Originally Posted by janewhite1
Well, that's a complicated question. Yes, you are either born with ADHD or develop it early in life (doctors aren't totally sure yet.)
The thing is, no ADHD child will complain about having focus problems. They think it's normal, because they've always been that way. I was diagnosed at 19, and up until that that point, I believed that not only was it totally normal to have to concentrate almost to the point of physically popping sweat to remain attentive during a 50-minute class, I thought that the reason other people paid attention better was because other people tried that hard all the time.
Usually, people with ADHD have academic problems in high school. But HS is a very structured place, and the school work is really not difficult. A bright ADHD kid with a supportive family may do fine in HS, then crash and burn in college. (I did.) But I also had a record of ADHD-like difficulties going back to age 5.
Here are some questions for you:
When she was younger, did she have trouble following instructions if you asked her to do more than one thing at a time? Did she sometimes appear not to hear when you spoke to her, especially if she was involved in something else? Any space cadet tendencies?
Was she ever given large projects or research papers in high school? How did those go? What were her strengths and weaknesses in school?
This is a lonnnng reply ! You might be sorry you asked those questions......
As far as "space cadet tendencies", I have to laugh.......she was spacey and
we all had a saying for her......"Earth to Andrea!?!" She was not very good
with spatial direction (neither was / am I) and she always seemed to be
somewhere else. We just thought it was kind of cute / funny and never
gave it a 2nd thought. NOW, in hindsight, it all makes perfect sense.
Andrea did well on large projects and research papers in H.S. .
Her strengths were in voice, theater and piano. She was born with this gift.....she plays piano by ear and her singing voice is beautiful. She tolerated her H.S. studies. Math & Science were not her favorites but with diligent work she was able to do well.
I do not remember her having any problem with instructions from me
or anyone. She managed her many responsibilities quite well i.e. school work, jobs after school, voice and piano lessons, many major parts in Jr. High and H.S. plays, athletics, plus her busy social life.
Andrea popped in for a visit as I was typing this to you.
Upon being asked, I told her what I was doing and she was fine with it.
This is what she told me today after I asked her a string of questions.....I was quite surprised and also relieved.
She said her Dr. prescribing the Adderall is fully aware of her high BP problem
and that he had to get the OK from her cardiologist in order to prescribe
the Adderall. I did not tell you that Andrea had open heart surgery 2 yrs ago.
She had a burst in her aorta, due to not taking her BP medicine consistently,
causing the return of her dangerously high BP.
She is a very fortunate girl that she had the surgery WHEN she had it.
So, I am very much relieved that the left hand knows what the
right hand is doing re: meds......don't need to worry about that anymore.
She told me that at age 20, while still in college, that she had met someone
with ADHD who was on Adderall and was doing very well with her studies.
It was at this point that she related her own difficulty with learning
in college, with the fact that she might have ADHD as well.
She was tested and received a positive diagnosis. I asked her why she
never told me this at that time. She said she did but that I was too
embroiled with my divorce and obviously didn't remember. That is all so
true and I feel terrible about not remembering such an important fact
about my daughter's life. I had believed that she was on Adderall for all
the wrong reasons this whole time. Now, I clearly see how it is a
necessity in her life. She is doing very well with her college course load
because of it and I'm sure she's coping much better with her life in general.
She mentioned the fact that if she had been on Adderall in school that
she probably would have gotten all A's.
She confessed for the 1st time today, that she indeed, did have a hard time juggling her life before Adderall but that she just thought that was her normal. I asked her how she seemingly juggled so well,
all of her balls in the air ? She said because I have ADHD, it is / was
normal for me to be all over the place anyway!
It does make sense in a convoluted way.
Now, knowing that she had ADHD all along, I am still truly stupefied, to say
the least, at how well she coped. A lot of what she did required excellent
memorization. I am very sad / sorry that we were not aware of her
condition, so that we could have given her the relief that she needed.
I am also amazed that no teacher ever recognized this problem.
She says that she has been prescribed the newest ADHD med, Vyvance, and has been on it for 1 month. She is noticeably, to me, very unfocused on this new med. I asked her why she was "all over the place" and she said that
Vyvance is not working for her. Her doctor wants Andrea to experiment w/
this drug because, as compared to Adderall, Vyvance causes NO ups & downs
and metabolizes differently in the body giving a longer lasting effect.....well,
it "aint" working for her, at least on the dose that she's on.
She told me that her prescribed dosage of Adderall was 20mg 3X a day.
She said it works very well while it lasts but that she had to take it 5X a day
to get the optimum results........NOT GOOD......she has an appt. w/ her
Dr. tomorrow to discuss her unsatisfying experience w/ Vyvance thus far.
Do you remember what dose of Adderall that you were on ?