1. People don’t get it.

ADHD is not a personality defect; it’s a neurobehavioral disorder.

2. You can love your child and still be super annoyed.


ADHD kids forget their homework, their lunchbox, and the jacket you just bought at Target. Even when you remind them. Which you do. All the time.

3. It’s okay to feel angry.

Every day feels like Groundhog’s Day. Same issue, different day. You’re only human.

4. It can be a lonely road.

People, ADHD does NOT mean: Avoid/Diss/Harangue/Don’t Invite.

5. Other parents are judgy.


This is a big reason why it’s so important to find people who get you—and your kid.

6. Many ADHD kids (two-thirds) have other challenges.

Think obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), anxiety, autism, sensory issues. It ain’t easy.

7. Some people don’t believe ADHD exists.

“Good parenting will fix that ADHD.” Right. And the world is flat, vaccines are bad, etc.

8. People will interrogate you over your child’s diet.

ABC / Via gph.is

Does he eat gluten? Fish oils? Red dye #40? Processed foods?

9. Thinking ahead is good.

ADHD kid + snack + bustling restaurant + quick service = good times

10. Failing to think ahead is bad.

ADHD kid + hunger + quiet restaurant + long wait = losing your mind (both you and your child!)

11. A sense of humor is required.

Fox / Via gph.is

If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Laughing is better.

12. Everyone has an opinion on medication (and they’re not afraid to share it.)

“Is she on meds? Which ones? Have you tried homeopathy?”

13. If you are medicating, you will wonder if you shouldn’t.

Disney / Via gph.is

Will she be short, get cancer, suffer side effects?

14. If you’re not medicating, you will wonder if you should.

Will he become a criminal, drug addict, dropout?

15. You will worry that your child has been labeled.

He’s difficult! She’s a nuisance! That kid is trouble!

16. You will worry that your child is misunderstood.

She doesn’t try! His head’s in the clouds! She’s a daydreamer!

17. You will love or hate your doctor.

Depending on how your child is doing and how long it takes them to call you back.

18. You will love or hate your school.


Depending on how your child is doing and how often the teacher calls you.

19. You will suspect your child has early-onset Alzheimers.

She doesn’t—even if she can’t remember what you told her ten seconds ago.

20. You will suspect that your child is a narcissist.

You will suspect that your child is a narcissist.


ADHD kids are hyper-focused on what they want. Think of your child as the world’s most effective self-advocate. It’ll make you feel better.

21. Potty training never ends.


You have to slow down and pay attention to have good aim. Neither of which is your kid’s forte. You may want to consider toilet seat covers.

22. You will be pushed to the brink of your humanity.

You will google “military school. ” And mean it.

23. Your heart will expand.

You will become a deeper, more compassionate person. Watching your child struggle does that to a parent.

24. Your nails will grow longer and sharper.

Ever heard of a mama bear? That’s the parent of an ADHD kid.

25. You will develop advocacy skills you never thought you had.

SST? IEP? 504? You know exactly what they mean.

26. You will be jealous.

BBC / Via gph.is

Why is everybody else’s kid so easy? Never mind, compare = despair.

27. Gratitude is everything.

You will be forever grateful to the parents, teachers, and kids who show compassion, inclusion, and humor. They will reach out to you and your child. You will never forget it.

28. You will learn to LET IT GO.


And if not, wine helps.

29 Things Only a Person with ADHD Would Understand

1. The feeling that you might explode if you don’t let the words come out of your mouth. All of the words. Right. Now.


2. Keeping track of a conversation with Venn diagrams, because you’re only two sentences in and your brain is already flooded.


3. The blank space that appears in your mind when you’re asked a question while thinking about something else. It has a sound too: “Uhhhhhhhhh.”


4. The panic that comes when your office manager asks at the weekly meeting, “Who’s been using all the Post-its?”


5. Coworkers kindly point out stray Post-its that get stuck to the side of your head.


6. The occasional realization that grownups actually do iron their clothes, but that has absolutely no effect on whether you do.


7. Obsessive adherence to a system, and the extremes you’ll go to to keep anyone from messing with it. Until you get bored and just don’t care anymore.


8. Hyperventilating when you look at a calendar, especially after forgetting you even had one. And, uhhhhh … you might have missed some stuff.


9. Taking 45 minutes to pick out a pair of black socks at the store because OMG all of the socks!


10. Doing the dishes, and every other chore at the same time. (Good thing I’m vacuuming now because I found everything the kids stuffed under the sofa and … Wait a minute, did I feed the goldfish? Oh hey, I need to look up that one thing on the Internet about fish tanks … and maybe I’ll just top off the fish tank with some water in the kitchen and … OMG THE DISHES! THE SINK IS OVERFLOWING! Wait, where did I put the goldfish?)


11. That one time you found your purse in the fridge.

ADHD_purse in-the-fridge

12. An inexplicable urge to ride your bike around the neighborhood. At midnight.


13. Cleaning out your wallet and finding receipts from 1998 … the last time you cleaned out your wallet.


14. You wake up at 7 a.m., but you’re not really awake until 10, when the stimulant meds and maybe some ill-advised caffeine kick in.


15. Waking up at 6 a.m. and shooting out of bed like a pebble from a slingshot screaming “HEY GUYS! MIND IF I VACUUM?”


16. The amount of time that passes between an idea popping into your head and your need to act on that impulse is about the width of a hair.


17. You know that the easiest way to clean any room is to throw everything away.


18. Pre-diagnosis, your favorite beverage was Mountain Dew, and your favorite time of day was 3 a.m.

ADHD_favorite- beverage

19. The best pet for you is one that reminds you when it needs to be fed.


20. Your high school career can be summed up by: “class clown,” last minute miracles (and disasters) passing for homework, and lots of detention for being late to school.

ADHD high school

21. Parties make for sensory overload, because there’s a thing over there. And a person over there. And a stuffed mushroom over there!

ADHD sensory overload

22. You keep 26 windows open on your computer.

ADHD Windows

23. The future is now. No, not later, now. Right now!

ADHD future

24. In sight, in mind. But out of sight, out of mind. If the pants drawer is closed, those pants don’t exist. Therefore, I shall not wear pants.

ADHD In sight in mind

25. The song “Let’s Do The Time Warp” from Rocky Horror Picture Show has special meaning for you.

ADHD Time Warp

26. The only reason you’re not super good at playing the piano is because you’re dedicated to the trombone first. But before that comes the ukulele.

ADHD music

27. You have to rewash your last load of laundry because you forgot it was in the washer.

ADHD laundry

28. Paying your kids to do household chores would be a great idea, except they have ADHD too. (So next thing you know, the living room is riddled with Nerf bullets and you’re realizing you’re out of ammo, but the kids are still packing some Nerf heat! And nobody’s cleaning.)

ADHD household chores

29. When your mental filter kicks in two seconds too late, and you’ve just complimented a confused stranger in the grocery store line on his cabbage.

ADHD Beautiful cabbage

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