From an InsideADHD.org subscriber
I was actually one of the first ADHD cases diagnosed in my hometown. All my life, I have struggled with the fact that I was “different” than the other kids. In school, I was teased for having the “shaky leg” and always getting in trouble for not paying attention in class. I was given ” daily report cards” from my teachers so that they could show my parents how much of a challenge it was for them to teach me.
It wasn’t until I went to see a specialist that I realized I had ADHD. It wasn’t my fault, but I knew I needed to do something. My parents brought me to a local hospital where they had just recently begun testing children for hyperactivity. I took all sorts of tests that gauged my intelligence and overall capabilities. This was in part to make sure that my hyperactivity was the culprit, and not laziness or brattiness. In the 3rd grade, they prescribed me medication that I stayed on for the duration of my academic career. I remember seeing a huge improvement in my behavior immediately. I was able to take tests, concentrate on my tasks, and simply “fit in” better with my classmates. I seemed to get along better with my teachers, too, probably because I was now taking class seriously and learning a thing or two. Still, there were times when I would regress a little, but the improvement was astonishing and my parents were very proud.
High school was a little bit more difficult for me, as the studies were a lot more involved than grade school. Plus, I wasn’t an 8-year-old, so my dosage needed to be tweaked a little. After a while, though, I was right back on track.
The thing that helped me get through this difficult time was the fact that, no matter how tough it got, my friends and family were there for me with support and guidance. I turned to them a lot, especially when I felt that I couldn’t overcome this problem and that the situation would become more difficult. Thankfully I was wrong, and I have been medication-free for many years now.
To those parents who have children with ADHD, I’d just like to say that listening is the key. There are a lot of problems that children might have that aren’t going to be resolved with medication alone. Listen to and evaluate some issues first. Have them speak to a specialist, or a medical professional or counselor who deals with this everyday. All children are different and what worked for me may not work for everyone else.
Remember, everything takes time to work itself out; patience is the biggest reward that your child can receive.