ADHD A parents story
As this is my first attempt at writing, I hope I do well enough to keep your attention and possibly help a little if your child has ADD or ADHD.
The name of my middle child is Jack and he is now seventeen years old. Bringing up Jack has been an interesting journey with many highs and lows on the way.
The first time I heard the term ADD was when Jack decided to stab a boy with a pencil at his first school. The school called me in and talked about his general behaviour which showed inattention, difficult peer relationships and occasional undue aggression, not to mention a general immaturity.
Me being me, I decided to learn what I could about these new words - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. I went on the Internet and I bought books and I found that there were checklists that would help to determine if Jack did have ADHD.
Having read these I made an appointment to see a specialist doctor in ADHD with Jack to confirm my amateur diagnosis. Bad news and good news was forthcoming. Bad news being that Jack did have a problem and the good news being that he was not hyperactive, in other words he had ADD.
The doctors advice mirrored the advice in the books I had read, namely be quick to praise, slow to scold. Try not to lose my temper and give Jack a regular routine to work to. Oh and by the way why not try a drug called Ritalin.
Ritalin if you don't know is an amphetamine some times called 'Kiddie Cocaine' and would drive most normal folks loopy. The idea of giving this to Jack scared me. My friends and family talked me into giving it a go and so I did at the lowest possible level to help Jack (it did) but make me feel I wasn't copping out by drugging my child up.
One of the hardest things I have had to do is balance Jacks well-being with the demands of people around me to up the dosage. To those folks I apologise for making their life harder but I did what I thought was right.
Jacks mother decided to become an alcoholic and I was left with no partner and with three kids. I stuck to the rules, kept things steady and managed to bring all three up and thoroughly enjoy the experience.
As for Jack? He is intelligent but failed at school. He often got it wrong and has caused me friction in my relationships. One day charming and the next day uncaring and dismissive. He is a quite a lad, well behaved, girlfriend, steady job, good sense of humour and I love him dearly.
About the author:
52 years old, dog-eared but still with my own teeth and a sense of humour.
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