Our Community Weighs In: 20 Things Parents Wish People Knew About ADHD
The Understood Team
No one knows your child better than you do. And in
our Facebook community, families were eager to offer what they wish other people knew about parenting a child with
Here’s what they shared.
“The hardest thing about ADHD is that it’s ‘invisible’ to outsiders. It’s not like other conditions that people can clearly see. People just assume that we are not being good parents and that our child is a brat, when they don’t have an idea how exhausted we truly are.” —Sara C.
“Kids with ADHD have to work very hard to achieve a grade most would consider mediocre. When I congratulate my son for getting a 75 (and of course discuss why he got the answers wrong that he did), it’s because I know the hard work it took to achieve that passing grade.” —Michele A.
“Having a high IQ or being intelligent does not mean ADHD is not a disability. The fallacy that a
gifted or bright student shouldn’t need
needs to stop. The family is not using it as a crutch and neither is the student.” —Yolanda T.
“Kids have a lot of gifts from their ADHD: unending creativity, thinking outside the box, energy, enthusiasm and passion about their interests. —Carmen J.
“One thing I wish others without a child with ADHD understood is the hours of research and education it takes to understand your own child and what they have to learn to deal with daily.” —Leslie A.
“When people learn that our 8-year-old is medicated you can just see the judgment in their eyes. It was not an easy choice to make and it took many, many months to come to that conclusion.” —Loriel S.
“I understand you can be judged if you put your child on medication. But we’re judged by some because we have chosen NOT to medicate. I think whether you use prescription medication or not, someone will judge you.” —Gayla P.
“Yes, my child does need this
medication. And no, she won’t outgrow it!” —Diane B.
“Just because you didn’t see these disorders when you where growing up doesn’t mean they weren’t happening. Kids with ADHD then were just called ‘awkward’ and ‘a handful.’” —Lori W.
“We can’t ‘just let him stay up late’ for something special, because
sleep is critical to his well-being. Our son has a hard enough time settling down at bedtime and every minute of good sleep is precious.” —Jessica F.
“Yes, my son scores well on multiple-choice exams and can regurgitate information like a scholar. But he still has trouble remembering to do simple things like pack his lunch or put
homework into his backpack and turn it in!” —Dana B.
“It’s exhausting. He’s awesome, but sometimes thinking for two, three or four people is exhausting.” —Rita C.
“This does get better. My 17-year-old is wonderful now. He still has issues but understands how his body works and how to control it.” —Leah C.
“I wish people simply knew that ADHD is so much more than just ‘being hyper.’ I’m so tired of hearing, ‘
He’ll grow out of it,’ ‘All boys are active,’ and ‘Well, have you tried (insert condescending suggestion here).’” —Shanna S.
“Kids won’t ‘outgrow’ ADHD. They will learn to cope with it, and accommodate it, with A LOT of hard work on their part and my part. But it is something that they will struggle with for the rest of their lives.” —Heather C.
“Some families spend years in a heartbreaking search for what is causing so much inner turmoil in their child, for what causes their child to be incredibly loving one day and just hateful the next; what is causing their child who is so bright to not be able to grasp why they can’t run out into the road. This struggle for answers takes years and evaluation upon evaluation. And we’re all so tired.” —Laura R.
“The way I handle my child’s behavior may look permissive to you, but constantly scolding does nothing but hurt
self-esteem. I know what I’m doing and I don’t need an onlooker’s approval.” —Bridget P.
“Even close family members don’t understand. They think that my daughter is just spoiled. They don’t spend countless hours reading and researching and trying different things to find what works and what doesn’t.” —Crystal A.
“Unless you are a medical doctor or a licensed therapist, I don’t care what you think is wrong or how to fix it. If you are going to spout something you heard, please let me know what peer-reviewed journal you got your information from. Or at least what a licensed medical doctor or therapist actually told YOU. Not what they told your sister. Or your friend.” —Meghan M.
“Continue to embrace the uniqueness in YOU, yours and all!” —Janet H.