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Parents of ADHD Children

Is it ADHD or is she just spoiled?

I’m rather perplexed at the moment, for I see all the signs of ADHD in my daughter and she has been diagnosed by her pediatrician.  However at times it seems like she can turn it off when she wants to.  I sit here and read along with everyone’s posts everyday and totally relate, usually looking for the same answers myself.  Then sometimes when I think she just’s having a total melt down I notice it’s like a light bulb going off in her head and she realizes that it’s something she really wants and she can make herself focus and do it.  So it makes me wonder is it that she does not have enough structure, rules, and enforced consequences?  She’s so smart and I’m just trying to understand everything.  I read so many things on ADHD and use so much stuff I learn to help her and see her excel, but is that she just has to want to as well and I’m doing too much for her?  Can anyone else relate?


Our kids with ADHD all look differently, but I have seen some similiar traits with my son. When our kids are motivated or a task is novel, our kids tend to focus. I don’t think it something that they necessarily control, it’s just how they are wired.  This is so timely in my house. My son struggles to stay focused for much of anything which impacts his ability to memorize things and complete really boring tasks.  He just joined a school aged military group that required him to read 22 BORING chapters and memorize lots of unrelated information.  Guess what?  He did it!  He still can’t tell you his multiplication facts, but boy does he know his Navy information. So no, I don’t think your daughter is spoiled, I think she has ADHD. smile

Posted by Nemo on Nov 27, 2013 at 2:29am

Thanks Nemo, it’s hard getting other people to understand this.

Posted by pretty_eyes on Nov 27, 2013 at 2:38am

It’s so funny that I clicked on this…because I had thought the same thing for the longest time. My son is all over the place most of the time. When it comes to something that he is very interested in…he’s a completely different child. While he was being evaluated…he brought a transformer toy with him, I wanted to show the doctor how well he could focus…how precise he was with it. I was in denial of ADHD and was sure he was just a spoiled brat! The doctor said that while my intentions were good…I actually helped along his diagnosis. He said that my son actually showed him his ability to hyper-focus on something that reallyyyyy interested him, while he blew everything else off. My attempt to disprove his diagnosis actually helped confirm it.

Posted by LosingMyMind29 on Nov 27, 2013 at 5:40am

My child with ADHD will hyperfocus when something is of interest to him, yet he struggles to stay focused on things that do not interest him.  ADHD does not mean that they cannot focus, it’s just that they cannot control their ability to focus.
The subjects he likes, math, science,reading and computer programming, are his strengths and he can focus on these to the exclusion of all else.

For subjects that are his weakness and not of interest, such as writing, drawing and social studies, he becomes easily distracted, procastinates and struggles to get his homework done.

Posted by Lande on Nov 27, 2013 at 10:54am

A child with ADHD can focus when something is of interest to them or extra stimulating. That’s part of their neurology as Dr. Dodson explains in this article on The Secrets of the ADHD Brain:

Yes, it looks like a lack of motivation when they can focus on some things but not others, but that’s a hallmark of ADHD and not a motivation issue at all.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 27, 2013 at 8:17pm

Agree with the previous comments - every expert I’ve read says that the inability to concentrate on “boring” stuff is absolutely characteristic of AD/HD and not a lack of character or motivation.  Start from this and you get a different perspective on motivation.  The question is not how to get your child to focus on stuff that doesn’t interest her - it is how to fund ways to make whatever she does need to focus on interesting for her.  Start by asking what stuff is sufficiently important, then help her find angles or perspectives that make it interesting enough that she can concentrate or even hyperfocus.  This is a skill she will need so encourage her to develop it herself.

Posted by Cedar on Nov 29, 2013 at 10:01am

Hi Everyone,
I have a 6yr-old son, first gradewho has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD.  After trying Play Therapy (he refused to play), and some behavior therapy, we have decided to try Focalin (2.5 mg).  So far not a big difference, so may need to up it.  My question to the group is: “Does anyone know of any tutoring we can do at home to help him with his letter sounds and phonics specifically?”  He is reading sight words pretty well, and doing O.K. with reading in school.  But, he is really behind in phonics.  Thanks.

Posted by juwanda on Nov 30, 2013 at 11:30pm

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