Thursday, October 6, 2011

13 Things my ADHD Child Wishes You Knew

I was reading this list recently called 10 Things My Autistic Child Wishes You Knew. I love this list; I think it's up to us as parents to educate others about who our kids are.  So here is a list of things my son needs you to know about him, and to be honest, things I need you to know about me & Tom as his parents. A quick disclaimer: This list is about our son, and it is not all true about all children with ADHD. Many kids have co-morbid conditions or their ADHD symptoms are milder or more severe. There is a wide spectrum for this disorder.

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!

21 comments:

Shay said...

And of course after I publish this, it occurs to me that I didn't even talk about his weight or food issues! Ah well.

lisa burton said...

That pretty much described my son while he was growing up, so I can relate!!! I can not and will not judge a parent for giving their child meds to help them focus. I will tell you this...its imperitive to surround yourselves with people who accept your child as he is. We had an awesome support system and now as this same child is fighting cancer...we still have an awesome support system. And all I can do is thank our Lord for them.

Kelly said...

I love this list, Shay. In fact, it brought tears to my eyes because it's all so true -- and it reminded me how often I forget.

Janet said...

really great post! Is there anyone you would like me to print it out for...I can hand it to them personally :) Praise God for little miracles, like Z!!!

KateO said...

great post!
He is a great kid, and has a great Mama!

WendyLea said...

I understand Shay alot of this is like what we deal with with Parker and his Tramatic Brain Injury.

Theresa said...

I was doing really well until I got to #13. Then I cried. Thank you so much for this post. ADHD in boys is different than in girls, I have heard. However, many of these hit home very closely. Thanks Shay. I love you!

BeLoVed AiMeE said...

this was a great post Shay. love you.

Kira said...

This is my five year old, I am new to this battle but not alone, thank you.

Shay said...

Thanks everyone, and Kira, I'm glad that there is such great support online.

Mandy said...

Interesting, this made me realize that there are misconception regarding how a kid with ADHD really feels and thinks about. I know that their inattentive but I didn’t imagine that they could have been paying attention despite their disturbing actions.

Shay Temm said...

Oh my goodness! I got to number 8 and teared up. We are going through the same thing with our daughter. She was diagnosed with ADHD and she has been tested for autism and we're going to see a psychiatrist. All of these hit home for me because my daughter is the same exact way! Thanks for writing this! And my name is Shay too!!

Charity R. said...

Wow! Thank you for posting this. I have a 10yr old daughter with ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Reactive Attachment Disorder. This is exactly "her" to a T, but with other issues included. I also have a 9yr old daughter with only ADHD, and a 4 yr old. There are so many people out there that just assume that I have a bad kid, who wasn't taught how to behave, and it's just not the case. So nice to see that I'm not alone.We have many years of rough road ahead, but I have smart, beautiful children, and we WILL get through it together.

Brownie said...

I appreciate this list. My Red is so many of those. It was reassuring to read.

I think I'll copy and add my own modifications for Red.

Shay said...

I'm glad you like it but please don't copy it :)

Brownie said...

I'm sincerely sorry Shay. For some reason I thought it was one that you had copied - I should have followed the link that gave you the idea to see it was entirely different.

I do like the idea though - but I'll delete my post and redo it when it's entirely my own.

Shay said...

Thanks so much for understanding, Brownie!! :)

Shay said...

Thanks all, and SHAY, nice to meet you! ;)

noelle said...

this is great. my son was just recently diagnosed with adhd. I couldnt believe how much this sounds like my son. thanks for helping understand him

Amanda said...

I shared the link to this on my Facebook. This is exactly like my son. Thank you for writing this. You said everything I want to shout to the world. Would you mind if I shared this for ADHD/ADD awareness week?

Shay said...

Yes, I'm happy to share it. You can link to it or share it in print with the blog link included. Thanks!