What I Wish the World Knew About My Child’s ADHD

ADHD369 ADDitude magazine asked readers to share what they most wish the neurotypical world would understand and respect about attention deficit disorder. The following were among the nearly 450 responses from parents of children with ADHD.

ADHD Is Invisible, Not Make-Believe

“I, like many other parents, would like attention deficit disorder (ADD or ADHD) to be accepted as a genuine diagnosis, instead of an excuse to be lazy or to ask for special accommodations. When my child turns in an assignment with questions unanswered, it’s not because they were skipped deliberately, but because those questions went unseen (much like ADHD itself).”

“I wish people would acknowledge ADHD as legitimate — no questions asked! Because my son looks ‘normal’ and is gifted, many doubt his struggles are real. I’m hopeful we can begin to educate and empower people, paving the pathway for both my son and other kids like him.”

Change Happens When You Focus on Strengths

“It’s easy sometimes, especially when we are overwhelmed, to focus on all of our kids’ weaknesses. Learning to focus on our children’s strengths — the things they do well and the things they are really good at — can help us be more understanding when they need extra help with other things. It also makes our children feel awesome, valued, and accomplished!”

“I have tried to teach my son that having a brain that is wired differently is a gift and something to be proud of.  So many of the most brilliant minds throughout history had characteristics associated with ADHD, and it was because those people were able to think differently that they changed the way the world worked.”

No Child Wants the “Bad Kid” Label

“I wish parents of neurotypical kids knew that kids with ADHD are doing their best. While they may not have perfect behavior, they are not ‘bad kids.’ If your child tells you that my child did something offensive, please address it with me, with the school, or with someone else who can do something about it. Please don’t just tell your kids to not be friends with the kid with ADHD.”

“People are quick to blame parents for being bad parents, instead of taking the time to learn about the condition. Our kids just want to fit in. Maybe that would be easier if other parents weren’t so quick to label them as ‘bad kids,’ and instead helped their own kids to better understand ADHD.”

Harsh Discipline Is Counter-Productive

“I want the world to know that spanking and screaming will not cure ADHD in kids. Parenting a child with ADHD is already very challenging; we don’t need to add these regrettable actions to our daily lives. Stop suggesting that ADHD is a result of bad parenting.”

“I wish people understood that disciplining a child with ADHD is not necessarily going to stop the undesirable behaviors or change the response they may have to a situation.”

“My 7-year-old boy is a beautiful human being who just needs some TLC, kindness, and patience — things that many people are not able to offer. His ADHD is not something that a good spanking will fix (as we were recently told at his elementary school, as well as by a deputy sheriff at presentations).”

ADHD Isolates the Whole Family

“ADHD is not a moral failing by the child or the parents. We work so hard to help our kids… but still they get distracted, don’t pay attention, and struggle. None of that is for lack of trying. So many people love to judge instead of offering a shoulder to lean on. It is sad and lonely at times.”

“You have no idea what the person next to you may be confronting. Parents of ADHD kids are working very hard to help our children thrive. If we seem overwhelmed, it’s because we are! It can be very emotional to constantly advocate for someone you love so much. I may seem aloof, soft, maybe even enabling, but I am a fighter. I am learning how to show my child that she is amazing, instead of mirroring the world’s disappointment in her.”

Excerpted from “What I Wish the World Knew About My Child’s ADHD.” Read the full article.

ADDitude magazine is a quarterly publication about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It contains feature and service articles about ADD, ADHD and learning disabilities like dyslexia. The ADDitude website offers an array of complementary content and resources for parents, educators, and clinicians.
Source: ADDitude | What I Wish the World Knew About My Child’s ADHD, https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-in-children-facts/ | Copyright © 2019 New Hope Media LLC

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