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What Your Child Would Tell You About ADHD If They Had the Words

The emotional toll of ADHD is often invisible and impossible to describe, especially if you’re a child with limited vocabulary and perspective on the world. Here are six of the hardest things about living with ADHD that your child may never tell you in words.

7 Comments: What Your Child Would Tell You About ADHD If They Had the Words

  1. Excellent article. There is a lot there to digest.


    “…how to treat, respond to, teach the child who has…[ADHD]”

    How do you treat anybody who has a condition outside their control?

    My father has had two strokes.
    Do I stop reminding him who I am, when he asks me for the fortieth time?
    Do I let him figure it out on his own?
    Do I give up on him completely, and stop caring for him?
    OR, do I do what every human on earth would do, and understand his condition, and realize that he is trying desperately to understand, and remember who this person that reminds him of himself is?

    It’s not a role I would wish on anybody. It’s an unfair, difficult, and heart-wrenching task at times. There are those who choose not to take on that task, and I can see many reason why they would, and don’t blame them for giving up or falling under the weight of that kind of extra responsibility.(I have a life too..Why should I subject myself to dealing with someone else’s problems). The fact that some can actually pick up this cross voluntarily and manage it has, until recently, been a complete mystery to me. There is a word that fits in there there somewhere. I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you what that word is, but it comes with more strength than you ever thought you could have.

    There are the good sides to this too. There’s the huge, child-like smile that comes to his face, when I tell him who I am…Again. The tight hug he gives me…Again. I also see the regret in his eyes, when he remembers some of the times when he wasn’t the best parent, and I feel him…and I hug him tighter. There is that word again.

    Those of us with ADHD have been blessed, in a way, with our hyper-sensitive emotions, and the inability at times to “keep it all in”. If I’m honest, I feel more “real” or “legit” at times, than those the majority would call “normal”. This is one of the more difficult attributes of our particular brain variation that I don’t find particularly bad. (Although it does have its down-sides), I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  2. Awesome article completely agree..back in the 70/80s there was no help you were labelled lazy, woolly headed, day dreamer or just plain thick!

  3. Love this article, but now I’d like to read one on the flipside; how to treat, respond to, teach the child who has these feelings or issues. Not sure if questions will be answered on here, but I’m wondering at what point do we NOT help our child and let them learn through the consequences of their actions? Or will that never be possible with an adhd child? (i.e. they can’t find their shoes for the 40th time, do you help them look for their shoes and remind them for the 40th time to put them in the same spot, or do you let them figure it out themselves and maybe go to school in socks because by you doing it 40 times for them already you’re not letting them learn, or will they never learn regardless?)

  4. Please consider writing this article for adults with ADD/ADHD. As a woman who was just diagnosed with ADD 3 years ago, I can relate to this article on nearly every point. Few people understand ADD/ADHD and even fewer understand how emotionally devastating it can be at any age — especially to self-esteem — unless you have the support of professionals and friends who understand the emotional cost.
    Wishing understanding and support for all…

  5. This is a great post, thanks so much for sharing it. I’m very lucky that on the whole my 9 (who’s nearly 10) year old girl has her self esteem and self worth still relatively intact, despite having had a handful of moments where she’s questioned her abilities, as well as putting herself down. Those moments are gut wrenching to watch her endure and listen to her heavy heart, also a precious gift to know she feels safe and loved enough to open up about her self doubt. The one comment that has stuck with me for it’s particularly demoralizing tone and the insensitivity given it was from her tutor, was ‘Has your brain gone on holiday?’ Let’s just say it was probably a good thing that I wasn’t present at the time!
    And if they’re the kinds of comments that come from a trusted adult in her life, and one who’s a trained school teacher, I shudder to think what she may have heard from children at her school.

  6. Exceellent article – I feel like this was written for my son. Just change “parent” to teacher because this is what many students wish their teachers and principals would understand about ADHD.

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