The Question ADHD Kids Dread Most

September is National Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month. Most activities will happen during AD/HD Awareness Week (September 14-20). I think there may also be an Awareness Day in there somewhere. This gives everyone multiple chances to celebrate if they forget to pay attention the first time around.

I'm starting off the month by raising awareness of what it's like to be a kid with ADHD. Parents frequently express their frustrations about managing their ADHD children. But unless they have it themselves (and there is a strong likelihood that one parent does), it is very difficult to imagine what it's like from a child's point-of-view.

Let's begin with the question kids with ADHD dread most......WHY?!!?!?
  • Why didn't you turn in your homework?
  • Why don't you pay attention in class?
  • Why didn't you come home in time for dinner?
  • Why didn't you do your chores after school?
  • Why didn't you do what I asked you to do?
  • Why didn't you finish your project?
  • Why don't you stop and think before doing (fill in the blank)?
Children quickly learn that the following answers are not what parents want to hear:
  • I forgot.
  • It's too boring.
  • I didn't know what time it was.
  • I was going to do them later.
  • I didn't hear you.
  • I didn't feel like it.
  • I don't know!!
Of course this is frustrating for parents. It's easy to interpret their child's behavior as carelessness, defiance, laziness, or inconsideration. As a result, parents react with reprimands, lectures, and punishment. Children may apologize and promise not to do it again, but this stops working after the 20th, 30th, or 50th time. They then try denial, blaming others, and elaborate "stories" to avoid parents' anger and further punishment. Parents eventually catch on and stop trusting their child. Increasing conflict and lack of trust (on both sides) makes it impossible to engage in constructive problem-solving. These negative patterns of interaction are often well-established before a child is diagnosed. The resulting damage to family relationships and a child's self-esteem is hard to reverse. This is why an early diagnosis and professional help are so important.

This brings us back to ADHD Awareness Week. The goal this year is to "raise awareness about the importance of identifying and treating this potentially debilitating disorder early in life." (See more about CHADD's campaign here.)

Here are 10 more reasons CHADD members give for why an early diagnosis is important.


  1. the ADHD Awareness Week is great time for focusing on positive traits of persons with ADHD. Let's spread awareness with the song "Can you repeat"

  2. Hyperactive--
    Thank-you for the link. I enjoyed the song. I visited your website and like your "focus" on the positive traits of ADHD. Keep up the good work!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.