As of 2011, CDC reported that 11% of children in the United States ages 4 to 17 had been confirmed to have ADHD, and the number continues to rise. “Traditionally ADHD has been diagnosed based on a psychological and medical interview, information from school teachers, and a direct observation of a child’s behavior,” according to Arshya Vahabzadeh M.D.
My child was one of those children who received the diagnosis at an early age of five. At first, we thought it was just natural for kids his age to act impulsively and cause trouble. But as he started school, his teachers complained about his short attention span, not being able to finish any task, and always causing a problem. His teacher gave us the idea that he might have ADHD.
My husband and I discussed it, and we were worried about what our son’s teacher told me. He agreed to the idea of having our son checked, and without wasting any time, we brought him to the psychologist the next day to have him assessed for ADHD.
He first had a medical evaluation to check if he has other underlying problems causing him to be hard to control. The psychologist said that hearing problems and lack of sleep often lead to a child’s misdiagnosis of ADHD. After the test, he was cleared negative for any medical condition. According to Marilyn Wedge Ph.D., “Most doctors who work with children are becoming aware that there are many reasons that a child might meet the criteria for an ADHD diagnosis without actually having a mental disorder.”
The assessment continued to search for symptoms that will support the diagnosis of ADHD. His psychiatrist was so careful and so detailed even during the interview so as not to miss anything before confirming the diagnosis.
During the interview, the psychologist asked us how our son was as a toddler and about his milestones. It was then that we realized how our son had been. There were times when he would turn on the TV very loud early in the morning. At times, he would suddenly bite his sister, run around untiringly, climb cabinets, walls, stairs, and doors, kick the monitor, ruin his sister’s and his own toys unintentionally, and do things without thinking of the consequences that often makes us mad to the point that he will receive punishments.
But of most concern to us is how he causes a ruckus and jumps at people, not caring if the person is younger or older. Some find him funny and cute, but it’s entirely exhausting when you are living with the kid day in and day out.
He’s growing up not being compliant with rules, and he is totally getting out of control. Even my husband shared his experiences with him during their bonding times. He observed our son as completely unstoppable if he wants to do something impulsively which sometimes makes my husband feel frustrated.
After all the assessment was done, the psychologist saw in our kid a lot of traits that were typically seen in a child with ADHD. “There are a number of social forces that have contributed to higher rates of diagnosed ADHD, even if there has been no change over time in base rates of the biological factors that contribute to the disorder,” said Monnica T Williams Ph.D.
Patience Is A Virtue In Understanding Our Walking Disaster
Raising a child with ADHD requires extreme patience; otherwise, it would be a scene of nagging all day every day for both of us. Oftentimes, my husband and I will talk to him regarding rules and stuff, but it would make no difference because his brain is just incapable of thinking about consequences while he is doing it. But after that, we would talk about it and it’s only then that he will realize that he should not have done it. No matter how much we remind and teach him, the idea of consequence does not come automatically to him. You have to patiently discuss things with him over and over again, though we know that he will do it again. We hope that in time, as he grows old, he will remember our words, and will eventually learn to think things over first.
We have come to realize that despite my son having ADHD, we are still grateful that he is still with us despite him being a walking disaster. We know some kids who suffer the same illness who have committed suicide by not considering how the people they left behind would feel.
My husband and I will carry on and understand that that’s the way ADHD is. His brain structure and development are different from an average child’s. Having an understanding of this fact helps us accept and understand his attitude and parenting has become not easier but manageable.