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Does my Son Have ADHD? Help With ADHD Symptoms

Updated on May 16, 2013

Living With A Child With ADHD

Do you need help with ADHD symptoms? Does someone you know, maybe your child, display symptoms of ADHD? How can you tell if someone you love has ADHD?

When my oldest son was born (he is now 22) - it was the most glorious day of my life. Although premature (2 pounds and 12 oz), he was the most beautiful tiny baby I had ever set eyes upon. Somehow I knew that although he was small he would be OK - somehow.

What I didn't know at that time was that although physically he was strong and healthy, there was something brewing inside hIs little body that would change his life and our families life forever.

Although he hit all the milestones growing up pretty normally, there was something about my son growing up that was not quite right, something I could not quite put my fingers on, something about his excess energy and lack of focus that did not sit right with me.

As a toddler he was extremely active, and his younger brother and him were into more things than I could blink an eye at.... I dismissed it at the time as them just being very young (after all they were only toddlers) and that I was just having a tough time because I was a single parent.

Our house always seemed to be in chaos as the boys were growing up - even when my oldest was 2 I would get strange stares from other parents as if to say "Can't you control your child?". He rarely sat still and he acted like he was driven by some kind of internal motor that only shut off when his little eyes would close and he would finally go to sleep.

I was frequently exhausted, my 2 young sons kept me on my toes all of my waking hours. I was afraid to even let them out of my site for even a minute, as they were always getting into something dangerous. Repeated attempts at curbing their behaviors met with rebelliousness, tantrums and in most cases, the same behavior.

It became a vicious cycle. I felt like I had no control over my children's behavior and I got more and more depressed. Parents would frequently look at me like I was a bad mother and I wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn't get my sons to sit still or obey simple instructions.

Does your Child Have ADHD?


Why Won't My Son Sit Still?

As I said earlier, the most glorious day of my life was my sons birth, and the next glorious day for me was taking my oldest son to his first day of Kindergarten. Little did I know that the proud feeling I felt that day would come crashing down around me pretty quickly.

Within 2 weeks of my son starting school I was called in a for a conference with his teachers and the principal. They suggested to me that they felt my son was too young to start Kindergarten and that I should withdraw him and wait until the following year for him to start school. They said that he would not sit still, would not listen and had a very short attention span. In retrospect - as I look back - that was the beginning of the "passing the buck". Although they did not say it, I could see that they did not want to deal with my son.

I went home crushed, crying all the way home and not understanding why my son would not sit still... Worse yet, what was wrong with me as a mother?

The "lightbulb" moment came for me one day when I was in a cardiologists office a few weeks later getting some heart tests done, As I sat waiting for the doctor to come in I watched my son for about 10 minutes. Within that 10 minute span my son sat under his chair, straddled the chair, laid upside down on the chair, just about every position known to man he attempted in those few minutes. It struck me then that there was something seriously wrong with my son. It should not be that hard for a 5 year old to sit for 10 minutes, yet for him it was almost impossible.

A few weeks later I had a consultation with his pediatrician and the doctor told me that my son had "ADHD" (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) That was why he had such a short attention span, always fidgeting and never sitting still. The doctor made the diagnosis in his office, just by observing my son. He said that he would run some blood work and other things but that just by watching him he could say with almost certainly that was my son had ADHD. (Interestingly enough I later found out that his doctor also had ADHD and that was why he had gone into the field that he did)

Now this was almost 20 years ago and back then ADHD was a seldom used word. I did not even know what ADHD even meant, all I knew was that my son had it and our lives had just changed forever.

I felt like a parent who had just received some very bad news, news that would forever change our lives, that I had no control over the future, and I started to grieve. I looked at my son and felt terrible remorse, that somehow I had visited this upon him through something that I had done wrong during my pregnancy or during his first few years.

Now I know that is not the case but back then the guilt was horrible. Many years of therapy and medication were in store for us, and as I look back now, I realize it had nothing to do with something I'd done wrong but it was just a simple twist of fate that had been visited on our family (And yes as luck would have it my younger son was also diganosed with ADHD at a later date)

If you are struggling with ADHD there is hope for you and your children. If someone you know needs help with ADHD there are many resources available for help - much more now than when my son was growing up. Here are some helpful links and a ADHD symptoms chart for you to look at if anything I've described to you sounds familiar and you are wondering if your child has ADHD.

In future articles I will also go into some other stories of my sons battle with adhd and our families methods methods of coping with our life with a child with ADHD (some coping skills were not good but that's why I'm writing this for you - to help you avoid some of the mistakes I've made)

ADHD Symptoms Information

Is your child showing these symptoms? It could be ADHD.
Is your child showing these symptoms? It could be ADHD. | Source


Submit a Comment
  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    @jennifer) Glad to hear you got help for her and your family Jennifer. Best of luck with everything. ADHD can be frustrating for everyone, but there is hope!!

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    hello thanks for the help my daughter stuggled in school for 2 years..finally i got ever thing taking care of it was hard i had no help.i done it by my self...she had adhd

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    Pamela) Glad to hear your son became successful with his gifts! Kids with ADHD are very creative and out of the box thinkers. Let me know about your grandson, my understanding is that ADHD can be genetic. Good luck and thanks for coming by!

  • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

    Pamela Dapples 

    8 years ago from Just Arizona Now

    I enjoyed your article. Way back when our oldest son was showing all the signs of the now labeled ADHD, he was just considered to be fidgety and disobedient. He had to be frisked every morning at school for sneaking electronic gadgets into the classroom to play with inside his desk while looking attentively at the teacher. Needless to say, but he grew up to be a computer whiz. Thanks for sharing your insights.

    I'll be taking a fresh look at all the information available as our grandson is showing all the same characteristics -- and more.

  • Julie A. Johnson profile image

    Julie A. Johnson 

    9 years ago from Duluth, MN

    You give me hope that I will live through the school age years; my son has asperger's and adhd. At times it gets overwhelming. Thanks for your honesty; good hub. Julie

  • bobthym profile image


    9 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

    Great hub on a topic near and dear to me. My three daughters have either ADD or ADHD which has forced my wife and I to look more closely at ourselves. Some great books out there on the subject which I am sure you are well aware of. Anything by Ned Hallowell and Ritalin Nation: Rapid-Fire Culture and A Change in Human Consciousness. Don't forget Thom Hartman's Guide for ADHD.

    Finished my first year at Currey Ingram Academy, a school for kids with learning differences.

    Keep writing,


  • hypnosis4u2 profile image


    10 years ago from Massachusetts

    We went through all this with our eldest child and to be honest I'm not convinced that even the professionals can identify and agree on diagonsis that are on the high-end of the PDD spectrum or of ODD and ADD or ADHD mixed in. In the end we fought for every service with the authorities for our son and if the doctors wanted to call it ADHD or PDD and it got services for him by having a label - fine with us. But there is so much mis-doagnosis going out there today that for any diagnosis like ADHD you should alternative opinions.

    As a resource this is a great hub. Thank you for it.

  • profile image 

    11 years ago

    please can anyone give me advice as i am ay my wits end do not see a future love him to bits but cannot go on like this ready for taking own lif

    sorry need ti go he's a devil in sheeps clothing


  • SweetiePie profile image


    11 years ago from Southern California, USA

    This is a great hub with many informative tips. Thanks for sharing.

  • acaiplusenergy profile image


    11 years ago

    hi there everyone, great hub here and for sure adhd is something that seems to be very common, i have a 10 year old daughter that struggled with school for many years, Shes a very smart child, and very warm and compassionate kid. My wife and i had tried for years trying to find something that would work to just give her some extra help in getting her school work completed within some time frame, or have her chores done with out pulling teeth. We keep praying that the lord would guide us and finally last year i found feedyourbrain. This is something that when i put the dvd in and watched it, we understood. shes doing great now and passing with confidence, her self esteem is great.

    please visit the web site and read about feedyourbrain for children and adults or feel free to call me toll free 1-866-342-8919

    thanks for your time


  • compu-smart profile image

    Tony T 

    11 years ago from London UK

    Knowledge is power and you certainly have this and share this to make everyone understand how this can be such a huge problem and strain on someone who is a relative, friend, carer of sufferer!!

    Having said this i would never ever take on board a doctors diagnosis as from experience they will diagnose very quickly which i will always want 2nd 3rd opinions, but this case does sounds like ADHD from the knowledge i have...!

    As with most disabilities and problems, the things that make me happy with what i have is that i know there are many worse things i could have and when you start thinking about problems like ADHD which can be a huge problem especially yourself as a mother having to deal with this and care for him, is knowing that there are many many disabilities, illness, life threatening problems that he could have had!!

    I wonder what the amount of people who have ADHD who were falsely diagnosed with mental disabilities especially years ago!!

    Knowledge is certainly powerfull!!

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    11 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    Linda,It sounds like it's possible your son has ADHD or another disorder that could be similar like Oppositional Defiance Disorder. I would take him to a pediatrician right away and tell him what you have told me. If that doctor does not give you an answer go to another. My sons had many of the symptoms you describe- and nowadays there is so much more help with longer lasting medications. If it is ADHD it's something that your son cannot help and you will need to be his advocate- A child or even an adult with ADHD is like someone who has 40 television sets all turned on at the same time around them, and they cannot focus. Don't give up, be presistent that your son get a thorough check-up.You would be amazed at the difference that a specialist can make- and the right meds (if you choose to go that route- I did because otherwise my son would not have made it through school- he just could not sit still.)I know it's frustrating but please feel free to also e-mail me at my profile page, and we can talk more.Also, it's hard to get them engaged in this sometimes but a really good thing for kids that have these problems is some type of karate, it helps them improve their focus and use their energy in a positive way, and there are alot of karate instructors that work with kids that have focusing problems. I wish I had started my sons earlier in karate- it was helpful for them, and improves their self- esteem. They don't want to be "bad"- they are just like all of us- they want that approval but they just can't help themselves and we have to help them.

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    hiya i just need a bit of adice i have 5 kids but my youngest is far the worst if he had been my first i would not have had anymore . I just ry all the time i am so depresed i have not got anytime for my other kids not even got time for myself oh god please help me i have a lot of patience with kids ut they are running out with him he is so adorable when he is sleeping infact he is like a wolf in sheeps clothing i hardly go out i do online shopping as it is to stressful going shopping with jude i love him soso much but i feel i cannot get to him sometimes he is so far away unreachable at times .Alot of times i look into his eyes and it is like looking into the eyes of a shark very dark .I have tried to take him to parks he does not want to go on anything likes to touch then runs away i have to run after him as he does not listen if you shout his name he ignors me when i cath him he spits trys to bite nips headbuts and his screams go right through you and that can last for 5 to 35 mins he climbs everything my whole life is all around him when he is ready for bed i have to go when he evetually falls asleep it is like a weight is liffted from my shoulders. He hits and spits bits other kids as i said i have tried him at parks , the beach etc he is not interested in anything exept defianig me and climbing. My other kids hate him but its ashame he is so beautiful i just want to enjoy him laugh etc with him but i cannot get this from him he has no interest with cuddles unless it uits him .My son breaks everything his toys other kids toys he has got my house ruined when he takes a temper tantrum its not like you would get from terrible twos this is worse high pitch screaming everything in site getting destroyed head butted etc. My wee jude is also very bad to animals tries to jump on there head pulls the cats with there tails tries to poke dogs eyes etc is it me or is there something wrong please give me some advice


    linda rowley

  • amy jane profile image

    amy jane 

    11 years ago from Connecticut

    Great hub, Dorsi! I am quite familiar with this (much personal experience). I imagine it was very difficult back then, when no one really knew much about it. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  • Decrescendo profile image


    11 years ago

    Wow this is a serious health condition. Thanks for the tip.

  • silvalinings profile image


    11 years ago from Richardson, TX 75080

    Great hub, Dorsi. As a teacher, I have worked with many children with ADHD or ADD (without the hyperactivity). Their behavior is frequently mistaken for laziness, defiance or lack of intelligence. The fact is that these children are more often than not very bright and when given the tools to manage the problem can thrive and achieve. I look forward to future articles on this topic!



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