Why It Wasn’t Wrong to Tell My Kids About Their ADHD
A little help from Harry Potter
My children are now 9 and 6, and both of them have received an ADHD diagnosis.
As my children have been diagnosed, I’ve shared the news with them, because I believe that understanding their strengths and weaknesses will help them accept and advocate for themselves. While both experience some general anxiety related to their diagnoses, this choice has proven to be a good one for them.
For my daughter, understanding that her inability to focus in the classroom, poor organizational skills, and difficulty with emotional regulation weren’t her fault — but rather a result of the way her brain works — has been a tremendous confidence booster. As she learns more about herself, she understands that while these areas may be a challenge, they aren’t impossible. She simply has to work harder than others to achieve them.
For my son, who was recently diagnosed, the ADHD was easier to understand and accept, but dyspraxia was something we both needed to study. Together, we’ve researched the disorder and discussed what it means for him now and in the future.
This was hard for him at first. He felt like an outcast with this rare diagnosis. But once he learned that Harry Potter himself — actor Daniel Radcliffe, the celebrity he most admires — also has dyspraxia, his outlook changed. He recognizes he can do anything. He simply just has to work harder than others in some areas of his life.