13 Things My ADHD Child Wishes You Knew
1. I may not meet your eyes when we are talking. That doesn't always mean that I'm not listening or that my parents haven't tried to teach me manners.
2. My impulse control is 3 to 5 years behind that of other children my age. Take my age and subtract 3 to 5 years, and think about what a child that age is like. I may be 9, but my ability to control my impulsive actions is that of a 4 to 6 year old. I need you to be patient with me.
3. I don't have ADHD because of too much sugar or lazy parenting. ADHD is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder. You cannot prevent it or cure it. I have a long road ahead of me to learn to live with ADHD.
4. My mom says this man named Ben Glenn has ADHD and teaches other about it. He says my thoughts are like airplanes circling an airport, just going and going and unable to land. You know how sometimes you can't turn off your mind to fall asleep at night? I have that problem every night.
5. I take a medication every morning to help me settle my thoughts and emotions, and to help me sit at my desk. My parents thought about the decision for a long time, and did a lot of reading and talking to doctors before they started giving it to me. Before I took medication I could not sit still long enough to do my homework. I was like this and it was really frustrating for me and my parents. Please don't judge my parents for giving me medication or suggest that I could be 'cured' if I ate less gluten or more vegetables or only organic foods. The medicine helps me. Mom says it's ironic how judgmental people are about medication for kids like me, when those are the same people who would complain if I can't control myself in public. I don't know what ironic means, but I like that my medicine helps me to do what my teachers need me to do.
6. At the end of the day, when my medication wears off I can experience something called rebound. I may lose control of my emotions and be unable to calm down for a long time. My mom & dad try to keep things quiet and routine that time of day so I am able to transition more peacefully. At any time of day I have trouble modulating my emotions and may overreact to things. Once I get upset sometimes I just stay that way, even if I don't remember why.
7. I'm not stupid; in fact, I'm actually very smart. I don't like writing because my hand cannot keep up with my mind, and I get really frustrated. I also have trouble spelling. I use a writing tool called a Neo, which is a lightweight word processor. I enjoy using it and love that I can get my ideas down quickly.
8. I have a best friend who has Asperger's, which is on the Autism spectrum. We get along really well. My mom had to have me screened for Autism because ADHD can be like it sometimes. I'm glad that he is my friend because I don't have any others. Most kids think I'm weird. Sometimes I get made fun of and I cry. I'm not allowed to go play with kids in the neighborhood anymore because they bully me and make fun of me. I don't understand why other kids don't like me. I think a lot of kids are my friends when they really aren't. I don't get invited to playdates or parties. I'm glad that Z and I are friends. We play computer games and go to Stockade (Awana) together.
9. I have an amazing memory. I can tell you a lot of details about things that I'm interested in. I saw an infomercial for an organizing purse once, and I told my mom all about it, including all the reasons she would find it useful and what colors it was available in.
10. Once I start talking about something that I'm excited about, I usually can't stop. Even if you interrupt me or walk away from me I will just continue talking until I'm finished.
11. I'm a great problem solver. I can figure out puzzles really well. My mom and I play games together on the computer and she always tells me how smart I am for finding the clues or solutions.
12. I'm really bad at organizing things. I lose jackets and notebooks a lot, and have no idea where I've left them.
13. I'm funny and sweet and I love my family. I like to laugh and play games with Mom like Battleship, or work with tools with Dad. I make my big sister crazy but she still loves me. I like to play with my little brother; we have fun together!