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My kid isn’t Bad :: He has ADHD

October is ADHD awareness month. Over 8% of children have a diagnosis of ADHD. This is one mom's story of her son. Do you have a child with ADHD?

We are heading into the preteen years with my son, and now I’m thinking that maybe I should’ve kept him in preschool one more year.

I knew he was ready academically: he knew his letters, numbers, colors, and could write his first name. Sitting still in a chair, however, was another story.

To sit, pay attention to the teacher, and write what is needed, while sitting across from another child without getting distracted; was he ready for that part of kindergarten?

He’s always been a busy little boy, which is normal right? And he was 5 for only two days when he started kindergarten. So his conduct was TERRIBLE! His teacher would always tell me: he isn’t naughty at all, just very busy and easily distracted.

Backstory, when he was 4 a pediatrician told me he had ADHD. It really irritated me, because that’s not what that we were there for that day, plus he was only 4 and a boy! So, in my mind, that was too early of a diagnosis. I said we would wait until kindergarten to do anything about it.

Kindergarten was awful! But, like I said, he wasn't BAD, just distracted. So I said that we'd wait until first grade to try interventions. Then, after trying everything I knew to try- spankings, grounding, different diet, earlier bedtime although he was already going to bed early, and a Y membership for the days we couldn’t run energy off outside- we got some additional help.

boy with ADHD in a classroom

He's in the 4th grade now and on ADHD meds, which has helped him tremendously in his studies because he is able to focus so much more. I was SO against an ADHD diagnosis and medication at first, but now my only regret is not starting it sooner. How much would that have helped his self-esteem back then? He labeled himself as the "bad kid".  He was the youngest in his class then, and now he's the youngest PLUS the shortest; the latter really bothers him. I assure him the growth spurt is going to come.

However, his physical stature is not what concerns me; it’s his social skills and his maturity level. I know he is just a nine-year-old boy, but some of the things he deals with I wonder if he’d deal with it the same way if he was the oldest in the class versus the youngest. Right now, we are stuck in the “wanting to be cool” and impress his peers’ stage, even if that means getting into trouble. Would the “be a leader, not a follower” talk mean more if he was one of the older kids? This is something no medicine can help or fix. What do you do for times like this?  I just hate seeing him struggle.

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