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I don’t have ADHD but my 10 yr old does and we realized my husband does too after getting our daughter diagnosed.
For us, the public school system was beyond useless. They didn’t recognize ADHD and learning disabilities when it was staring them in the face, they discouraged us from getting her tested, then once she was tested had absolutely no understanding of what she needed (let alone agreeing to provide it). Not only was she not learning anything, her self esteem was in the toilet and she had absolutely no idea how smart she is. Fortunately we found a paediatrician who specializes in ADHD and we moved her to a school that specializes in ADHD and learning disabilities. She has flourished.
Although I don’t have ADHD my brother does but wasn’t diagnosed until adulthood. I saw what he went through growing up(‘smart but doesn’t apply himself’, lazy, total screw up, etc). I didn’t want that for my daughter, We started a ‘trial’ of meds as my brother said they completely changed his life. Wow. It was like flipping a light switch. Literally tests/homework that she was completely unable to do off meds on Friday, she aced while on meds on Monday. So much so, that a math ‘learning disability’ she received on formal testing disappeared once she started meds. She now gets an ‘A’ in math. She continues to take meds on school days.
Look for support in your community. Even as a non-ADHD individual who is an aggressive advocate, I needed outside help. Find a paediatrician or ADHD clinic that can help you get on track and access any resources that you have locally. Look at alternate schooling. We tried to take the pressure off our daughter by telling her WE had placed her in the wrong school. That her TEACHERS didn’t know how to teach kids who think outside the box. Then we promised to find her a situation that was the right ‘fit’.
I am happy to say she is now ‘caught up’ and getting largely A’s. We are considering transferring her back to a mainstream school in the next couple of years with some outside supports in place.
You already have likely given your children more than you (and my brother) received as a child — an understanding of what is behind their struggles, support and advocacy.
Best of luck.