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Return to Dear Parents: You Are the Solution…

Dear Parents: You Are the Solution…

…to your child’s biggest struggles with ADHD. The Fix You First approach to ADHD therapy recognizes that traditional parenting approaches actually exacerbate and worsen ADHD problems within families. To make progress with your child, you need to recognize that they are not the problem — and that nothing will change unless you change.

2 Comments: Dear Parents: You Are the Solution…

  1. As an adult who had ADD as a kid (undiagnosed), still has it as an adult, and has a child that has been clinically diagnosed with ADHD, I disagree with a lot of what this article says.

    First, if my child had a heart condition, or an infection, I would not hesitate to give him medication. Why should I not treat this similarly? Medicine for ADHD does not have to greatly impact who your child is, if it does, find a better Dr.

    My wife and I were firmly in the “We are not medicating our child” camp until we had a chat with a teacher who told us that our son’s classmates didn’t want to work with him or sit near him because he was distracting them from learning. At this point, trying everything but medicine was not working, we needed to be open to other options.

    We tried many medications in extremely low doses until we found the one that worked and didn’t alter who he is as a person. During this time we had one that turned him into a zombie, we got off that quickly. Another worked great, but killed his appetite, and our son is already very thin, so we got off of that. After going through a handful, we found the right one and the difference is night and day in some regards, and very slight in others.

    Night and Day changes really show up at school. Over the last 4 years in school, my son went from being the kid who didn’t live up to his potential and no one wanted to work with because he was too distracting, to being a straight ‘A’ student in the gifted program, even taking math courses a year above his grade level. Was this just due to the medicine? No, this was a fair amount of work on our part (my wife and I), the school, and my son. I truly believe it would not have happened if it wasn’t for the medicine.

    The very slight changes are in his personality, it really hasn’t changed at all. Yes, the mornings can be trying, as can the evenings, but that isn’t all that different than any 10 year old.

    From a parenting perspective, I think this is more difficult on my wife than it is on me. She didn’t grow up with ADD, she was a straight ‘A’ student, she didn’t have the challenges that my son and I have. It has to be incredibly difficult for her to fully understand what is happening. For me, it is easy. Everything my son is going through, I went through as a child, with one major exception, I never got better. The outcome was horrible grades and a lack of discipline that haunts me to this day.

    As an adult, I have learned to manage it to an extent, but it set me back in life probably a decade. The poor decisions I made (getting bad grades, doing what I wanted instead of what I should have done, etc) as a kid really set me back as I got older. It isn’t like this is an issue that goes away when you turn 18, it doesn’t, it gets harder. You have now trained yourself to not do all of the things that you should to live that life you want, and now you need to learn those things as an adult, and the consequences are greater.

    My son does not need to traverse the same mountain that I did, there is a better way, and that involves a small amount of medicine and a lot of work by those around him. We have a stigma in our society when it comes to mental disorders, and we need to stop treating them differently than we would a physical disorder. If you have high blood pressure you will take a medicine and make changes in your life to maybe get to a point that you don’t need it, why do we treat a mental disorder like ADHD any different?

  2. A great article!!! As a mother of a child with severe ADHD, and as a counsellor who works with parents, I love that you have laid out such clear and helpful steps. My child is now grown, and I can attest that the best thing I did, through all those challenging years, was to stay connected at the heart (and during the teen years this was a one-way effort). I will be passing on the PRIDE method, as it incorporates strategies which take some practice, but are wonderfully effective. And not just with kids who have ADHD. These are great tools for keeping the relationship strong. Many thanks.

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