgetful, too talkative – but I have learned that all of these things are part of me for a reason. My father (a school teacher) always said “you are capable but you just don’t try!” But, in fact, I have tried so hard all my life to be a good student, an attentive mother, a valued employee – to no avail in many ways until only recently. I was never taught about ways to study, organize or break tasks down into small steps. With my children I never say “clean your room” “do your homework” or “practice piano for 30 minutes”. I teach them to “put all the legos in this bin” THEN “hang your coat” THEN “put your shirts in the 2nd drawer” OR I body double AT the piano and do a song then my son teaches ME to play – keep your child interested, focused and engaged by helping him feel empowered and to have pride in his accomplishments no matter how small (feed the cat every morning, put his shoes in the same place by the door, read a book for 10 minutes). Set timers for tasks, chores or homework. “I’ll cook dinner while you sit at the table and do your math but when the timer dings, please help me set the table” – this way he (and you) won’t dread the entire math worksheet or ALL the homework. Again, the MORE you learn about yourself (as a child and as an adult) the more you will understand yourself and your son. It will be a great relief to you and please your son to know that you are very much alike and struggle with the same things but ALSO have similar creative minds, fun outgoing chatty personalities and you both will conquer the world! Good luck to you! You are not alone…moms like me understand! Mom in Mass.