NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness Home | About NAMI | Contact Us | En Espanol  | Donate  
Find
  Advanced Search  
 

Sign In
myNAMI
Communities
Register and Join
Donate
What's New
State & Local NAMIs
Advocate Magazine
NAMI Newsroom
NAMI Store
NAMIWALKS
National Convention
Special Needs Estate Planning
NAMI Travel

 ADHD

Print this page
Graphic Site
Log Out
 | Print this page | 
 | 
ADHD

Finding Joy in ADHD

By Carolyn Dunn

After many years of frustration and exasperation, my homeschooled, eighth-grade son was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), inattentive type. I was overwhelmed by the thought of coping with this diagnosis and figuring out what I was supposed to do next.

I experienced many emotions as I came to terms with the diagnosis, but I knew I had a choice about how to respond. I chose joy, knowing that this test could be a great gift. It could bring me the joy of knowing and loving my son more deeply, while remaining his mother and strongest advocate. And so I embarked on an adventure which, in the end, brought out the best in both of us.

We found that finding a doctor who specialized in ADHD and starting my son on medication were most helpful. We were both overjoyed at his improved ability to focus. Next, I recognized the need for consistency, structure and accountability for him and an exhaustive understanding of ADHD for me. Always scoring high on IQ tests, I realized that my son was gifted.
My son engaged in many activities from a young age and through high school. Each activity brought friends, emotional and social growth and skill and coordination. He mastered karate, earning a second-degree black belt, and enjoyed 10 years of piano performance. He became passionate and goal-directed in his activities. Socially, my son loved people and engaged with them easily. He connected with others in his church group, classes and honor society.

Then it came time to transition to college.His hard work and passion led to his becoming a National Merit Scholar. His choice, a Big 12 private institution, had an honors business program and success center with free disability advisors, free tutoring, accommodation advising and counseling. It seemed like a good environment for him, but I wondered if it would be enough.

After a freshman year that brought challenges, tears (mine) and a GPA not reflective of his abilities, we knew he needed a private ADHD coach. A coach was needed to provide executive processing skills, to help him focus and prioritize and to encourage him to improve his performance. Through his coach, he is doing well academically and has maintained his full-ride merit scholarship. In fact, he won the Shire ADHD Scholarship his junior year. His coach is part of our team and welcomes our input. Coaching with a well-trained professional is well worth the investment. Choosing to respond with joy when my child was diagnosed with ADHD was certainly the way to go. My son is truly unique and oh, so loved. I recommend that other families approach ADHD with joy. It sure beats the alternative.


 | Print this page | 
 | 

Donate

Support NAMI to help millions of Americans who face mental illness every day.

Donate today

Speak Out

Inspire others with your message of hope. Show others they are not alone.

Share your story

Get Involved

Become an advocate. Register on NAMI.org to keep up with NAMI news and events.

Join NAMI Today
Home  |  myNAMI  |  About NAMI  |  Contact Us  |  Jobs  |  SiteMap

Copyright © 1996 - 2011 NAMI. All Rights Reserved.