Busy, Bad or ADHD?


~By Lindsey Loomis-O’Brien

They can’t sit still. The dinner table is always shaking from that unstoppable leg hiding under the table cloth. They don’t remember to start a project until the night before. They don’t seem to listen and when you are finished talking they say “What?” Are they “bad” kids? Absolutely not. Are they
“stupid” kids? No! Do they make the people around them crazy? Probably. Are they being left behind? Yes. What’s going on? Some kids have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some of us sparkle with energy while others are firecrackers.
My Story I wasn’t much of a behavior problem, so it didn’t get picked up right away. It was not until I was in fourth grade that I would argue with my mom over not doing homework (four hours of tears and distraction for a 15-minute assignment). The simplest task would seem like “the end”; my room was always a mess. I would start a project, get side tracked and never finish, even if it was my idea. The inside of the shed has 1/4th painted, and has been like that for ten years. I wouldn’t know what my teachers said but I could recite every word to hundreds of songs. As a teenager my
impulsiveness got the best of me and occasionally still does. What Some People Said “If you would just pay attention, listen, keep everything in
one place, start your homework sooner…” Or “If I had her for a weekend I would straighten her out…” This was a favorite threat because it let my mom and I know it was both our faults. I was a bad kid and she was a bad parent, which was not the case. “She must be stupid.” (Those of us with ADD or ADHD already have enough self-doubt so we don’t need adults reinforcing those feelings). What Doesn’t Work Anger, frustration and showing impatience will not make your child feel any better. I assure you they feel worse. What Does Work For some of us medication works, for others it
takes the light right out of us. What works is finding things where we can be successful. For me it was selling 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies,
crafts, sports and the outdoors. Calendars and daily planners were extremely helpful for time management. The most important thing
was having people who believed in me.