In our house, we have a son who was diagnosed with ADHD a couple of years ago. My husband and I knew there were some issues that needed to be addressed: behaviorally and emotionally. Our son had been through a lot in his life, so far, and we were having a hard time determining what was causing the issues that we were faced with. We initially started him in counseling and continued to do so for a couple years, switching counselors a couple different times. He was evaluated for different things, but all signs pointed away from an actual diagnosis. A couple years later, the problems continued and we sought out treatment by a psychologist. The psychologist evaluated our son and diagnosed him with ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.)
ADHD May be Deceiving
Let me start out by telling you about our son. He is extremely intelligent, very inquisitive, loves to talk about sports and can tell you any baseball/basketball/football statistic that you want to know. He is really sensitive, loves to read, loves to create sports brackets of all kinds- including ones for his own Little League teams. He has to try really hard in social situations because he just wants everyone to like him and notice him. He has a difficult time remembering to do things, like turn in his homework or take his lunch to school.
He cannot, for the life of him, be on time for anything…and when I say anything…I mean anything.
Everything that he does, takes him a long time to complete. He needs step-by-step instructions for all tasks, even the most simple of them. He is very “laid-back” and is NOT “bouncing off the walls,” like many would think. His brain works way too fast for him to focus on anything that he is doing and it’s something that our family is unfortunately, just learning to understand.
Parenting a Child with ADHD
As parents, trying to raise a child like ours, has been challenging. He is now older, so it’s difficult to figure out what he is capable of doing on his own and what he needs some help with. It’s confusing to know what is just “normal” tween behavior and what is behavior caused by the ADHD. It’s difficult to keep our patience because we expect him to be able to do certain things and to remember things on his own. It’s hard not to compare his actions to other kids his age or to the other kids in our family.
Setting Him Up to Soar
As for all of our children, all we want is for our son to be successful. We want him to learn, grow, and flourish into an amazing man and to have fun while doing it! We want him to be independent, confident, and to do what he loves. We want him to enjoy these upcoming teen years and then we want to send him off to college knowing that he will be able to work hard and have the time of his life.
He deserves to have the best life just like the rest of us. As his parents, my husband and I will continue to work towards doing all that we can to provide him the tools to get him where he needs to go.
What are your challenges or tips for working with a child with ADHD?