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. As a toddler my son started to display similar behaviors that I grew up watching my brother exhibit who had ADHD. When he was in preschool we needed a behavior plan to help him and in kindergarten his teacher constantly commented how he could never sit still. He slept very little, could not focus and was very defiant. I knew before we even received an official diagnosis from the doctor that he was following in his Uncle’s footsteps.

    1. Well, my ah, ha moment came after a long struggle of trying to wrap my psychotherapist mind around the fact that my (at the time 10 year old)daughter had been struggling with symptoms of ADD. Even with all my mental health training, and counseling experience (more than 15 years)I did not want to come to the realization of my own diagnosis of my daughter. What really made me force the issue within myself was noticing the very simple tasks and order of things were very difficult for her to execute, let alone complete. Her executive functioning ability was seriously delinquent. However, today she is getting better at it with the help of simply breaking down her tasks into smaller ones, and creating lists, as well as employing some cognitive self-talk techniques of reminders and rehearsals. Taking some of the pointers and tips from ADDitude and applying them has been really helpful as well. We have realized that her ADD is not a curse, like some would want us to believe, but it can be a gift if we immerse ourselves in the research and apply it, and understand that she is a gift from God just as she is. I’m thinking she is starting to realize this as well. Praise our living God, and Savior Jesus Christ.

  2. My son has struggled with delays since birth, we attributed a lot of the defiance and tantrums to age and struggle communicating but they didn’t let up. As we started an early childhood program we noticed more with the focus and ability to sit still, things started looking a lot like my youngest brother growing up; Hitting himself in the head, lack of safety awerness and body awareness. I was hopeful that the schools would start pointing us in the right direction but they didn’t. They just started sending him home for behaviors and “suggesting seeing our pediatrician” because they wanted him medicated! So I resorted to the web and found amazing resources and guidance and more research then the school wanted I’m sure 😊
    I am my child’s voice, as parents we are their strongest advocate!

  3. We knew when the State DCYF told us our foster son had it. That was from the beginning. What we didn’t k ow or weren’t told was how far down the rabbit hole this goes.

  4. My moment came after yet another ‘project pile’ I left behind on my desk came tumbling down. I sat there and looked at the other piles that had taken up residence at various positions of my desk, floor and drawers. Each of them had provided a new stimulus where I spent every waking moment researching and reading up on, only to drop them when something new came along. My wife had just about had it as well so I Googled my symptoms and found a web resource with a few questions that I answered. With results in hand, made an appointment to get a professional opinion and within about 5 minutes of answering questions, my physician put down her pen and just stated succinctly “you have definitely have ADHD and here is the recommended course of action…”. In that moment every single self-doubting, self-blaming emotion bubbled to the surface reaffirming that this WAS a medical condition that could be treated and wasn’t just me ‘flaking out’, It is still a struggle even with medication, but at least I know what the root causes are!!!

  5. My “Aha” moment was when I included my son for a Saturday class that I was teaching. He fidgets a lot, disrupts other people tonthe point that he is annoying, blurts out answers or comments even if he is not part of the conversation. That year (He was in 3rd grade) I asked our school psychologist to do an informal test on my son and after I got the result I requested a formal evaluation to his doctor and true enough he has ADHD. As a special education teacher I had an incling already but because he is doing fine academically and was gifted based on rhe OLSAT test they did while he was 2nd that did nit bother me but as he matures his symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity, fidgeting, blurting out gets worse to the point that it is adfecting his academics plus the fact that the teacher does not know and understand everything about ADHD! So here I am with a 504 plan and advocating for other parents in our school as a teacher and a parent of a kid with ADHD. Next year I will start a parent workshop and a teacher professional development on ADHD so that teachers will have a better understanding and strategies on how to handle kids with ADHD so kids will prosper in and out of the classroom.

  6. My husband and I have been raising our grandson since he was 5 months old. We had our first “Aha” moment when our grandson was in preschool. He threw a lot of fits and they could not calm him down. We did not start any medications until after first grade. I thought private school would be better for him. Thinking the classes were smaller and they would get more individual teaching. Our grandson is now 11 years old and is finishing 5th grade. This year has been the hardest. Last year I paid out of pocket for a child psychiatrist because our community had no child psychiatrists available! But, this year Palo Also Medical Clinic finally has a child psychiatrist available through their Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Department. This time the medications made our grandsons tics really bad. He constantly rubbed his nose until it was raw. That medication has been discontinued for him. Still unsure what meds work for him. It changes with every doctor. I am requesting Behavioral Therapy and Family Therapy and joining our local CHADD group. I know one of the biggest mistakes as parents is that we have allowed the Xbox come into our home and it has been a constant battle. The addiction is like heroine! We have eliminated the Xbox for now until we can come up with a better plan. It may take awhile for our grandson to get over wanting the Xbox. Our biggest eye opener was when three kids came to the house and asked him to go outside to play, our grandson said no. My biggest heart break was hearing him telling us that he was dumb. He is far from dumb. He knows math, spells and reads beautifully. He is short with his reading comprehension, but fails with low grades because he does not turn in all his work or finishes them. The homework has been the biggest battle for years until I finally found a tutor from our local college. I have tutoring for him 3 days a week.

    My next goal is to take him out of the private school and put him in the public school. The public school has a 504 Counselor available and I have met with her and am very pleased to hear what they can to do help him. I will be requesting the IEP from the school district. I will also be requesting more psychiatric exams to see if there are any other psychiatric problems he may be facing and we are not aware of. It has not been easy and has been very heart breaking to say the least when you try and try and feel like you are failing raising a child.

    I have hope and faith and I believe our grandson will grow to be a happy productive person as he gets older. Our goal will always to keep him on the right track as best as we can. Providing lots of love is so important that they know you will always be there for him no matter what.

    Still learning and will continue to keep learning for as long as we can.

  7. I realized that I had ADHD after my child had been diagnosed with it. I started attending lectures and reading books to learn all I could about the condition. I immediately recognized myself in the stories of people who have ADHD. I knew then that I had to learn how to help myself handle the challenges in addition to helping my child.

  8. I was diagnoised with ADHD as a child and was literally one of th first kids ever placed on Ritalin, which was a brand. Eq drug at the time. I was over-medicated and at 13 refused to take it any longer; but 6 months later started using pot to self-medicate. This went on for 17 yrs, but when I quit…I didn’t really t place it, except for some periods of using Prozac for depression. Which brings us to my AHA moment.

    Because of losing my helath insurance back in Sept. 2016; I had to stop the Prozac and over the months that it took to get on Medi-Cal (in California); Inbegan to relaize that it was my ADHD that needed to be treated, not just my depression which is because of the untreated ADHD, and some orher health issues.
    Just yesterday I saw my new doc for the first time and together we will get the real me to come out. I have hope again! 😀

  9. After a lifetime unfinished academic programs, I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 51. A good chunk of the past six years has been rewriting & retelling my past. My inconsistent performance makes sense now. I’m working as an ESL teacher. When I am in front of a classroom, hyperfocus almost always kicks in. Balancing the needs/questions of the students against the need to stay on course with the syllabus, it’s almost magical. I sometimes call hyperfocus an unreliable superpower. It turns out that I’m really, really good at teaching pronunciation and explaining English grammar.

  10. Realized it was ADHD when my boss suggested hiring a time management consultant to study my work habits and devise a plan that would help me be more efficient. Basically he would watch me work for about a week and then make recommendations/devise a plan on how I could make better use of my time. I requested we put this off for a few weeks due to some rapidly approaching critical deadlines, (I work in the accounting field) and then there were some financial constraints that helped push this even further back and I looked into some professional help (outside of my work environment) and things have gotten much better. There hasn’t been any further discussion about this and I believe I have become more productive without needing to spend unwanted hours at my tasks. I still struggle but believe I am making huge improvements and I am better able to identify when I am getting off track, I am much better at planning and actually being able to stick relatively close to the plans, I have been able to complete a few items prior to the absolute last moment, I can prioritize and pay attention to the items that are at the top of the list and slowly but surely things are coming together for me. I have applied this at work and I am even beginning to apply this in other areas of my life.

  11. I was already in my 50’s and in training to be a life coach. I’d already tried being a massage therapist, hypnotherapist, dream group leader and several other personal growth-oriented ideas. One day, another student came to class and shared, with great enthusiasm, his recent diagnosis of attention deficit disorder. “What is attention deficit disorder,” I asked, not knowing much or anything about it. As he explained it, my eyes grew wide, my jaw dropped and I was stunned. “This explains my whole life,” I shouted. “Oh my god!”
    I immediately went to get diagnosed. Sure enough–ADHD, full blown. What a relief.

  12. I am a mother of 3 amazing children, 2 biological and 1 through kinship care. I have been raising my first cousin’s son through legal permanent guardianship kinship care since he was 6 weeks old and he is now 6 1/2 years old. I am the only Mommy he knows and I am dedicated to my son’s care and his future. My AHA moment came when I began to realize there were differences in the way that my 3rd child reacted to stressors and interacted with others that was different from my first two children. My 3rd child would tantrum for longer periods of time and would react negatively to any transition in our day that we needed to be more flexible with. My son also had more issues with peers than typical kids his age would have as well as it appeared that I was receiving daily behavioral reports for non-compliance, or aggressive behaviors. When my son began kindergarten and these symptoms continued to increase along with him not being able to focus or sit still to listen to the teacher or he would raise his hand to answer a question even before the teacher ended saying her sentence, is when I knew we needed an evaluation with a psychologist. At the time I didn’t know that any of these signs and symptoms would lead us specifically to a diagnosis of ADHD but as a mental health clinician,I did know the steps I would need to take in order to guide my son towards the care that he is now receiving. Since my son’s diagnosis it has been a daily effort to advocate for him at his school and provide education to other professionals within the school about the signs, symptoms, and reinforcements that can help them to better understand and serve my son. Just recently we were deemed ineligible for an IEP and I have challenged the school’s decision. I am requesting an outside evaluation at the school districts cost to be completed as I was told that my son would literally have to “fail” BEFORE the school would be required to help him with an individual education plan. My goal is to help the school to realize the importance of being proactive rather than reactive not just for my son but for all of the children who are struggling with symptoms like the ones my son is challenged with on a daily basis. I have hope for change and I have hope that the school will learn how to better understand my son while providing him with a great education. As my son continues to fight his way through the struggles of living with ADHD I continue to fight alongside of him to pave the way for change to occur and for him to be understood and not ridiculed.

  13. My aha moment came when my son wore his shirt backwards again (even though I told him many many times before) and he’s making sudden gestures (tics). At that point, I have to admit that’s not careless inattention, that is ADHD.

  14. I guess I realized something was different with my 2nd grade daughter when she could focus on one thing that really interested her but then hear “a pin drop” in the next room and be totally off focus after that. I was hesitant to give her medication and tried with a psychologist to go the behavior only route. When that was not effective and the day after she took her first medication, my “ah ha” was when her printing complete changed. It went from messy to nice an neat. Then there after, her attention improved. We still have to modify the meds as she gets older but she is doing pretty well in school.

  15. My aha moment was actually a series of events. I was at a bookstore and I saw a book on a shelf titled. “Driven to Distraction” by John Ratey. I grew up hearing my mother saying to me, ‘I love you dearly, but would you please go outside and play. You are absolutely driving me to distraction!’ As my mom had died three years earlier and I had a son who was doing the same thing to me, I absolutely had to have the book, even though I knew only what it said on the cover about something called ADHD. That weekend I took it to the beach by myself and sat down and read it. I highlighted practically the first 2/3 of the book as it described my son perfectly and then cried through the last 1/3 of the book as it described my life virtually to the last detail. It was 1994; my son was 10 and I was 42. It changed my life forever.

  16. When watching my granddaughter and listening to my daughter say she believes she has ADHD I kept on saying , the things she does reminds me of myself when I was young. So I decided to find a doctor and be tested. I was actual relieved to find out it was. All my life that is all I heard. She can’t sit still, she could do it if she wanted to. I use to wonder what is wrong with me? When I grew up they knew nothing about ADHD

  17. I knew I had ADHD in 3rd grade when I could not focus in class and kept daydreaming. I was always getting into trouble for not being organized and having my room a mess. I was not officially diagnosed until I was an adult, where I have continued to struggle with being organized, getting to places on time, not interrupting in conversations, talking to fast, struggling to complete monotonous tasks at work and home, and finishing projects. As a therapist I am trying to learn new ways to not only manage my own ADHD but also help the kids that I work with so they may learn skills to help them manage their ADHD from an earlier age.

  18. My ‘Aha’ moment came when my daughter’s second grade teacher said she might have it. I waived it off as you just want her to sit down and be a robot. As her behavior got worse, I did some research and took a Google search test entitled, “Is it ADHD?” The questions alone struck a cord before the results. I made a pediatrician appointment that day.

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