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I Didn't Mean To By Patricia Alexander

When I was little, it seemed I was always getting into trouble. I didn't mean to, but sometimes it was like my brain was going too fast for me to think clearly. Mom would ask me to get my hat, coat and books because it was time for the bus. Some how I would only remember my coat. Mom was beginning to get really frustrated with me, because it was happening so much.

At school I'd get in trouble too, mostly for not listening or blurting out the answers before I was asked. Sometimes I just couldn't sit still, so I'd get up during class. I knew I was suppose to stay in my seat,but the next thing I knew my teacher was telling me to sit down. I'd be left wondering why I did it and feeling confused. It seemed like I wasn't able to control my thinking or more like my actions. Every day I would go to school and tell myself this time I'm going to listen and not get into trouble, but every day some how I'd get off track. It was so hard to listen to the teacher, because there was always birds chirping and cars going by and people out in the hall talking. I couldn't understand why these things didn't bother the other kids. I guess that is why I couldn't seem to get my work done,by the time it was quiet again,Mrs. Hinkle would ask us to turn in our papers.

I think that was the worst, because I would know all the answers, but I just didn't have time to finish. It just wasn't fair. I finally decided to pretend it was like a race and when she would give us our paper I'd hurry and see how fast I could go.That didn't work either, because I'd either not finish becouse something distracted me or I'd get a bad grade because the teacher couldn't read my answers.

I had a hard time making friends too. A lot of the kids didn't want to play with me because they thought I played too rough and they'd get hurt.I guess they did get hurt sometimes,but I never meant to. I had a hard time with that because I didn't remember doing it,but they said I did. I'd feel really bad and say I was sorry,but it didn't seem to help much.

I was always busy though, I had a lot of neat ideas and would build things or make experiments. Sometimes I'd take things apart,you know to see how they worked. Boy! that use to make mom mad because usually it was my toys.I couldn't always put them back together. I never meant to break them.Sometimes I'd get an idea and start on it, but then I'd get another idea and well,I didn't always finish my projects.

I was really getting confused, no matter how hard I tried it seemed I never could do anything right.I always had somebody mad at me.Mom would saythink before you act,but I had a hard time doing that. It seemed like my brain just jumped around and before I knew it I was acting first then thinking. I wasn't feeling verygood about myself anymore.I was always letting someone down,even myself.I was begining to think something was really wrong with me.I decided to tell my mom how I was feeling and how I really didn't mean to do the things I did. I told her how it seemed like my brain just thinks too fast.My mom told me she loved me and that we'd work this out together.

My mom made an appointment with my doctor. I went to go see Dr.Hobbles. She said it was this big long word, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. She said it just means that my brain goes too fast for my thinker and that I have a lot more energy then most kids. She told me that I am not the only one who feels this way, that there are lots of kids just like me.That made me feel better, I didn't feel so alone.

She explained that there were different medicines that could help and she thought Ritalin would be best for me. She also explained that there were other things we could do that would help like,making lists and charts to help me remember things. She then explained just how the medicine was going to help. She said the Ritalin speeds up my thinker to catch up with how fast my brain works and that, that would help me make better choices.I guess that is why when mom would ask me to get my hat, coat and books, I would only remember my coat.

My brain would start working real fast,but my thinker was a little slower,so my thinker missed the hat and landed on the coat and then skipped the books and landed at the bus. It's not so bad now that I understand.

I also found out that most of the time someone else in the family has it too, like your mom or dad. We realized that my dad also has it. I am now going into the third grade and doing much better. I went to the doctor when I was in the first grade. The first six weeks of school I brought home a lot of bad grades,that's when I went to the doctor. Since then I have gotten almost all A's and some B's, but I have been on the A honor role a lot.

I have a lot of friends now and am feeling pretty good about myself. The charts really help too, because mom doesn't have to keep reminding me to do things. I also use the lists in school for homework. Moms been reading a lost about ADHD and found that a lot of famous people have been thought to have had it like: Albert Einstein and Ben Franklin and a lot of others.She also read that for some reason people with ADHD tend to be pretty smart.

Sometimes I still have a lot of energy and sometimes I still get into trouble,but then I'm Just a Kid.But I also Know I am O.K. too.

I hope this can be helpful to others,that is my goal. Robbie (the boy in the story) just turned 9 is going in the 4th grade and has stayed on the honor roll.He is doing great,but we still have our problems. Sometimes it's hard to pin point what is due to ADHD and what is just being a kid. I find that I constantly have to renew my info.and get back on track because as you know dealing with an ADHD child is rough roads,but then ....I wouldn't change him for the world.Well,maybe I'd slow him down a bit.I just found this group today and it is refreshing to not feel so alone in this.I find it apalling though how uneducated people are,especially the school systems.I go in each year at the begining and talk with his new teachers.I find it important to find out how familiar they are with ADHD and open the communication for the year.I let them know how I feel,what helps and what doesn't.I have learned I am his only advocate and I pave the road for him to succeed. I found the teachers are very open to my suggestions,most teachers are and if given a chance.The want a calm class room as well and seem to appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks, Tricia

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