What are ADHD children like when they are 25, 35, 45 and beyond?
Because ADHD affects the whole child both cognitively and emotionally, the earlier it is diagnosed and treated with medication and talk therapy, the better the result for the child and his/her family for a lifetime.
Here is Charlotte’s story. She was not treated until she was in her 50s. As a child she was what her mother affectionately (kind of) called her, “lovely little tornado.”
She could not sit still long enough to play a board game like Monopoly. When she went to the beach for a day she insistently wanted to know what she was going to do when they left the beach and what they were going to have for dinner, NOW!
In school she had her hands up constantly and blurted out answers before she was called on. If she got into a fight with another girl she’d pull her hair and even punch her in the face. By the time she was in fourth grade she had a reputation. She got blamed by teachers and kids alike for misbehavior she often didn’t do. In seventh grade her parents threatened to send her away to school unless she shaped up and stopped her defiant and rude behavior (little did they know how much she was suffering inside).
After that ultimatum fear ruled her every move. She forced herself to study all the time and kept away from other kids so she wouldn’t get into trouble. Smart, she started to get fabulous grades for the first time. She found the positive affirmation from her grades intoxicating and spent her high school years doing nothing but studying. She went to medical school and became a successful pediatric surgeon. Then she ran into trouble with the hospital administration because she refused to take the time to write up her dictated notes. She finally got thrown out of the hospital for non-compliance. At 56 she was finally diagnosed with ADHD and started medication and talk therapy.
Does Charlotte’s story sound extreme? Would this story happen now? Hopefully not. We know so much more about ADHD today. We know the symptoms (lack of focus, whirlwind drive, distractibility, procrastination, disorganization) will continue into adulthood. But we also know that if it is treated early the severity of the symptoms are diminished because the child and his/her family learn coping behaviors. The interpersonal and self-esteem problems that Charlotte suffered are minimized or just don’t result when a child learns to focus and is relieved of the driving force of hyperactivity.
The “take-home” message is clear—if you suspect you or your child or relative have the typical symptoms of ADHD or if you are afraid you or someone you know is “hyper,” distractible or is smart but can’t accomplish his/her goals, then GET HELP!
You are only a click away from finding an ADHD expert in your community that can help put things right.
To find out more about ADHD and the procedures that we use in my practice to diagnose ADHD, including the innovative Quotient® ADHD System, visit my website www.maggiebakerphd.com. To find an ADHD expert in your community who is also using the Quotient ADHD System in their practice visit www.biobdx.com/FindaProvider.aspx
Baker & Baker Psychology/Psychiatry Associates
1200 Remington Road
Wynnewood, PA 19096
Dr. Maggie Baker has specialized in ADHD/ADD since the 1980s. Both her husband and son have ADHD/ADD, so she has lived with it personally as well as studied it professionally. She treats children, adults and families. Her treatment interventions are based on empathic understanding of the individual and his/her dynamic relationships with significant others. Dr. Baker’s practice, Baker & Baker Psychology/Psychiatry Associates is located near the Philadephia, PA area. Visit her website at www.maggiebakerphd.com