How do you know if it's ADHD?
Updated: May 23
This is a story about my husband...
For all of his childhood, adolescence, and most of his adult life, he always wondered why he felt different. He was unable to sit still due to a constant “buzzing” in his body, complete tasks without getting distracted, remember things that people would tell him, and would get irritated easily at little things. Then he met me, a Licensed Professional Counselor who sees these symptoms often in a therapy setting. I encouraged him to seek testing and it changed his life forever.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. This was his diagnosis at 30 years old. It was originally hard to accept because he had gone his entire life not knowing what he was experiencing, but it also brought comfort in finally knowing what was going on. Admittedly, his parents were shocked too because they were unfamiliar with this diagnosis as well. They just thought they had a rambunctious kid, but it was more than that.
Once on medication, the first thing my husband said to me was “Is this what normal people feel like?” I was astonished. He then shared how he was able to focus, sit still without the “buzzing” in his body, complete tasks without losing motivation, remember things he was told, and was in a better mood. This helped him not only excel at work, but in his daily life.
In hindsight, he wishes it could have been discovered earlier. He did not have the resources or the help he needed early on in life. Therefore, I am writing this article so parents can have the resources they need to help their children be successful. If you suspect your child has ADHD, please act NOW. Don’t wait until they are getting in trouble at school for getting up out of their chair constantly when they are supposed to be sitting still, making failing grades or struggling to maintain passing grades at the end of every six weeks, hating school, crying or getting overly angry at trivial things, or getting yelled at by you at home because this is the third time you’ve had to ask them to complete a basic task. They can get the help they need NOW. Medication is not for everyone, but it could help as it did with my husband. At the very least, your child can get accommodations at school via a 504 Plan that can be implemented to help with their attention struggles.
In conclusion, as a parent, I know it is scary to acknowledge there may be something going on with your child that you don’t quite understand, but my philosophy is, it is better to know than not know. Not knowing puts your child at a disadvantage more than you may ever realize. When they get older, it is easier for you to say, “We did everything we could to help you” than being faced with the question “Why did you never get me the help I needed?”
Article by Enjolé Delgado, Licensed Professional Counselor
If you want to learn more about ADHD, here are links to some resources below: