Eventually, I came to realize something that made it a little easier to handle: Most people who judge do it because they just don’t know.

So here’s what I’d like them to understand about me, my son and ADHD:

    1. It’s not his fault he behaves this way. My son’s brain works differently than other kids—it’s a neurological issue. He’s not doing these things on purpose. Believe me, if he could better control his impulsivity, hyperactivity, lack of focus and overblown emotions, he would. It’s no fun to struggle with these things.
    2. It’s not my fault he behaves this way. I may not always do the right thing as a parent, but my parenting isn’t the cause of his challenges. Yes, I discipline him. And when he acts out, I give him consequences. But what works with other kids often doesn’t work with him. Or it doesn’t work every time. Sometimes I blame myself, even though I’m not sure what I’m blaming myself for.
    3. ADHD is complicated. It’s not just about being “hyper” or not listening. What you see isn’t even half of it. He struggles in all sorts of ways you may not even notice—with things you may take for granted in your own kids. Turning in homework. Keeping track of time. Organizing his things and his thoughts. Applying what he knows one day to what he needs to do the next.
    4. He’s not being rude or defiant. Well, he can be from time to time, just like any kid. But the behavior you may see as disrespectful (to me, or to other people) isn’t really that. Once my son realizes he’s been hurtful or made others unhappy, he feels terrible. He doesn’t mean it.

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