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ADD / ADHD Message Board

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Hiya. First time posting - hooray. I'd just like to offer some perspective from the side of the child. I'm a senior in college studying neuroscience, and both my older sister and I have add/ADHD (my symptoms are notably worse). She has been on Ritalin since the 6th grade, while I started adderall after my second year of college. My parents had to deal with unmedicated me for quite some time (i resisted medication because my grades were excellent, but my mistake was in failing to recognize that ADHD is phenotypically a behavioral disorder rather than a purely cognitive one), and I wouldn't be surprised if they felt the way you do. Your children, however, are experiencing, well, some ****.

I can honestly say - both from experience and from a scientific perspective - that puberty mixed with ADHD in a middle/high school environment can be incredibly difficult to deal with, resulting in considerably more stress. Hard truth here: They are going to take it out on you and they are going to be worse at home than at school or with their friends for some very simple reasons. First off, they know you better than they know any of their friends, and that closeness breeds an openness that allows them to release their pent up stresses on you without fear of losing a friend, being judged harshly by peers, getting detention, etc. Honestly, it's just a phase, but a long one. OT isn't a bad suggestion, but it doesn't always work - it didn't for me. Therapists tend to be a lot more patient than children with ADHD, and I, for one, noticed and hated that. At the risk of contributing to the ongoing overmedicating crisis, I would suggest looking into add/ADHD meds if you haven't already. If you have and they don't seem to be helping, shop around. Try different dosages and medications (only with your doc's blessing, of course), and find out what works best for them. It's amazing how much being able to control your attention can help your mood. And, in reality, that's what the disorder is: an inability to control and direct one's attention, not a lack of attention.

There is also the possibility that due to the myriad pressures affecting their every choice, they're just rebelling. Kids do that. It sucks. But, cliche as it is, it will pass. Good luck.

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