Recently many so called professionals have started on the ADHD is not real bandwagon. This has been debated many times and the outcome is always the same. Some quack will say ADHD is just a hype to make pharmaceutical companies wealthy. Families dealing with ADHD will continue to hang their heads in shame wondering where they went wrong. Their family members will begin to question their parenting abilities. They will hear that maybe they just need to use more discipline and everything will be sunshine and rainbows. We will feel we are failing our children with some made up condition.
I am here to tell you ADHD is very real. I am tired of feeling ashamed when I have to tell someone my daughter has ADHD. I see the looks shaming me when I mention she is on medication to help control the ADHD. I question my parenting skills and feel shame. Is it possible I was duped into the ADHD scam? I did so much researching. Was it all wrong?
Then I look at how far my daughter has come. She is making straight A's. She has made the honor roll every semester. She is able to sit down and focus for ten minutes to complete her work. She is no longer crying and arguing when homework is mentioned. Sure she still fidgets and squirms, but I know she is learning. She is able to retain what she learns.
A few years ago she couldn't focus for two seconds. She was up and down in her seat. She would tell us her mind was too busy to do her work. We tried every reward chart system known to man. We disciplined her, because surely this was just her acting out. Except, things didn't change. No matter how much positive reinforcement/ discipline we gave her, nothing changed.
We first were approached about my daughter having ADHD from her teacher in second grade. What she was saying was nothing new to us. We had known since birth our daughter had the energy of fifty energizer bunnies rolled into one. I knew before she was born we were in for long nights when she was bouncing off my ribs at two in the morning. We knew when I tried to teach her the ABC's and 123's and she was running off to look out the window that she was having a hard time focusing. We knew there were problems when the preschool said she could only attend one hour a day because she wasn't interacting with the kids or sitting still to read. Had this all been wrong? Were they just trying to trick us?
Then I started thinking maybe I wasn't the one who is wrong. I did everything I could to research and try different parenting methods. Maybe these quacks that keep insisting ADHD isn't real are the ones who are wrong. They are most likely the ones who think if we just spank our kids some more they will miraculously turn into the model child.
The fact is ADHD is very real. These children can't stop the commotion that happens in their brains. They can't deal with the impulsiveness that is constantly telling them to move on their own. They need someone that believes ADHD is real and believes in them. Quacks telling people that ADHD is some made up condition is only going to hurt these kids and their families. We are going to continue to feel shame each time we mention are child has ADHD. We may pretend it isn't real to fit in with the other moms. Who will benefit from pretending? I can tell you who will suffer, our children.
The next time someone tries to tell you that ADHD is not real, don't feel shame. Be proud of who your child is and stand strong. We have to fight for our children and be their voice. We as parents of children with ADHD, know all too well, how real it is.