I Don’t Give A Damn About A Bad Reputation

One of the hardest things we deal with when it comes to ADHD is the stigma. I don’t share Doodicus’s diagnosis with just anyone. His pediatrician knows, and obviously the school psychologist and the family counselor we saw know as they were the ones who determined he was ADHD, but aside from that only three other people know that he has ADHD and takes medication for it. Those three are his teachers.

We don’t talk about it with family or friends because we know what will go through their heads once our backs are turned: “Yeah, yeah, sure. ADHD…that’s just a way to excuse a kid who didn’t get the right kind of discipline,” or “That’s just approval for him to act out of control…”  Why would they think that? Because quite frankly, that’s what we thought when we heard someone else’s kid “supposedly” had ADD/ADHD: over-diagnosed by doctors wanting to push drugs or parents who wanted to dope their rambunctious kid. Basically, we considered ADHD an excuse for shit parenting.

Yep. That’s what we honestly thought.

ADHD is not a behavioural problem. Let’s just put that out there right now. Doodicus is not bullying other kids, stealing lunch money. He’s not shoving them from the monkey bars. He’s not punching holes into the walls of his room just because. He received discipline as we thought as necessary and that fit the “crime”, as it were. Time outs were frequent, but consistent. Sparring Partner was more in the “spare the rod” camp, but my argument against that was if you, the adult, can’t control your anger, then how can you expect a three, four, five, six, etc. year old to do it??

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is a neurobiological disorder. It is characterized by developmentally inappropriate impulsivity, inattention, and in some cases, hyperactivity. Although individuals with AD/HD can be very successful in life, without appropriate identification and treatment, AD/HD can have serious consequences. These consequences may include school failure, depression, conduct disorder, failed relationships, and substance abuse. Early identification and treatment are extremely important.

While the facts are out there about ADHD, I know without a doubt there is judgemental attitude about both the behaviour and treatments. To talk about it will help me come to grips with the reality of both and to dispel those misconceptions I know even you might have. I promise not to hold it against you.