Dear friends and family of my child with ADHD,
Life sure has a way of throwing us curve balls doesn’t it? If you haven’t already heard, the latest curve ball thrown at us was our child’s diagnosis of ADHD. I wanted to take a moment to address what this might mean for those of you who are directly involved in his life.
What is ADHD
First, you need to understand that ADHD is a disability. I know our child looks like any other child, but everything going on inside is brain is far from ordinary. I realize that there are a lot of myths about ADHD, including the myth that it isn’t a real condition. As a mother of a child with ADHD, I can assure you I am not making this stuff up! It is not the latest fad, or just some excuse we as parents are using for bad behavior.
ADHD is actually one of the most well-researched disorders for children. It is a neurobiological condition where a child lacks impulse control, executive functioning, and lacks motivation. To put it simply, his brain is wired differently.
Since receiving the diagnosis, we’ve done a lot of research. What we’ve learned is that his brain is actually under stimulated in areas of focus and dealing with frustrations. This is why he is easily distracted, can’t sit still, and gets frustrated easily. His emotions are still developing, but they are developing at a pace much slower than an average kid. This is why his emotions and behaviors might seem immature for his age. It’s also why he struggles with self-control.
Children with ADHD often have difficulty regulating emotions and practicing self-control. This is very evident in our child as I’m sure you noticed. Please know these behaviors are a result of ADHD, he is not a bad child. What he needs most from you is patience and understanding. We need you to acknowledge everything I just explained and encourage him when he’s doing well. ADHD effects him in every area of his life. While some days might be better than others, his brain is always working much harder than other kids his age. It is very easy for him to become frustrated and discouraged. A little encouragement when he’s doing well will go a long way.
Next, I would like to touch on how we are deciding to treat his ADHD. There are a lot of strong opinions out there on the best ways to treat ADHD. From medications, natural approaches, behavioral therapy, everyone feels they have the answer. Please know that as his parents, we only want what’s best for our child. We are doing research (a LOT of research). We are discussing options with professionals, and we will make a decision based on what we feel will be best for him. Unfortunately there is no one size fits all treatment option for ADHD.
I realize there is a bad stigma when it comes to medication as a treatment option. Please remember for every bad story you’ve heard there are countless success stories with choosing medication. I also realize that many have had success with a more natural approach like diet changes, essential oils, therapy etc. However, again I would like to remind you that every child responds differently to these treatment options. Just because it worked for another child doesn’t mean it’s the best option for our child. Some children might respond best to a combination of treatment options.
We ask that you please respect our decision when we make it. The decision of how to treat our child’s ADHD will be a very thought out decision and not taken lightly. At the end of the day, we ask you respect our position as parents and support the decision we make.
The bottom line is no one knows our child like we do. We are the ones who see how he handles school work. We see him in social settings, at church, in the store. Daily we see how he struggles with his emotions and practicing self control. We see how much harder he works to learn. Treatment of some form will be necessary so he can learn with less difficulty and frustration. The last thing we need as parents is feeling judgement for choosing one option over another. Trust me, we already have enough to worry about.
Thank you for being a part of our child’s life and for your continued support. I hope this gives you a better understanding of why he does the things he does. We appreciate your prayers and encouragement for us as his parents as we try to navigate our way down this journey.
The parent of a child with ADHD