ADHD is defined as Attention Defect/ Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a chronic condition that cannot be cured but can be treated and managed by medication and behaver intervention. ADHD affects 5% of Australian population which is equivlant to 1 in 20 people. 85% of people with ADHD is not diagnosed yet and boy are 4 times more likely to have ADHD that girls. Symptoms of ADHD include difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity, impulsive behaviour and is often accompanied with difficulty regulating emotions. All children experience these symptoms time to time but for those with ADHD it is 10 times worse, affecting them in many areas of life and much more suver . Think of the most distracted kid you know, someone who is never listening, looking everywhere except where they are suppose to unless fascinated by their task. Someone who gets so distracted you can’t help but wonder if they are deaf. That is what I am like without my tablet. But times it by 5 and 100% of the time. Children with ADHD have little control over their behaviour as they are symptoms of their disorder. They arise from an impaired ability to inhibit and regulate attention, behaviour and emotions; to reliably recall information in the moment; to plan and problem solve; to self-reflect and self monitor; and to self-soothe.
These stem from neurological differences and a resultant developmental delay, which reduces a child’s ability to exert age-appropriate self-control.
Without proper diagnosis and evidence based treatment a child’s ADHD can have may profound negative effects on day to day life. Effecting their family life, academic achievement, ability to navigate school and stress, friendships, social standing and self-esteem. If treated properly they can live a fulfilling life thriving reaching their full potential and goals.
There are many reasons for ADHD such as genetics. My Mothers brother has ADHD they never found a treatment that worked he is bad with money and can’t secure a job. I have rarely meet him though. My Grandfather on mums side is also believed to have ADHD. ADHD is sometimes thought to be caused by things such as lead and smoke. But there are some crazy myths out there like how to much sugar or screen time can cause it. Or even bad parenting! Before starting my quest and researching scientifically about ADHD I had never heard of such nonsense but I now see others must have. I just thought ADHD is caused by a lack of Diphoton which is scientifically correct, no one gene causes ADHD but a interaction between many. But when I hear these myths my blood boils, some myths are totally ridicules . I am insulted that that people could believe these lies. Calling those with ADHD lazy, or immature. It’s NOT their fault. Or that it is overdiagnoses or a boys only condition. Leaving those females to suffer in the dark. If people took the time to even understand the basics of ADHD and how it affects people just basic knowledge would allow them to easily tell the truth from lies. It was early in my exploration into ADHD when I learnt about these myths, using just my common sense I could easily decipher truth.
Some may outgrow it with age or lesion but children with ADHD may also struggle with low self esteem and self worth, sustaining relationships and poor performance at school and other academic areas. Even with a bright mind it may be hard to get there ideas on paper and can become frustrated, overwhelmed and feel they are fighting a losing battle. Early diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference. I was Diagnosed in grade 3-4 with combined type of ADHD. It meant due to my late(ish) diagnose some things I will always be behind. Like I missed my first 4 years of schooling and essentials in that. In class they expect everyone to know timetables, I never learnt this I don’t even remember learning that they exist until grade 3. I have never managed to completely memorise them even after YEARS of painful learning, reciting in the car, flashcards, and Sing A Long CD’s I still have not learnt them all. I am not treated with behaviour intervention only in the making of this book did I even learn that existed. I don’t think it would work for me anyway, I could not concentrate long enough to learn any other way. Instead I take Conserta otherwise known as Ritalin every single day, I used to take drug holidays but I will tell you more about it latter on. I am currently on the largest dose there is 12 hours. This may sound lake a lot. But when you take into account the packed curriculum and outside school activities sometimes it’s not enough. I will try and try and try bust after a hour long study session I only ever manage to remember 1-2 points or 2-3 questions. These days I am stunned by my classmates approach to tests. Such as CRAM where basically you do all your studying on the night before to keep it fresh in your mind. For me this would be a disaster resulting in terrible grades.
I strongly believe with things like this one size does not fit all. It is so important for me when talking about ADHD to achelly learn how it affects someone. For me there always seems to be something more interesting going on whether it be in my mind daydreaming, people walking past, noise, different conversations, screens, games, window ext. I am constantly fighting a losing battle in my mind forcing myself to try and stay on topic. Wenching myself back, and yelling at myself inside horrified by my level of self control. I will often perch a book 2cm from my face trying to block everything else out. But today there is so much going on. Recently in class I had a substitute teacher. I don’t mean to be rude but he was the worst teacher for me ever. Everyone loved him, he let them play games and put on a video to try and distract us! The typing on keys, the window, conversations even on my tablet I was finding it torture. I knew I let myself look for even a second I would be hooked. Close to tears I listened to my classmates ooh and ahh at the stunts on screen, as I screamed quietly in my mind. “NO Hannah Just a little bit longer.” Using one hand to block my view of the screen and plug my ears I sat 1cm from my computer my fingers trembling with the strain. Shouting, trying in my mind a war was on the teacher oblivious to my struggle. As I cried silently, I didn’t want to do the work as homework but I was horrified by the teachers approach. He said if 20 people did the work we didn’t have to do more. No one except me was working, expecting to have others do it and miss out. My mind begged to ask the teacher to sit outside. But I didn’t want to look like I was in trouble or that something was wrong. Gritting my teeth and digging my nails into the soft flesh of my hand I continued on. Worse for wear I finished early, my hand and wrist red and sore. My attention is like a greased bull. I lose things easerly and 1minite latter I will forget what I was talking about. For me especially at school concentrating on one conversation and to shut out the other is very hard. I tend to sit at the front not because I want to answer questions but because at the front you can’t see others computer screens. Today just a class is a battle of focus between class and a video game. I rarely get tempted to play them, worried what to do if I was caught but I can’t help watching. I easly cry and get scared, just the simple problem of asking a teacher and getting neglected even if only by a misunderstanding is enough to bring tears. Even when I lock myself in my room there are so many distractions. My ADHD makes it easy to get frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed. Feeling like I am in a ball of never-ending emotions. In grade 3-4 I started to learn to read. With small books I would sit in the car and very slowly and very loudly read each word. When my mother and brother tried to talk I would get louder and louder, every time they disturbed me I would start all over agen.
Becoming incedingly frustrated. Until one of two things happened, 1) I would blow having a full out screaming crying match. Or 2) They would be quiet. When I first got my tablet the results were spontaneous, Suddenly for the first time I could sit quietly and read in my head. For the first time EVER. At school I would never behave that badly, instead I sat quietly and wouldn’t follow instructions instead I got distracted.