Dear Miss Arbour,
I was one of the unfortunate people who viewed your video “The Truth About ADHD.” I am not a violent person, but the words that came out of your mouth made me want to go that route. Not only were you obnoxious and idiotic, you were also completely ignorant about ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and were giving your uneducated opinion about a real mental disorder that affects over 1 billion people worldwide, according to CHADD. ADHD is nothing to scoff at, and your video made me and many other people (particularly parents of children with ADHD) extremely irate.
You don’t know me, and I don’t know if you will ever read this, but I am a mother of an amazing 7-year-old girl with ADHD. I am also married to a wonderful man with ADHD. I can assure you that ADHD is very real and it has been around for a very long time. There have always been people with ADHD. It’s just that now there is an actual name for it and much more scientific research has been done over the years. That is why it is easier to diagnose now. ADHD affects people every day in a number of ways, both positively and negatively. According to Child Mind Institute, ADHD is “classified as a psychiatric disorder, which simply means that it’s a condition that involves mental functioning that causes significant impairment.”
You claim that children diagnosed with ADHD are just hyper, and that’s just the way kids are. Since you do not have a child with ADHD (or any children at all, for that matter), you have no idea what you are talking about.
There are three different types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive-compulsive, and combined. Not all children with ADHD are hyper. ADHD affects people differently, just like autism. When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, more coexisting conditions can arise as well, such as depression, anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder, bipolar disorder, and more. I know you think that is all BS, as well, because you have no experience with ADHD, but I can assure you from experience it’s not.
It completely shattered my heart and soul when my then then-6-year-old daughter told me she wanted to die. Can you imagine a child who hasn’t even lost a tooth yet wanting to end her life? Of course, you can’t, Nicole, or else you wouldn’t have made your video. ADHD, depression, and all the other coexisting conditions are nothing to belittle and make fun of. Don’t give me that crap that these children are that way because of bad parenting either.
I may not be perfect, but I am a damn good mother, and I would do anything for my children. ADHD is genetic and it never goes away, no matter how awesome of a parent you are. You can’t get rid of ADHD, but you can find ways to help lessen the negative effects of ADHD and harness the positive effects of ADHD by using tools and aids, accommodations at school and work, dietary changes, and of course, the big one: medication.
You claim that parents are “drugging their kids for acting like kids.” You are so out of line here! Deciding to put your child on medication is a very personal decision, not to mention very emotional and stressful. Most parents of ADHDers first try alternative methods before trying medication, such as behavioral therapy and dietary changes. If they work for the child, that is wonderful, but that is not the case for most children, including mine.
My husband and I hoped our daughter would respond well to treatment without medication, but she was one of many who needed more help. That is exactly what ADHD medication is — help. You wouldn’t deny a child with diabetes or epilepsy their medication, right? (I’d hope not, Nicole!) So then why deny a child with ADHD their medication if they need it?
Just because ADHD is an invisible disability doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously. By allowing our daughter to take ADHD medication, she is getting the help, support, care, and love she needs and deserves. With her medication, she is excelling in school and extracurricular activities. She is making friends. She has gained self confidence. She is thriving. What were once my tears for feeling guilty, embarrassed, and like a failure are now my happy tears for being able to help my child be happy with herself and her ADHD.
Before your video, I didn’t even know who you were. Actually, I still don’t know who you are, and to be honest, I don’t care. Since it has been less than a week since you posted your video and it has nearly 5 million views though, I felt the need to write this letter to you, to your followers, and to anyone who sees this ridiculously idiotic video, to set everyone straight about ADHD and to defend people with ADHD, as well as the many families and friends who love them.
But there is so much more to ADHD than what I wrote about here, so if anyone who reads this would like to learn more about ADHD, please feel free to join our ADHDmazing tribe at My Little Villagers, where there is no judgment. Only love, respect, and compassion — oh, and no obnoxious videos about subjects I clearly have no knowledge about.
Founder of My Little Villagers