4 thoughts on “Children With ADHD 40 Years Later

  • October 10, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Our 25 year old daughter was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD when she was seven years old. She also has two types of epilepsy. I never enabled her. The formative years were hard on her and there were many times that I was yelling at her and she was crying but she went to college and successfully graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Legal studies and criminal law. She now wants to get her Juris Doctorate Degree. Poor parenting is a major problem in children’s lives. People need to stop coddling and enabling their children.

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    • October 10, 2019 at 3:46 pm

      I’m glad to hear that your daughter was able to achieve that — getting a college degree with ADHD is definitely an accomplishment. Despite the discouraging statistics on ADHD and education underachievement, there are definitely plenty of ADHDers like your daughter (and me) who do get college educations. The million-dollar question, of course, is what allows some ADHDers to graduate from college despite their symptoms. In my experience, supportive parents, access to opportunities, and a few teachers who make a difference often play a role.

      I don’t think this is how you meant it, but I wouldn’t want other parents of ADHDers to come away from your daughter’s story with the impression that if they just yell at their children it’ll address ADHD symptoms. One thing that’s pretty sure is that ADHDers who graduated college span the whole spectrum of parenting styles, and that plenty of ADHDers whose parents didn’t “enable” them still weren’t able to receive college degrees.

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  • October 15, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I, having a 17 yr old “ADHDer,” am worried about my sons future. While he wants to, and we plan on him either going to college or going in the military. I worry about both. A lot. I took him off his meds at the end of the 2019 school year. He doesn’t want to take them. And he can’t be on them and get into the military. He was prescribed ritilan at age 5. He took that and other meds when the ritilan didn’t seem to work for 14 years, daily. He has an IEP with ADHD as the reason. He took the ASVAB this yr, his junior yr. and scored low. He will retake it next yr. He wants to be a police officer, whether in the military or getting a CJ degree through college. What are your thoughts on kids with ADHD and the military? I may be pessimistic, but I worry he won’t be able to accomplish his goals. He seems to be behind academically and emotionally. I would GREATLY appreciate your insight.

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    • October 15, 2019 at 7:17 pm

      Hi Beth, I don’t have the experience to tell you about ADHD and the military specifically, so I can give you my thoughts more generally on choosing a career path with ADHD. Basically, ADHDers are especially sensitive to being in an environment that they find inherently motivating/rewarding, and that’s well-matched with their strengths. The fact that this is what your son wants to do is a promising first step in this regard, and the second step might have to be trying it and seeing if it’s a good fit.

      Of course, in the case of the military this is more complicated because unlike with the criminal justice degree you can’t just drop it if it’s not working. So if this is the path your son wants to take, I think he should talk with people who have military experience and make sure that, after getting a realistic picture of what he’s committing to, he has conviction that this is the right fit for him.

      I don’t know if your son is currently seeing a therapist, but if not, I would consider working with one in order to help your son develop coping skills that will help with whatever career path he opts for. Ultimately, your son may take a linear or a non-linear path to finding a rewarding job, but for what it’s worth I think it bodes well for him that you are clearly invested in understanding ADHD and supporting him. Best of luck!

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