Sweepstakes: Win 3 ADDitude eBooks

Enter to win 3 ADDitude eBooks of your choice in our web site re-launch sweepstakes!

The ADDitude web site is brand new — and we’re celebrating by giving away eBooks to 5 lucky sweepstakes winners!

Enter to Win 3 ADDitude eBooks

To win 3 ADDitude eBooks of your choice, use the Comments section below to answer this question: What was your ‘Aha!’ moment? When did you know beyond a shadow of a doubt it was ADHD — in yourself, your child, or all of the above?


Sunday, May 14, 2017


Only Comments posted using a valid email address will be considered valid entries. One entry per person. The editors of ADDitude will select five winners at random and notify the winners via email on or around May 15, 2017.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER. Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States or District of Columbia, age 18 or older. Entries must be received between 12:00:01 AM ET on 04/26/17 and 11:59:59 PM ET on 05/14/17. See Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor: New Hope Media, LLC.

Good luck!

Updated on March 15, 2018

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  1. I first knew my daughter had ADHD when she could not speak in complete thoughts without pacing back and forth. It is the only way she can focus long enough to organize her thoughts.

  2. I knew when I was in nursing school and I decided to do a research paper on ADHD. It had us take the online test and mine came out 99%!! My daughters then took it answering it as what they saw in me and it also came out 99%. I went to a Psychologist and was diagnosed. I look back at my childhood and hear that horrible clock ticking on the wall in school and remember using my fingers to ice skate on my desk and the teacher yelling at me to pay attention. My LPN year was a struggle always re-reading everything 10 times and still not understanding. Then my RN year was a breeze because I had gotten regulated on Adderall and it has helped so much. It is so much harder for others to understand what we are going through and why we do what we do.

  3. ADHD runs in my husband’s family. We always kept our eyes open to the possibility. When my oldest son was around 4-5 years old we knew he needed to be tested. He attended an all day preschool. He was very bright, but was behind socially and emotionally. He was very impulsive. He could tell you the rules before and after it happened but in the moment he couldn’t control himself. He was also easily distracted and could not focus on a task that was given to him. We were able to be enrolled in an ADHD study with our local children’s hospital around the same time. He was also recommended to be further tested. He went from there to see a children’s psychologist who had him diagnosed with ADHD.

  4. I had a job as an IT professional at a small financial firm. I knew the backups weren’t working, but being scattered I never fixed them. The server drive died and all the email was lost. We didn’t have a backup. There was a court case involved and the partners had to go to the judge and say they lost all email related to the case….THEY DIDN’T fire me!!! I was tested and diagnosed and started Concerta in the next month! 12 years, later I still work there!

  5. I was sitting at the doctor’s office, waiting for a consultation for severe insomnia.
    To stop myself falling off the chair with exhaustion I reached for the nearest reading-matter.
    Rather than the usual glossy magazine my groping hand found a booklet – on adult ADD.
    Out of curiosity I read it, and found myself writ large and clear on every page.
    My jaw must have dropped – certainly a large penny dropped, as all the numerous lonely struggles of my long life were explained.

  6. More than 25 years ago, my son’s teacher approached me about suspecting he was ADHD. I thought she was “too old” to be a 2nd grade teacher. Then the school social worker approached me with concerns and I asked to have him moved from the “old” teacher’s classroom. I agreed to talk to a doctor before a move was made. He diagnosed my son as ADHD and prescribed Ritalin. I told the teacher, but didn’t give him the medicine, to see if it might have been a perception problem. Then a week later I gave him a dose of ritalin. The school social worker called that night to say she noticed I tried the medicine that day. I waited a couple more weeks then tried a dose again. She called again that night. I asked her how she figured it out. She told me that my son would run to the door of the classroom every time she walked down the hall to see who was out there and to say “hello”. He did not run to the door each of those days. He was able to resist the distraction. We owe so much to those caring professionals that were gentle but persistent as I worked through the grief process with this diagnosis. My son is a wonderful father now, working through these issues with his children and I shared this story with him to help him along with the process.

  7. I homeschool my kids and I knew there was something different about my daughter when my younger son started school and things seemed to come so much easier for him. Up to that point, I had thought that my daughter’s academic struggles were the normal struggles of a 4-year old and then 5-year old. The year my son started homeschooling, I realized my daughter had been having a harder time than she should have had and I began researching her symptoms. I found an online Vanderbilt scale (before that I had NO idea what that even was!) and she met all the markers for the ADD section (no hyperactivity, though). My eyes were opened and I felt so validated. I was not crazy! It was my Aha moment and the moment I began to understand and implement strategies. Life changing!

  8. We figured out my daughter had ADD when she was in grade school. At the end of every term the teacher would send home a note saying she had not completed many of her assignments even though we had been asking her if she was behind. She would say no and the teachers were no help at all. Finally after much difficulty we took her to a psychologist and psychiatrist after that. She was diagnosed with ADD and much to my wife and I’s surprise, we realized we have had it all of our lives as well. We have just learned to deal with it through a variety of coping mechanisms.

  9. When at six years old, my daughter flew into a rage and kicked another child in the head, who had accidentally fallen on her while they were jumping on a trampoline. It was the third or fourth in a line of recent aggressive outbursts. And they all came from seemingly out of nowhere. My daughter is kind and compassionate and generous- she is not angry or vindictive and yet when someone enters her space even on accident she reacts before she thinks. She did not present as I typically thought about ADHD- wired constantly, unable to sit still, but she would have angry outbursts where she didn’t even know what had happened until long after the event was over. I had been divorced from her father, who has ADHD, for seven years. But it wasn’t until the night of the trampoline that it hit me like the kick in the head she delivered to that poor child. This- this is what she has. She does have ADHD- she is also gifted which gives her a 2ediagnosis and her own set of unique challenges and abilities.

  10. Sadly, I realized I had ADHD when at one point this past summer every aspect of my life (marriage; work; relationships, kids, extended family and friends; health; and mental stability) was all crashing and burning at the same time. I was 42 and totally out of control of my life. I knew I had dyslexia, and social issues as a kid but had always found a way to come out of the tough spots. Then I found myself in the “where do I start?” syndrome. I was incredibly frustrating. I have excellent Healthcare benefits and live in the 5th largest city in the US and it was nearly impossible to find a provider who both a.treated adult ADHD and b. accepted health insurance. it took me a month to find a Psychiatrist to for medical management and a month and a half to find a Psychologist near by the took my insurance and “treated adult ADHD.” After not really progressing much over the following 8 months I finally found a wonderful group with both Psychology and Psychiatry under the same room and have gotten more in the 1st 2 months from them than in 8 months with the other team. I’m still a work in progress but there is a light shining for me in the distance.

  11. At my previous job, I had gotten in trouble twice for making simple errors on work and it left me feeling humiliated and confused because I couldn’t explain what was going on with me. I was always good at my job and considered a great employee. I eventually left the job and moved on to a new company. On the second day of the new job, I was hit was devastating news that my brother was dying. It was hard for me to focus, I was daydreaming a lot, afraid to try new things at work and procrastinating on even the simplest assignments. I felt hopeless. Shortly after my brother’s passing, the manager felt she was left with no choice but to give me a written warning and improvement plan for my behavior, and suggested I see someone for my emotional pain. I told a therapist that I thought I may have ADD after reading several articles and books, but she shrugged it off and focused more on my grief and depression. My gut told me I needed to find a second opinion. After seeing a psychiatrist and going through an evaluation, it turns out I was right. I was prescribed Adderall and Lexapro for depression. Although grief certainly did impact me, there were things going on since childhood that suddenly made sense. Procrastination, messiness, forgetfulness and constantly losing items, difficulty making decisions, making small mistakes, daydreaming, low self esteem… those were symptoms that I’ve endured my whole life but decided it was just who I was and nothing would change. It has been over a year since my diagnosis and with medication, healthy diet and exercise and lots of support, I have improved drastically at home and work and even got a promotion two months ago.

  12. I knew that my son had ADD without a shadow of a doubt when he tried to shave his ear. For the most part, he was alway a little behind and he seemed distracted but I never thought it was ADD. I had taken him to his pediatrician and she prescribed meds, I was not sure the diagnosis was correct so, I did not give it to him. But, that day I knew! He had been told not to touch things in the bathroom when he took a shower. I knew it was an impulse that he could not control. That day I started giving him his medication. All I could think about was “What if he had deeply cut hi beautiful face?’ I knew then it was ADD and I have not looked back since.

  13. My aha moment was a result of one of the worst days of my life. On September 11, 2001 I lost my big brother and my best friend. I was told he was last seen carrying a wheel chair bound woman down the stairs in the second tower to be hit. He ensured his entire staff was in front of him going down the stairs. He was the last out of his offices. Somewhere around the 65th floor he stopped to help this woman. His entire staff escaped but him.
    One month, one day later I had a heart attack. They said it was probably due to my brother’s loss.
    My cardiologist required all his patients to be also treated by a psychologist. After the second session he asked if I had ever been diagnosed with any disabilities. When I asked why, he said he thought I had ADD. But I didn’t bounce around, I wasn’t impulsive. The psychologist explained what ADD was. And – BOOM – everything made sense. Why I tested high on IQ but struggled to maintain a C average. Why I waited until the last second to even start projects. Why I did so well under pressure but could barely survive normal life.
    16 years later and I am still working hard to understand my ADD. It isn’t a disability, it is me and I am DAMN proud of who and what I am.

  14. I suspect my 9yo daughter has inattentive ADHD. I have had her screened twice and tested. She has Auditory Processing Disorder but holds it together in school so the surveys come back negative for ADHD in school. I do tons of accomodations for her at home and constantly have to keep on her to complete tasks and stay on track. Constant redirection, reteaching and refocusing.

  15. Such great stories and experiences above. Thank you everyone for sharing.

    I was confounded with my young son’s extreme emotions. Since he was a baby he easily became enraged. Yet, when nothing was bothering him, he was exceptionally kind and thoughtful. However, he had a really hard time transitioning from one task to the next, and was totally stubborn about anything that he did not want to do. He said “No” to just about everything. It was so exhausting and caused me to question my parenting skills.

    I was especially frustrated that he would often completely ignore me when I spoke to him or asked him questions. Then I realized my husband had a bad habit of doing the same thing,but I suspected it was not merely learned behaviour. While researching more about my young son’s behaviour, I discovered that it matched a lot of ADHD symptoms. When I learned that it can be hereditary, I realized that not only did his dad also have a lot of ADHD symptoms, but his dad’s mother did too! This explained so much. All three have consistently behaved in very challenging ways, which I believe has even taken a toll on my own mental health. Understanding that it is a cognitive issue — and not mere rudeness or uncaring — has given me a lot more patience with them.

    As a result of my understanding, I have been able to give my son better support using more positive approaches, and finally after a year or so was able to convince my husband to get help, which has resulted in a much happier and healthier relationship between us and less stress in the whole family. So far no progress with the grandmother though!

  16. I have a 30 yr old daughter with ADHD, and a 10 yr old son that has it as well. Being in my 50’s I’ve always been told and treated for Depression and Anxiety (I have a child and 2 sisters with Mental Illness) My Aha!!!!!! moment was just a few days ago, watching an organizing video on Youtube (ALWAYS trying to get organized!!!!) She was describing what her life challenges were with ADHD, well really she was describing MY LIFE challenges. Raising children that have ADHD, I am very knowledgeable about. I don’t know why I never saw it in myself, and why didn’t anyone else!! But it was all there, trouble with jobs, relationships (my husband is a saint!) ALWAYS being late, losing things,no focus, too much focus, will sit and do my favorite hobby for hours and hours, tuning out everything! I wonder what path my life would have taken if I knew (and been treated) that I have ADHD. I have an appointment with a Doctor, bet I can guess what he’s going to say!!!

  17. I was in my late 40’s and in a psychiatrist office for medication changes. I was worrying about the stresses of a new job when he suggested a test for adult ADD. Going through the questions I started having repeated lightbulb moments. Being called “airhead” in school, multiple people (teachers,bosses,my mom) criticizing me for lack of focus and not staying on task. Being told I was “too thorough” and “overthinking” things. Getting frustrated with myself for not getting various small jobs at home accomplished and a hundred other things. Finally all these puzzle pieces fit. It’s still a struggle but therapy and ritalin have helped me manage better.

  18. I knew my twins had ADHD before their first well-baby check!! They have older siblings who have ADHD. I told the doctor that my daughter had ADHD-Hyperactive/Impulsve type and my son had the Inattentive type. She looked at me and laughed saying that if I were any other parent, she would think I was nuts…. Sure enough, by first grade both were prescribed medication!

  19. My first moment was when I looked around my house and saw how many projects i had started that weren’t finished and even after that I still started more. Thinking back to when I was younger and checking symptoms of ADD it was like a light bulb went off and I was like “Well duh, no wonder!!”. I was later dignosed with ADD, Anxiety & Depression.

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