I started looking into ADD & ADHD when my daughter’s school first suggested that she had it. My hubby and I are/were (I’m not sure where I’m at, at this point) disbelievers.
We think/thought that those diagnosed with ADD/ADHD were either A) undisciplined children had lazy parents/teachers C) very smart and busy individuals that needed more challenges because they grew bored too easily.
Then I found this website via a video of the show that was aired. And for the first time ever…. I feel ‘understood’.
When I met with teachers about my daughter’s difficulties… some of I can legitimately blame on her first teacher. The woman had no control over her class and my eldest being a little ‘quicker’ than most quickly took control and was the boss. This was in kindergarten. She ran the show and did what she wanted. I had warned the teacher at the beginning of the year “Be firm. She is not a child that can be conned into things and must be firmly directed. She must be kept busy or she’ll find something to do. She tends to be overdramatic.”…. the teacher didn’t listen to me. That was kindergarten. Don’t get me wrong. She’s very very polite. More so than most. Very helpful and empathetic to others. BUT if she knows she can do what SHE wants and get away with it… well of course she’ll choose to sing in the bathroom instead of doing math. It’s a no-brainer.
Grade 1 commences: SAME STORY all over again. Only now it’s worse. She landed in a class with a 1st year teacher (never taught before)…… and now she’s REALLY OFF and running.
Grade r2. I put my foot down and pitch a fit and demand why doesn’t she learn anything but what WE the parents are teaching her? Why does school have sdo many problems and not us, nor her babysitter etc…
Why??????? I tell her “go clean your toys” and it’s “ok momma” and it’s done. I tell her “time to do math”. “Ok momma” and we get it done.
But at school… she zones out and preoccupies herself with other things.
It’s getting better at school, but more and more they are shouting “ADD/ADHD” and I’m not convinced…. because she is exceptionally intelligten for her age.
At age 2, she could say aluminum and apparently/knew her alphabet/could count/colours/shapes etc…. At age 6, she had the vocabularly and comprehension and grammar skills of a 10/12 year old. She’s like a sponge and learns quick WHEN she’s focused (and therein lies the problem, getting her attention). And if you heard her sing…. OMG…… She just sang the Anthem for the Olympic Torch when it came to our town. SOLO… an 8yr old. She hears a song and it’s in her head, the melody, the tempo, the right notes, the lyrics… She learns it FAST and can perform it. IMPRESSIVELY. (In May, she will be soloing “I believe” by Yolanda Adams at a local music festival)
And I would argue with my daughter’s teachers over this or that trait “she’s just like me and I learned no problem. Back in the day, you sat in your chair and didn’t move and my teacher managed to teach me and get me to sit still” OR “she’s bored, you’re not challenging enough. You talk too much and don’t give her enough to actively DO”……
But I digress….. while I have been struggling to solve her academic issues – firmly disbelieving in ADD/ADHD and emphatically refusing to consider ritalin for my child while the kid across the street is only HALF as busy as she and is zoned out on that crap – I found this site and went “OMG that is sooooooooo ME!!”
So much of the characteristics apply to me. Way more than half. About 90% I used to think that maybe something was wrong with me. And now I see it quite differently.
So having said all of that, and left much more UNSAID…… where do I go from here?
How do I help myself AND my 8yr old daughter? I don’t trust the Dr’s in my town because of the child across the street who I know for FACT really ought NOT be on Ritalin and this is not only my OWN opinion but that of her Aunt/godmother etc… So I can’t trust these doctor’s.
And I don’t trust the school because they just want everything to run smooth and can’t be bothered with a child that’s extraordinary and not of the usual mold, god forbid they have to work harder.
SO how do I find a doctor for HER and for MYSELF to see if I really am ADD/ADHD and how do I sort the chaos of my life that is a fulltime mother and fulltime home business and my disaster of a house because juggling all of it is overwhelming now and I can never do all of the things I want to do……
gosh, so many questions………..AnonymousInactive
When half the medical community doesn’t really understand ADHD, it’s not a stretch to believe that a kindergarten teacher might not be up to date! I understand from my personal research that ADHD (in some form, with or without the “H” component) is the most hereditable characteristic after height – even moreso than eye color, etc. So if one parent is a bit “iffy” on the ADHD scale, chances are, it got passed on.
Before clueing in and getting my own problems looked at, I was privy to the anxious concerns of my assistant at work, who had a really bright young son of 7 or 8. She received phone calls almost daily about the little guy’s behavior from the school. She was going nuts, had trouble doing her job and had a terrible time at home until her son was diagnosed. Instead of adopting the popular “No – no chemical intervention” stance of many mothers, she and her husband decided to give it a try for a limited time.
They specified a 6-month trial, so that they could assess results vis a vis school/social/home performance, and see what happened to him physically. Four years later, he’s still on the ADHD medication – still skinny – but doing extremely well in school. No more beating up other kids at recess, and no more failing grades. She stuffs him full of sandwiches after the Concerta has worn off at night. But weight loss can still be a big issue.
I started on Concerta at age 50+, and within 10 months was down 50 pounds. I have to be reminded to eat, because most of the ADHD meds have the appetite suppressant effect – but it’s a small price to pay! Looking back over the past 18 months, I’ve never been so productive, or felt so good about what I’ve been doing.
Thanks for sharing, Bob. <hug>
I’m just feeling overwhelmed by it all. My biggest concern is finding the RIGHT doctor…
Is there a referral list of some kind?
We are in the Montreal region… big city… so I’m “hoping” that one of the good doctors is nearby?
For my daughter?
For myself…..I”m not sure what I would do if I was diagnosed. If I would try the pills or not. If I did, would I stay on them. I struggle just to remember to take my meds for my arthritis (I’m only 38). As for losing weight, I’m only 115lbs to begin with.. so that wouldn’t be a healthy option.
For my daughter.. she is a VERY healthy eater and we promote healthy food in this house. I already struggle trying to coerce my 6yr old to eat… who’s as thin as a rail (like her mom). My 8yr old is a nice average size (ok, taller than most) but definately not a chubby child.
I’m not sure how I feel about the weight loss side-effect….. and gosh knows how many others.
That’s another worry.
side-effects………And I certainly don’t want to stunt her growth. Or is that a myth?
I just don’t know…. so much information, yet so many questions unanswered. ADD/ADHD is a very confusing thing.AnonymousInactive
Well……I’m STARTING to feel understood. I read Rick’s article in the Star on Friday, and going through some of his life stories and anecdotes, I realized, OMG, that sounds so much like me!! I went to the seminar at the Science Center and it was a revelation. I realized that so many of these problems and feelings that I had have a cause, and better yet, a treatment.
I’ve struggled with jobs all my life, never lasting at one for long, and never really succeeding. I know I’m smarter and better at many things than some of my much more successful peers when I can focus, but I can only maintain that for a few months or a year or so and then I lose interest. I’m now out of work again, and having difficulty finding something because my resume is all over the place, even with a professional degree and 20+ years of work experience. I have no major assets, no savings, and no retirement plan. My personal life is also a mess as I have had many problems maintaining relationships and friendships. My GF, God love her, is at the end of her rope because she just can’t understand some of the things I do.
I have so much more hope after this weekend because now I can see a way out, a plan, a goal.
The thing that amazes me is that it’s taken this long to make this discovery. I’m 48, have seen many psychologists, made a few therapists rich, been treated for clinical depression, and NOT ONE of these professionals have ever suggested my being tested for ADD. The little I’ve read so far makes me sure that I am of the inattentive sub-type, almost all of the classic signs are there.
I’ve called my GP today for a referral for an ADD test. Despite the frustration of realizing that the 30+ years of struggling and failure didn’t have to be, I feel a kind of giddy excitement at the thought of being able to actually live up to my potential.
I have to thank Rick, Dr, J, Patrick, and everyone involved with the seminar and this site for finally getting me started on the right track. You all rock!
Vhunter here is a link to Psychologist Dr. Miglena Grigorovain the Montreal area. She specializes in ADHD & Learning Disabilities. You can read her bio on the Psychology Today Therapy Directory.
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