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  1. Anonymous

    I began to feel proud of myself when I learned that my intelligence could not be determined by a grade. I began to focus on my efforts and not what grade I got. I stopped comparing myself to my peers who said, “I didn’t study and I got an A!” I knew I studied for hours and I got a C, but I worked hard that mattered to me. I created my own scale, with effort and personal achievements as the markers of success. I began to see ADHD as a learning ability as opposed to a disability because ADHD has made me persevere through adversity, a life skill not learned when everything comes easily

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  2. Anonymous

    I’ve been diagnosed after spending a lot of time with specialists — they’ve run me through intensive tests and interviews, they’ve looked at other possibilities, and they’ve done follow-up appointments.

    My diagnosis with ADHD came after several years of struggling both at school and at home. It was not only hard for me to get things done, it was also hard for me to interact with other kids at school. I was bullied every year because the kids and the teachers were fed up with the way I acted. There wasn’t anything productive or happy in my school days. I was going to school — but I was not gaining an education.

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  3. Anonymous

    One of my teachers thought I should quit his class early this year because I was not behaving the way he thought I should. He never asked what was happening that was making our whole class so frustrated.

    He talked to the counselors on my behalf, maybe the principal too. He was building a case because he was sure he knew what is best for me. I guess it didn’t fly, but man!

    Why does everyone else think they know what’s best for me & my ADHD? Do you know what I mean? People hink my parents are bad parents, or they think they know what I should do with my time… but they don’t ask me.

    Check out my new post about ‪#‎ADHD‬ Misconceptions – and let me know your stories in the comments. http://www.adhdkidsrock.com/adhd-misconceptions/

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  4. Anonymous

    We told our son that his brain moves fast, like a sports car, but the brakes in his car are old and can’t slow down his brain

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  5. Anonymous

    ADHD is about having broken filters on your perception. Normal people have a sort of mental secretary that takes the 99% of irrelevant crap that crosses their mind, and simply deletes it before they become consciously aware of it. As such, their mental workspace is like a huge clean whiteboard, ready to hold and organize useful information.

    ADHD people… have no such luxury. Every single thing that comes in the front door gets written directly on the whiteboard in bold, underlined red letters, no matter what it is, and no matter what has to be erased in order for it to fit.

    As such, if we’re in the middle of some particularly important mental task, and our eye should happen to light upon… a doorknob, for instance, it’s like someone burst into the room, clad in pink feathers and heralded by trumpets, screaming HEY LOOK EVERYONE, IT’S A DOORKNOB! LOOK AT IT! LOOK! IT OPENS THE DOOR IF YOU TURN IT! ISN’T THAT NEAT? I WONDER HOW THAT ACTUALLY WORKS DO YOU SUPPOSE THERE’S A CAM OR WHAT? MAYBE ITS SOME KIND OF SPRING WINCH AFFAIR ALTHOUGH THAT SEEMS KIND OF UNWORKABLE.

    It’s like living in a soft rain of post-it notes.This happens every single waking moment, and we have to manually examine each thought, check for relevance, and try desperately to remember what the thing was we were thinking before it came along, if not. Most often we forget, and if we aren’t caught up in the intricacies of doorknob engineering, we cast wildly about for context, trying to guess what the hell we were up to from the clues available.

    On the other hand, we’re extremely good at working out the context of random remarks, as we’re effectively doing that all the time anyway.

    We rely heavily on routine, and 90% of the time get by on autopilot. You can’t get distracted from a sufficiently ingrained habit, no matter what useless crap is going on inside your head… unless someone goes and actually disrupts your routine. I’ve actually been distracted out of taking my lunch to work, on several occasions, by my wife reminding me to take my lunch to work. What the? Who? Oh, yeah, will do. Where was I? um… briefcase! Got it. Now keys.. okay, see you honey!

    Also, there’s a diminishing-returns thing going on when trying to concentrate on what you might call a non-interactive task. Entering a big block of numbers into a spreadsheet, for instance. Keeping focused on the task takes exponentially more effort each minute, for less and less result. If you’ve ever held a brick out at arm’s length for an extended period, you’ll know the feeling. That’s why the internet, for instance, is like crack to us – it’s a non-stop influx of constantly-new things, so we can flick from one to the next after only seconds. Its better/worse than pistachios.

    The exception to this is a thing we get called hyper focus. Occasionally, when something just clicks with us, we can get ridiculously deeply drawn into it, and NOTHING can distract us. We’ve locked our metaphorical office door, and we’re not coming out for anything short of a tornado.

    Medication takes the edge off. It reduces the input, it tones down the fluster, it makes it easier to ignore trivial stuff, and it increases the maximum focus-time. Imagine steadicam for your skull. It also happens to make my vision go a little weird and loomy occasionally, and can reduce appetite a bit.

    Hope this helps and please do share this so that more people can learn what its really like to have ADHD.

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  6. Anonymous

    Thank you to Val for organising (the March 3 Talk) and Professor Hill for such an entertaining and interesting session. For the first time ever, I feel I have the information to make a much more informed choice re medication. Brilliant!! Please pass on my respect and gratitude to Prof. Hill.

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  7. Anonymous

    I am an adult with ADHD – though not so much the hyper part now. I was diagnosed as a child. I can tell you that my mother was NOT a lazy parent and was very involved. I was a handful. She decided against medicines and instead taught me what we would now call behaviour therapy and coping skills. I managed fairly well. I can still struggle at times with being what I call scattered. For me, lists and schedules help. I don’t have to live every moment by a plan and calendar but by assigning tasks to certain days, making lists, and keeping to a basic routine, I am less likely to drop the ball on day to day routine tasks and organization. In fact, I tend to over compensate but it works for me. Lists are my friends, so is my ADHD. Sounds odd I know, but I have a unique perspective, I am creative, and have a larger than life imagination. Struggles and challenges aside, I wouldn’t change it. Hope all the parents out there struggling with ADHD kids can hang onto to their sanity and enjoy their unique little people.
    Wendy

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  8. Anonymous

    Large numbers of children, teenagers and adults with ADHD are failing to reach their potential, being excluded from classrooms, getting suspended and expelled from schools and colleges as well as getting sacked from jobs because of traits that is just part of who they are. I feel as a society we need to change our approach to conditions such as ADHD and bring a better understanding of differences (Niall)

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  9. Anonymous

    As a child, I always struggled with paying attention in class or even keeping my desk in order. Teachers were always calling my parents into conferences about my ‘behaviour’ and would try to move me to lower-level classes because they thought I was slow or lazy or both. Once I got to secondary school, I realised that my inattentiveness and way of talking (jumping from one seemingly related story to another at the speed of light) made it harder to make friends or connect with people, so I would get more anxious about focusing all the time. Reading was the hardest of all, because I would read a sentence and then drift off and then realise I read 20 pages without actually processing anything because I was in my own thoughts.
    I was never formally diagnosed, but my mother read my symptoms in a book and it made me feel better about my brain and helped me learn that I wasn’t some loser who didn’t want to focus or work hard. It was just more difficult for me.
    With age, it’s become so much easier, and sometimes I think of ADHD as a weird blessing creatively because I’m always working on something — I’m never just stuck on one project and I end up accomplishing more that way. So many artistic people have ADHD and have simply learned to channel it into something very positive. Julia

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  10. Anonymous

    School and projects were always hard because I always want to do a million things at once and then it’s overwhelming when I have a lot of half-done things. Once I started understanding it as an ‘over-awareness’ of my surroundings, I started to just convince myself I only had this one thing to do (whatever it may be), I have an easier time finishing it. Basically, understanding it this way makes me less harsh with myself about it and know exactly what strengths and weaknesses come from it.

    Overall, I still have trouble in conversations with people and having to backtrack and say what my thought process was. A lot of the time, when someone is getting to know me, they assume I’m changing the subject when there is actually a linear progression in my mind so it IS related even if it’s not apparent. I think it’s the most difficult with people who think very linearly but I find if I take the time to explain what’s going on in my head, people are more on board. Overall, I try to embrace it as an asset because it allows me to think differently than other people which is ideal for someone in a creative field

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    • Valerie Ivens

      Hi
      Such a brilliant and positive approach . I agree that it can be such a huge asset – working with young people with adhd, what becomes clear is that you can learn to stop and (aim to ) concentrate on one thing at a time, but you can’t’ learn’ a creative brain ! So learning to be linear is something worth working at but never lose that unique creativity that is your brains real advantage ! Thanks for sharing that ;)

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  11. Anonymous

    I was always getting into trouble at school. The teacher used to tell me off for not sitting still, I’d try to sit down but it was hard – I would just want to get up and walk around. I was always getting into trouble for talking. The other children in my class would sit still and finish their work but I found this hard.
    Mum and dad said I had a lot of energy. Sometimes my friends would tell me I was over the top. Mum says she couldn’t take me anywhere when I was younger because I was so noisy and always on the go.
    In the end, mum and dad took me to a clinic for children who have problems. They said I have ADHD and talked to my parents and teachers about how to help me. They gave me some medication. My mum and dad think it helps. I don’t seem to get told off so much and can do my school work better. (Ben, 11yrs old)

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    • Valerie Ivens

      Well done Ben- you aren’t alone ! The things you describe are so common for children and young people with adhd- sitting still can be really hard when your brain and body just want to GO ! I’m pleased your teachers and the meds are helping you – I bet there are loads of things you do really well too.
      Val ;)

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  12. Anonymous

    If local government no longer has the financial capacity to support early intervention in children’s mental health services, it is essential that these services are provided elsewhere. If they are not, and early intervention services continue to be cut, we will see more children and young people needing more intensive and more expensive support for mental illness, a situation that will cost millions and cause extreme distress and pain to thousands of young people and their families across the country.
    Lucie Russell
    Director of campaigns, YoungMinds

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  13. adhdrichmond

    Good comments from mother here: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/17/special-educational-needs-new-funding-councils-listen-to-children-teachers-trained

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  14. adhdrichmond

    Wishing all ADHDers a Merry Christmas and a successful, Happy New Year from ADHD Richmond

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  15. Anonymous

    Seven years ago I sat in a consulting room at our local hospital and was told my son suffered with ADHD. Like many people I had never heard of the condition before. I remember being overcome with relief that it wasn’t me being a terrible parent who couldn’t control her child – that there was some explanation why Alex behaved the way he did. Alex couldn’t keep still for a moment and neither did I – trying to keep up with him. I cannot remember the amount of times I was told: ‘Don’t worry, he’ll grow out of it. He’s just a boy.” But he never did.
    Toddler groups, playgroups and nursery were all a nightmare and although other parents appeared to be sympathetic, I knew my son was socially different and didn’t fit into the mould. Family outings and shopping trips became a nightmare. People felt sorry for me, I was exhausted and losing the plot.
    The hardest thing for me during this time was the feeling of isolation that Alex’s condition brought. No one seemed to understand his behaviour or see the real child underneath. Alex was a happy, intelligent, sensitive and, above all, loving child who received knock-backs at every turn from school, peers and outside activities. This would grow to the point where I watched his self esteem replaced by anger and frustration.
    Following Alex’s diagnosis – as with most children with this condition – medication in the form of Ritalin was offered to us to help him. The thought of medicating my child caused endless anxieties, yet we felt he deserved the chance if it worked.
    The result was miraculous. Suddenly we had a window of opportunity to work with him. He would sit and concentrate for short periods of time, he was less challenging, and he seemed generally calmer. Alex was able to cope better with the school environment and we started being able to go out as a family. We felt normal.
    The biggest lifesaver for me was being signposted to the local support group. A phone call to a complete stranger one evening, who understood what I was going through, became my lifeline.

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  16. Anonymous

    Dr Hector Perera, London
    A child’s teacher may be the first person to suspect that a child has ADHD, especially if he is hyperactive and often disrupts class. As an experienced teacher, I must say that I have come across a number of such cases but they had to be dealt very tactfully. However, parents may notice signs of ADHD before the child begins school, such as problems with social skills and disruptive behaviour. Alternatively, parents may realize that their child is having problems if she does poorly at school. If you or your child’s teacher suspect your child might have ADHD, your child should be assessed by a doctor or psychologist.

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  17. Anthony

    Anthony – 14 – I used to get annoyed by people in school, and when I got angry, they used to get me into trouble with the teachers. if anything went wrong at school, the teachers used to automatically blame me. I used to find it very hard at school, and I didn’t know how to cope. Every time I did something wrong at school, my relationship with my parents seemed to fade out. I used to be very impulsive, which also contributed to the decisions I made. But know I am learning how to control my ADHD, and now I can achieve my full potential at school. I didn’t used to like taking medication, but now I realise that it can slow me down which allows me to think properly and make the right decisions.

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    • Valerie Ivens

      What a great story Anthony ! Seems like you have really got the balance right now between being yourself and using the meds to help you slow down and concentrate well at school. Very impressed- it sounds as though it’s been a tough challenge but you’ve managed to bring it round. Well done 😎

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  18. Fred Brittin, 15

    I have ADD inatentive I think its like striking a balance between being self servant and not seeing it as a handicap, and being a little bitch about it and saying it limits you entirely

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    • Valerie Ivens

      It’s true it is a fine line between understanding how ADHD impacts you but not using it as a reason to not try . There are loads of examples of people who demonstrate their creative brilliance whilst managing some of the challenges with persistence and positive encouragement . Great blogs

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  19. Anonymous

    Anna Dragicevic – 21. Because of my behaviour, I got bullied at school which made it even worse, I started developing symptoms of other mental health problems. I felt like my head was going to explode but I didn’t feel like I could go to anybody. The waiting lists for treatment are just too long. It took six months to get in contact, another six months to get an appointment, by that time I was like, do you know what, I give up. Talking with friends helped me to feel better. It was difficult to get older people, particularly teachers, to understand my condition. The older generation look at you like you’re making excuses and there’s actually nothing wrong with you.Therapies like counselling are the way forward

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  20. fred

    I’m 15 and I have ADD inattentive type and I think its all about getting the valence right, don’t give up trying just because you have a learning difficulty, and don’t refuse help if people offer it. Also it makes you impulsive so don’t go down the wrong path coz you’ll fall faster

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  21. elyan yates

    I feal restles and frustrated
    Bord and tierd
    And distracted
    I am 11

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  22. Valerie Ivens

    I’ve been struck over the last year how many schools and SENCOs are eager for more information about working with ADHD. To match this there is now more training and support available for teaching staff. I think we are making a difference in Richmond and although it’s far from perfect , every step supports another child or young person . The voices of the parents in the support group is making the difference ! Val

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