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ADHD Parents Together
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Tired of people not understanding

I am struggling with friends who have neurotypical children not understanding all that is involved with ADHD. My daughter has ADHD, but isn't overly hyper--therefore all my friends constantly comment that she is not ADHD and I am crazy to believe it.

I try to explain that she struggles to focus, listen and follow key directions and that just because she isn't a behavior problem or bouncing off the walls that it doesn't mean she doesn't have it. They will also constantly refer to how focused she is on things that interest her and say that it is just normal for kids to not focus on school work or sports lessons.

My very best friend told me that she just thinks the doctors are wrong about my daughter... I finally said, "look, my child has impulse issues that can't be controlled without medication.. like touching herself in public or chewing on things." Still, she didn't believe that they can't be controlled-- that I should just tell her to stop and eventually she will listen. Like, I have never told my 7 year old to stop touching herself in public!!! of course I have told her over and over to stop!

It is so hard sometimes.

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I'm right there with you. Im sick of the famous line... "if he can listen outside of school, why can't he listen in school. He doesn't have ADHD, he just doesn't want to listen"

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These people, I’m sure they mean well. Isn’t it great how our friends and family can diagnose disorders?!? All they have to do is spend 5 minutes with the kid and BAM, they’re experts! Tell them to work on their own personal diagnosis.

They can fix whatever ailments they have, don’t go to a physician, they know it all! (Sigh) I’m letting my sarcasm show. Sorry!

It is very frustrating. I shut those people down by asking ‘tell me how much you do you know about adhd’?

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I have been through this same stuff from the child's perspective. I've had teachers and family members question my mom about me actually having ADHD until I miss a couple days of my medication. Then they get it. That thing your daughter does where she can really focus on things she likes is called hyperfocusing. I do it all the time. There also isn't just one level of ADHD. My older sister's ADHD and my ADHD are very different cases. I was diagnosed very early because my sister didn't get diagnosed until she was in second grade and she's still affected by that.

A good analogy that my mom used to describe it to us when we were kids has to do with a sports ball. The sports ball represented the brain and the air inside it was the hormones. The thing with ADHD is there's an overactive part of our brains that takes too much of one hormone, represented by a hole in the ball. Because of that hole, air is constany being taken away, making it so the ball can't bounce. It can't perform properly. Maybe try explaining it to your friends that way. If a five year old could understand it, than your adult friends should be able to as well. Hope this helps you with your friends. And if it doesn't, tell them that it's none of their business and that you didn't ask for their opinion. At the end of the day, she is *your* daughter and you know her better than they do. Good luck!

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The amount public misinformation about ADHD is kinda insane. And honestly, I use to be in the misinformed side.

I get the impression they are trying to be helpful / comforting to me, misguided though they may be, to assure me my son is neuro-typical.

If the person seems open to an actual discussion, I try to turn it into a teachable moment. I can even start as “I use to think the same....” or “I agree, kids should spend more time outside, however....”

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Yep, I've all that kind of thing too, from friends and from family. But in my case my sister tried to dissect all my explanations and assertions of my son's diagnosis, not because she thought he was neurotypucal but because she thought my parenting skills were lacking! "Not enough discipline!" "inconsistent" etc. Very hurtful to have this from family. It has gotten to the point where I cannot even discuss it with my mother. Sigh.

But we your ADHD community are here for you, feel free to vent.

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I feel your pain my middle daughter now almost 20 still tells me how I do everything wrong and I don't know how to parent. LOL

I am on my 3rd daughter, I think I know what I am doing. Yes I have made mistakes with all 3 by it who doesn't. My older 2 were neurotypical, and my 3rd has ADHD both kinds, ODD, OCD, Anxiety-NOS, Sensory issues and still wears a diaper at night. I can't wait till she has kids and see how hard it really is, even with no issues (neurotypical kids).

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I agree it’s tough. People seem to picture this bouncy but otherwise problem-free kid who the evil parents (or evil teachers depending on the conspiracy theory) just want to drug the spirit out of. Meanwhile those same judgy people who think you shouldn’t diagnose or medicate your kid with anything tell their kids not to play with yours. Because of the hitting, the poor sportsmanship, the “not being able to play nicely”. They aren’t going to cut your hyperactive/unfocused kid one bit of slack. But they sure like to tell other people their kids should be pure of drugs or medicines that they don’t understand. Ugh.

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In our World, I hear People are People. Yes, we all are all. I hear about this and that culture or group. I rarely hear talk about "individualism". There are over seven billion of us with over seven billion stories. Not one of us is exactly like someone else. So, it may not offer much comfort, but none of can really understand anyone exactly, but we can understand our own selves. And oftentimes, I hear parents of Autistic children talk about their kid as though it were themselves, and then I hear the kids say "My parents are annoying". Hard words, but I guess I can see where that comes from. Even my Mom doesn't understand a lot about me.

And all I can say from being an adult all my life with ADHD, at a minimum, Autism, not sure, that I think I get it in a general sense because it has been the story of my life. Teachers, adults, employers, kids, classmates, women, men, seemingly everyone....not getting where I am coming from. I find it almost overwhelmingly significant when I say "Being ADHD is not just being in last place, it is like being way behind the person in last place when all I want to tell people is that I am just a "little bit off". And unfortunately, with all the grand changes in the last fifty years, the World has not changed much. In fact, the World is getting faster and tougher.

But I just keep at it, I try to learn patience, and I keep positively mindful. See my blog about Positive Mindfulness.

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I try to remember that people's intentions are good...they want it to be better for you. That being said, I also find it so hurtful to hear that what we are going through is no different than any other parent. It is so different. I wish more people would learn to respond by saying "Wow, that sounds really tough. Is there anything I can do to help or understand better?"

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I wouldn’t talk to them about the stuff they’re not gonna give you the support that you need it’s hurting you more than it’s helping you try to explain yourself to them. If you would like more peer support then just online look for your local Chad meeting, my town they offer Chad once a month for adult ADHD and parents with children with ADHD Chad

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I feel for you, my daughter who is 14 has always been 'the naughty one' in the family. Diagnosed last year, I've had people ask 'when did she get it?'. Because she didn't jump about, She also has ODD, everything makes sense to me, now she has the diagnosis. Hyperactivity does not always mean jumping about, fidgeting comes under hyperactivity.

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