Every time I was ready to tear my hair out, I would remind myself that Chris was not really his chronological age, but was three years younger. This always served to help me calm down and see the situation in a new light. With this insight his “inappropriate behavior” was not so inappropriate after all. And my response then could be geared to what he could understand and appreciate.
Dr. Martha Denckla, our closing plenary speaker at the CHADD conference in San Francisco earlier this month, added a new twist to this insight. She suggested we consider our children with ADHD as both absolutely brilliant and three years younger than their actual age. What a fantastic combination.
Your precocious and delightful seven-year-old is hiding in the body of a ten-year-old. That sixteen-year-old teen who wants desperately to get his driver’s license is really a twelve-year-old who wants to do what all the big kids do. No wonder there is such a sense of disconnect with what is expected in life and what our kids do.
Today my twenty-five-year-old son is a well-grounded and successful twenty-one-year-old. He is thriving as a junior in college who has found his passion in life. He is my late bloomer. And he is blooming beautifully.
Ruth Hughes, PhD, is the CEO of CHADD.
Thank you for this!!! You have given me hope for my sons future.....
I try to remember that and act accordingly with both my children. The fact that the rest of the world sees them as their chronological age makes it difficult to keep them safe, both physically and emotionally.
It’s scary, especially when you think that you have to prepare your child to go to college and they are chronologically really just 14…going into a world full of grown up activities that they may not be ready for. But also, gives us hope that one day they will be all grown up…
It's hard to remember...I've been spring cleaning,I know, I KNOW!, and keep finding stray photos. I'm going to frame some from 2008 and hang them where I'll see my BRILLIANT 10 and 11 year-olds to help me REMEMBER..."No wonder there is such a sense of disconnect with what is expected in life and what our kids do."
While I understand and "see" my ADHD son as developmentally three years behind, it still concerns me that, as he nears middle and high school, he is so completely clueless socially. Not only that, but he really doesn't "enjoy" his peers and prefers to be with younger kids. Consequently, he doesn't persue or have many "social connections" with kids his age--and--he doesn't feel comfortable with or even want those relationships. He says, "I just don't even understand what [they're] talking about." Hence, he has some lonely weekends when his younger brother (who is exactly 3 years younger!!)is tied up. While it may not be a problem for me to accept this lag, not so the kids in school. What do we do about that?????
Anonymous, good question. I am in the same boat.
Wow! That's exactly what you gave me and my husband is hope. We have a brilliant 8 year old and you're right, we often have to remind ourselves to be patient due to his 5 year old behavior :-)
I was so excited to read the NY times article because it was almost the EXACT SAME road my daughter took, but fortunately my
daughter is still here. She abused adderall from the age of 18 to 34 double dipping on her scripts. She lost 5 jobs in 4 years was jittery and a mess. I remember asking CHADD if adderal is addictive (2007) and you said "no". Well it is !!! And there are a lot of ADHD people who are addicted and adderal is too often their first addiction.I would
warn young parents to be VERY careful giving stimulants and wean the child off before he/she turns 18 because then they are adults and can abuse it. I am thrilled this front page article came to illustrate this problen in my family and our country. YOu called addiction a mental disorder, so is ADHD; I think we should look more closely at addiction, adhd, and stimulant
abuse. CHADD should be more careful and admit this is a problem we have to look at before more young adults are affected,
I so understand you and what I have read! My daughter is 21 and has ADD and had always been two years behind in social skills and responsibility. I never heard about the connection. Thanks for the wonderful info
I can heartily endorse Community Colleges for our sons, if you are lucky enough to have a good one close to you. The atmosphere, a cross between high school and college, is not as stressful. They still live at home, so you can help them dig out of any holes they jump into.
It has worked very well for my elder son, and my younger son is taking notice.
Help - a naysayer in my life has said "a developmental lag of 30 percent" would equate to -1.5 years for a 5 year old and -1.8 years for a six years. Thus, based on that statistic a chronological 5 year old is a 4.2 year-old.
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