ADHD: What is My Child Feeling?

We receive letters from children, adolescents and young adults who live with ADHD. One of the most heartrending came from a boy in the seventh grade. Here is some of what he wrote:

When I began the second grade, I went from having a good teacher to a hard one. I did not feel ready for second grade, and felt different from the other kids. Writing words were hard, like writing the Korean numbers. No letters or numbers made sense, and I had trouble remembering everything I learned. I did not understand and remember the directions, and everyone seemed mad at me all the time.

When you’re in second grade, you feel pressure to wear cool clothes and hang out with cool friends and do well in school. I began to feel like I was a failure and heard my teacher tell my mom I was at the bottom of my class. What did that mean? I did not know, really, what that meant until the other kids made fun of me and called me “stupid.” I felt stupid. I told my mom I was stupid. My pride was hurt because I didn’t feel like the other kids, or I didn’t feel like I belonged. Everyone seemed to have fun and school stuff was easy for them.

I had one friend like me, and we started a club only for kids like me. My teacher told my parents that I might have a learning disease, and should have some tests. I had a tutor everyday after school, and I learned the stuff real good at night, but at school I could not remember what I’d learned or the right way to do problems.

In fifth grade I still had trouble learning, and people, especially my teachers, were getting more and more mad at me for forgetting. Sometimes, I would forget all the stuff and have fun. Sometimes I would not. Mostly, not.

My mom tried really hard to help me remember things, and she was starting to get mad at me, too. They told me I was not trying. The teacher told my mom I was lying about not remembering and that I was lazy. I’m not lazy. I’m just so tired of people telling me to try harder. I did not blame them for my disease, so why does everybody blame me?

He goes on and describes a terrible thing that happened at school when he was forced by a teacher to pick up trash because he wouldn’t do his homework. Kids started calling him the “Trash Man” and the name stuck.

I wish I could say that this is the only letter like this we have received at Focus on the Family. Unfortunately, it is not. These young people, without proper parental and medical care, can easily become defeated — first academically, then emotionally, socially and spiritually. With prayer and proper care, these specially gifted kids can have academic success. They can discover who God created them to be and find what He has in store for them.

Medical information within this site is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. Please consult a licensed health care professional for the treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition.

Walt Larimore, M.D. has been called “one of America’s best known family physicians.” He is a nationally-known and nationally sought after speaker and health expert.