Do you know that there are really people who don’t believe in ADD/ADHD? That think that ADD/ADHD is an excuse for a kids bad behavior or lack of intelligence? Or that people think those of us who have and/or have kids with ADD/ADHD have a personality disorder? Nothing gets my blood boiling more than ignorance of learning disabilities. James and I both have LD’s. James is Dyslexic and I have ADD. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was a junior in high school. Before my diagnosis and for as long as I can remember I was labeled by teachers as “busy body”, “talkative”, “not too smart”, etc. Before my diagnosis I prayed just to make it through high school, and I know my parents did the same. Before my diagnosis I didn’t consider college or even really make future plans. Being diagnosed with ADD was one of the best things that ever happened to me….my life changed. I could finally think, organize my thoughts, remember what I studied, SUCCEED! I went from C’s and D’s to mostly A’s and a few B’s. I went from zero future plans to college (and not only succeeding in college but graduating with honors with a double major). Jumping from one relationship to another to the love of my life. When I say my diagnosis was the best thing ever, it absolutely 100% was a true blessing. Years ago my psychologist told James and I that each of our kids had a 50/50 chance of having one of our disabilities and around age 8/third grade was when we would see it manifest itself. Emma turned 8 last September and we watched her spiral downward. First we thought maybe she was having a hard time rehabbing a broken foot, or adjusting to a possible move, a new baby and going back to public school after home schooling for a year (sure sounds like a lot for one little lady to handle). Then around Christmas when we ran out of excuses it finally dawned on us…Emma turned 8 and was in third grade….Emma was 8 and in third grade!! Honestly it was just like the Dr said but we hadn’t remembered…a light switch shut off and she was different. No concentration, argumentative with not only us but her friends, grades suffering….textbook. Not only that, as if it wasn’t enough, the little girl who exuded confidence, had awesome self-esteem, and was passionate about dance, had changed. It broke my heart and I cried all the time. I was pregnant at the time so I know the hormones didn’t help, but I was devastated and felt out of control and helpless. We set up a meeting with my psychologist and Emma was scheduled for testing 2 weeks before her little brother was due to be born. Sure enough, ADD was the diagnosis. Just like my diagnosis, I believe that at this point in her life it is the best thing to ever happen to her. I couldn’t imagine watching her struggle for years to come and sit by on the sidelines and not figure it out. And just like me, we chose to use medication to help her. The first day she took her medicine, she was different. She was our Emma again….her eyes sparkled, she was calm, and she was happy for the first time in what seemed like forever. Since February her grades improved, she lost weight and has been more active, she’s our little dancing queen again, and there is peace in our home. I know there is a huge argument for/against medication for kids with ADD/ADHD. While I do try to go a more homeopathic route as our norm, this was much bigger than that, and no vitamin, mineral, diet change would have given her what she needed. The grades improving are just a small bonus of the medication. It’s the self-confidence and self-esteem, that once lost totally can never be gotten back completely. For that reason is why we chose medication. Hopefully in a few years we can try a non-medicated route, but until then this is what works for us and for her. Emma visits with our psychologist regularly for meetings and testing. He has informed us that at her peak….when her medicine and her brain are at full potential she will test on the upper end of the IQ scale. To see our daughter have the advantage of knowing about her disability at an early age and see the potential for her future excites us….there is truly nothing she can’t do!
For this…..I believe in ADD/ADHD. A blessing in our family :o)