How I Discovered ADHD

being-different-fWhen my daughter Mikayla was four years old, a good friend of mine, who was qualified to recognize various issues in children, pulled me aside one day to tell me that, through observation and various interactions with her, she thought Mikayla had a sensory processing disorder and possibly ADHD.  Now, while I am no genius, I am smarter than the average picnic basket, and I knew Mikayla was different from the average child in that she was very high energy, bounced from topic to topic often, and was temperamental. She also had a number of idiosyncrasies, such as fiercely shaking her head from side-to-side for entertainment, fought brushing teeth and hair, had what I termed  supersonic hearing, and was very picky about clothing textures, that I attributed to her individuality.  Even at that age, it was also immediately apparent that she was extraordinarily creative, extremely bright and unusually articulate.  While the term “sensory processing disorder” was new,  I was vaguely familiar with ADHD, but I had never connected it to my daughter.   I have always accepted each child as different, with some being more high-spirited and more of a challenge than others, and I simply accepted that Mikayla was one of those children and would require some careful parenting skills to raise her well.  It never crossed my mind that there was something more to it.

Sure enough, after a complete evaluation by her pediatrician and a child development specialist, not only did Mikayla walk away with a formal diagnosis of ADHD, complimented by a co-occurring diagnosis of sensory processing disorder, but I realized I had ADHD as well. I was stunned, and then elated, because suddenly I had an explanation for a number of life long struggles that I had never gotten a handle on, AND I would be able to identify with my daughter, hopefully help her avoid some of the needless problems I had faced. Since then, I have embarked on a quest to learn as much as I can about ADHD, and to share that I have learned with others, in the hopes of weaving the fabric of support around those struggling to overcome.

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