Larry Jones, MD

“Don’t get in the way of progress. Be willing to do everything to make your family whole and healthy, even admitting when you’re wrong or need assistance.” – Larry

I know pride gets in the way of rational thinking and listening. Also, the concerns of a parent may cause you to lose your objectivity. However, if you have ADHD or your child does, it’s important to consider some key things. I’ve created this straightforward list to assist you.

  1. The earlier ADHD is treated, the better and faster the person can develop positive behaviors.
  2. Contrary to some of the newer literature, ADD is a recognized behavioral condition. So as a parent, if you are told that your child may have ADD or ADHD, you first need to go to your child’s pediatrician and explain the concerning behavior to the doctor. In fact, it would be good to have the teacher send a letter/note describing the behaviors to the pediatrician. The pediatrician will then have documentation from the school setting and be able to question you about the behaviors in the home setting. There should be no stigma attached to diagnosis and treatment. Treatment should be a combination of counseling and medication as recommended by professionals including a pediatrician, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker.
  3. Running to the pastor and asking him to pray is not going to cut it. Though seeking spiritual counseling and being active in church life can certainly help the entire family, don’t rely on unqualified persons to treat ADHD.
  4. Be more concerned about the child’s well-being than the label.
  5. Remember that your primary objective is to do what’s best for the child.
  6. If you find yourself going from relationship to relationship, it’s not the other person. You need to get an evaluation. It’s difficult for any individual to do self-counseling or adequate self-evaluation to address the issue. It takes time and a skilled counselor to work with you to help you set goals and boundaries for yourself and an ongoing relationship.
  7. Frequent job changes may suggest impulsivity and deficient coping mechanisms in accepting criticism. Such internalization of this feedback is not healthy and may be because you have some underlying ADHD traits. The ideal is a combination of counseling and medication. When reviewed in large studies, this combination works better than medication alone.
  8. A quick temper that results in an action you’ll regret tomorrow is a sign of impulsivity and shows a need for anger management. If you have a short fuse, it is best in those situations to have a restrained or possibly no response at all. Sometimes it’s best to acknowledge the disagreement or the feedback then say, “Let me think about that,” or “Let’s talk about this tomorrow/next week,” rather than erupting.
  9. Oftentimes, those gifted with ADHD have an easier time showing empathy to strangers, yet in family situations, they display resistance and anger. Be aware of this and address it if you notice this behavior in your family dynamic.

I compartmentalized my diagnosis. I felt I could handle it since I’d been dealing with it myself for so long. Was it always there? Was my life so hyperfocused around the academic that it didn’t show up until well into adulthood? As a child, I was a goody two-shoes; I didn’t get into trouble. When faced with an opportunity to get into trouble, I chose not to because I knew I would get caught—everyone in the neighborhood knew me. As an adult, my hyperfocus at work turned to lapses at home, with my wife picking up the slack.

Over time, keeping all cylinders firing all the time, trying to manage four ADD males, took its toll on her health. The added stress led to a long-term and permanent illness. Perhaps if I had gone to counseling earlier, it could have been avoided.

Through counseling, I have learned to address stressors in my life and, at this ripe old age, have worked on trying to find that life-work balance that, up to this point, had been a distant dream. I still like to keep busy and do a lot of different things, but I’m able to make better choices and to consider my wife in those decisions.

( Continued… )

© 2018 Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir by Audrey R. Jones and Larry A. Jones, MD. Published by Enable Tables Media a Division Of Smart Management Inc.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying form without written permission of the publisher. The exception would be in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher.

Although every precaution has been taken to verify the accuracy of the information contained herein, the author and publisher assume no responsibility for any errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for damages that may result from the use of information contained within. Books may be purchased in quantity by contacting the publisher directly: Enable Tables Media, a division of Smart Management Inc.

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Keywords: Nonfiction, Parenting, Relationships, Family, ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Adult ADHD, Childhood ADHD

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