Think of the first few words or phrases you think of when you hear ADHD… Ok, go!
Awesome, did you think any of these?
Can’t sit still
Talks too much
Just calm down!
“Bad” at school
Those are fairly stereotypical. What about any of these?
Wish they could feel “normal” or fit in
The ADHD brain processes things differently, hence the different behaviors. It does NOT mean they are simply hyper and some tough love or medication would help them “calm down”.
The first time I worried about my son was around 3 months old. He wouldn’t stop crying. This wasn’t your typical colic. He just cried and had to have things VERY particular. You had to bounce, walk, and swing him simultaneously while swaddled for about thirty minutes each time he wanted to go to sleep.
It was exhausting.
By age 18 months he would get so frustrated for reasons we couldn’t understand that he would hit his forehead on the kitchen floor. He still has a bump at age 7 you can feel where the bone grew funny from all the repeated abuse.
At age 3 he threw so many tantrums and hit his head so hard that we made him wear a helmet.
We didn’t know what to do. So we took him to a Psychologist to test for Autism. He talked late and had an extreme interest and fascination with ceiling fans. He wouldn’t wear clothes because they bugged him.
His diagnosis? Gifted. A year above his age in intelligence. Nothing else. (Although, this has played a huge factor in his behavior. More on Gifted later.)
My mama heart knew that wasn’t just it. I asked about ADHD. She said they can’t test until school age. (Fair enough) So we waited.
Sometimes he was better. So we said we didn’t need to get him retested. But ALWAYS he would fall right back into “tantrums”, especially when a lot of people were around. Finally, last summer we got the diagnosis of ADHD plus co-morbid Anxiety.
The anxiety was obvious since he was afraid of clocks ticking and black holes.
Imagine you were a little child and you loved clocks. It was your third birthday theme because they were so cool the way they moved and rotated. But then that tick was just too loud. Too much. Because your little brain processes sensory input differently. You had a nightmare of a clock ticking on your face. Bam! For years you were scared of clocks. All because your brain couldn’t comprehend that it wasn’t actually all that loud.
A child’s life should not be filled with confusion and fear.
ADHD is not a disorder where a child is misbehaving. It’s not a lack of discipline. It’s a brain problem–one we try every day to fight.