My son was diagnosed with ADHD by his doctor when he was five years old.  He will be seven next month.  I had a really hard time with the diagnosis.  I cried for him.  I didn’t want him to be different.  I didn’t want him to be labeled.  My sweet, brilliant and full of life boy was going to be looked down upon by people.

Things are rough in my house.  Living with someone with ADHD is noisy and chaotic.  There is constant yelling and fighting.  There are a lot of tears.  From both of us.  The difference between his behavior and his twin brothers behavior is night and day.  Yet ADHD is never mentioned or brought up.

I’ve never even told him that he has this.  He does not know what ADHD is and he certainly doesn’t know he has it.  The term is only whispered by adults.  I don’t even talk about it a lot on my blog since we don’t talk openly about it at home.

But why??  Why is is such a taboo subject?

I googled: Define ADHD

Typically, they have problems with following through on instructions, paying attention appropriately to what they need to attend to, seem not to listen, be disorganized, have poor handwriting, miss details, have trouble starting tasks or with tasks that require planning or long-term effort, appear to be easily distracted, or forgetful.

In addition, some people with add/adhd can be fidgety, verbally impulsive, unable to wait their turn, and act on impulse regardless of consequences {source}

Another:

Watch for constant impulsivity. Acting before thinking is usually a lifestyle for the ADHD sufferer as opposed to a momentary lapse in judgment. Both children and adults with the disorder regularly blurt out answers before the question is finished and have difficulty recognizing what the consequences of their actions will likely be and why. Oftentimes children with ADHD have trouble sharing with other children and are prone to impulses such as hitting and temper tantrums when they don’t get their way {source}

ADHD is a medical condition.  No different than diabetes or cancer.  But when someone has diabetes or cancer, they are not ashamed to talk about it.  They take medicine or other therapies to control it and/or cure it.  While there is no cure for ADHD, I understand many symptoms can be outgrown as a kid gets older.  Today, there are several well-known medications that help children and adults with ADHD.

ADHD is NOT a discipline problem.

I get comments like “when we were kids we just got the shit knocked out of us.  That’s what he needs.”

Um. No.  That’s not what he needs.  When we were kids, our food wasn’t pumped full of chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients.  Ingredients directly linked to ADHD in our children.  You will not convince me that the crap in our food supply isn’t the reason ADHD is an epidemic today.  (Give Anthony a red anything and you’ll see him flip like a switch).

And why do people have to poo-poo on my No Red Dye rule?

Besides that, how many kids who got the shit knocked out of them suffered silently with untreated ADHD?  What if they could have been helped and not beaten?  Maybe there were more kids with ADHD twenty years ago, we just didn’t know it then?

Why do I have to feel embarrassed to say “my son has ADHD.”  Why does anyone care?  And why do I have to resist medicating him if it will help him reach his full potential?  Why do I have to feel bad about that?  There is nothing wrong with taking Advil for a headache…there is nothing wrong with taking antidepressants…there should be nothing wrong with taking a pill to help your focus.

You are not a bad parent because your child happens to have ADHD.  You are only a bad parent if you fail to recognize it and treat it.

Do you have someone in your family diagnosed with ADD/ADHD?  How did you get past feeling ashamed?  What types of therapies do you use to help your loved one?  How did you get past the stigma and just decide to deal with it?