This is a true story from a close friend of mine about his 8 years old son who was diagnosed with ADHD. The purpose of publishing this story is to share some of the lessons learned from this story with millions of parents out there who want their kids to grow normally and without any deficiencies. Today's fast-paced lifestyle comes with a price tag and unfortunately, the ones who are closest to us are the ones who have to pay this price. ADHD has become a huge problem all over the world. To keep it effective, I will summarize as much as possible.
A few years ago my friend discussed with me about his son's diagnostic. Both he and his wife were quite worried about their son and were not sure what to do as John (name changed for privacy reasons) was their only son and they both loved him a lot. Doctors told him that ADHD is something that can happen to anyone and their direct solution to this problem is to just admit that this problem is there and live with it. Some medicines and therapy may help but this is a chronic disease that can be there for pretty much rest of his life. They were among millions of parents who are told that their kids have ADHD and just learn to live with it. Unfortunately, the web does not give any encouraging support as well as following is mostly is said about ADHD:
- More than 3 million US cases per year
- Treatment can help, but this condition can't be cured
-Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
-Requires a medical diagnosis
-Lab tests or imaging not required
As per the CDC website, main causes of ADHD can be as following:
- *Exposure to environmental (e.g., lead) during *pregnancy or at a young age
- *Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
Main symptoms of ADHD are:
- forget or lose things a lot
- make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
- have a hard time resisting the temptation
- have trouble taking turns
- have difficulty getting along with others
As per the CDC website, here is the recommended treatment plan to deal with ADHD:
In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of behavior therapy and medication. For preschool-aged children (4-5 years of age) with ADHD, behavior therapy, particularly training for parents, is recommended as the first line of treatment before medication is tried. What works best can depend on the child and family. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups, and making changes, if needed, along the way.
Yes all the above is correct and I am not negating any of the medical findings or what doctors recommend,. You should always listen and follow what the doctors say as that can also help but I am just here to tell you what I saw.
My friend told me that he will do whatever the doctors are recommending to him but in addition both he and his wife have decided to give back that last 8 years of attention which they may not have given to their son. I tried to make him understand that don't feel that it is your or your wife fault as the causes of ADHD could be many which may be outside of your control and there is plenty of data and support to prove that but there is absolutely no harm in doing whatever you can do in future to bring that attention back. At least you will not have any regrets after a few years that you did not do what you could have done. There is a big possibility that it may cure this problem but even if it does not cure the disease, at least it would make both of you feel good that you tried and the worst case is that you will end up with a great loving relationship with your son. I still remember that it was around the summer of 2015 when he discussed this situation with me and ever since he and his wife did whatever they could have done to love their kid as much as they could have done and gave him undivided attention almost every single day. I saw them playing in fields together, eating ice cream at local ice cream places at least a couple of times a week, and many more activities. My friend told me that both he and his wife go to their son's bed each night and read him the story, give him a goodnight kiss and most importantly they both kiss each of their son's nails/fingers which he bites with frustration during day time. That was pretty interesting and I asked him that why do you kiss his nails/fingers which he bites and his answer was that we believe that is the spot where his frustration is at its peak and by touching and kissing his nails/fingers gives him the confidence and comfort he needs just before going to sleep so he can have a good night sleep with sweet dreams. It did not make too much sense to me but I appreciated him for sharing this with me.
This is an absolutely true story as I saw it my own from start to end and I can tell you that every word of this is true. His son is almost 14 now, he stopped doing all the nail-biting and other things which he would do because of ADHD a couple of years back have become a grown up confident young man with exceptional grades in his school. This is the same guy who would not talk to anyone, who would be sitting in a corner and biting his nails with frustration, would be very hard to understand and now he is probably one of the most confident students and boys in his class. My purpose of sharing this story was to give you hope that if he has done it, you can do that as well and as stated above, the worst-case scenario is that you will end up with a very positive and loving relationship with your kids.
- Give attention to your kids and give them the love they deserve. Understand that this is a marathone and not a sprint anymore but be assured that you will love and appreciate each day going forward. If your child is 7 years old, expect that it would take you another 7 years before this disease will be fully cured so don't be frustrated after few months and start workin on it from today.
- Dedicate at least 1 hour of each day where you give them undivided attention (without your phone in your hand and eyes on the TV). Play with them, walk with them, do anything which is fun for you and the kids but for God sake, please give time to your kids and give them attention they deserve.
- Look for the symptoms and work on them directly. For example, my friend's son used to bite his nails and would eat them so bad that sometime even blood would come out of them. He starterd kissing his son's nails each night before going to sleep and did that for almost 5 years almost every single night. As that was the most interesting point which stuck to me and surely this guy totally stopped biting his nails, his speech is many times better than what it used to be and most other symptoms of ADHD are totally gone.
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