Q. How many ADD kids does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Let’s play video games!

Hilarious! Saw this joke and I had to share it with you. If you didn’t laugh you probably don’t understand. You don’t live in the world of ADD. If you laughed – Welcome!

Tiny Ninja was diagnosed with ADD in first grade. I always knew something was going on with him. He has never been hyperactive but I knew there was more there than met the eye. (I got his hearing checked twice. I was secretly hoping for some sort of evidence that he actually couldn’t HEAR me rather than the fact that he was clearly IGNORING me.) People (and teachers, grrr…) always told me, “He’s a boy! Don’t worry. He’ll come into his own.”

Um, okay. I never listen anymore. It cost me a good 6 months of wasted time.

With the ADD diagnosis come lots of other challenges like learning disabilities, underdeveloped fine motor skills and speech issues requiring therapy. We’ve been pretty intense with him for the past couple of years working with a tutor (Miss Deena rocks!), summer reading clinics, dealing with IEPs, special diets, DHA pills, etc… (Oh, the money we have spent.)

Actually, Ninja’s challenges were most of the reason why I left my full-time PR and marketing job two years ago. I just couldn’t fulfill my 40 hour a week duties and care for his needs at the same time. (New boss. Female. Who had kids, even. No sympathy. Another grrrr…) It was the best decision I ever made.  In the end, we even had to switch the kids from their Catholic school to public school in order to get the services he needed.

It took us awhile to fully understand all of the implications of ADD. We were so scared of a misdiagnosis and “medication.” We tried special diets and behavior modification. We tried structured time schedules, a new school and intense regimens. In the end, his grades kept slipping even with all the intervention. We were making ZERO progress. So we went to a wonderful doctor and gave some non-stimulant medication a try.

I felt like a jerk.

Tiny Ninja had an immediate response. Night and day. All of a sudden it was like he could hear us. He answered questions in paragraphs. He could finish his homework alone. He could read a book.  Wow.  I can’t even describe it to you.

His teachers were flabbergasted. (I didn’t tell them at first. Wanted to see their reaction. I’m sneaky like that.) So, of course, now I feel like a bad parent because I WAITED SO DARN LONG! You can never win, you know?  There is such a stigma that comes with medication.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY?

Don’t be afraid to trust your gut instinct. And don’t worry about what other people say or their judgments. Just do what is best for your family.