You’ve probably comes across the Ramadan 2021 series, 'خلي بالك من زيزي‘ and it really is great to see Arab series tackle very important topics that for some reason, we tend to shy away from talking about. We were amazed by of Amina Khalil’s portrayal on the show and how she is shedding light on ADHD, and we came across a story that we felt compelled to share with you.
We talked to a mother, who has chosen to remain anonymous, as this her daughter’s story to tell after all not hers, so she is only telling her side of things, until her daughter is ready to talk about this topic more openly. This is the story of a mother, who chose to give her daughter ADHD medication and how it changed her daughters life.
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How it all started?
It all started when her daughter was in middle school, around 10 years old, and during every parent teacher conference, she got the same feedback from all her teachers, ‘ Your daughter has a hard time paying attention in class…her grades are not up to par…if she can only sit and focus we’d see great potential. One of the teachers in particular advised her to get her daughter tested for ADHD.
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Getting my daughter tested
At first the mother said, she was extremely offended by such a comment, she’s a kid after all, kids have built up energy, and maybe she’s just an average student, and will do better in the arts, as opposed to sciences.
There was also the concern she had about her daughter’s self confidence, not just from the teachers, but from her friends. Will she be affected by how her teacher’s don’t see her as a smart student? Will she look at her friends and wonder why isn’t she excelling like them? How will this affect her confidence? Will she end up feeling insecure about herself?
The mother went on to say that her daughter’s mental health was something that really pushed her in the direction of getting her daughter tested. Middle school and high school are hard enough, without any added pressure.
She goes on to tell us that after doing some research, and taking a few days to think about it, she decided to take action and actually take her daughter in for a checkup. The thing about ADHD, is that there is no blood test to tell you if you have it, the doctor gathers information from the parents and does an assessment on the kid to fully diagnose them.
After some extensive research and finding a good doctor, she decided to take her daughter to the doctor. There was of course the issue of whether to just tell her daughter she was going in for a normal check up, or actually tell her the truth. It was the doctor that told her to be very honest with her daughter, as this is a condition that she needs to be aware of, and needs to be accountable for taking her medication if needed.
The check up was actually a very smooth experience, the doctor had excellent ‘kid’ skills, as in he knew how to talk to her, ask her questions in the certain ways to be able to get the right answers out of her. The mother claims that the doctor experience was very positive, it reassured any of the doubts she was having.
After the assessment was done, the doctor confirmed what the mother suspected, her daughter does in fact have ADHD and he recommended medication.
To give medication or not?
Giving her daughter a pill every day was not something she was comfortable with. However, when she asked the doctor if there were any alternatives, supplements, change in lifestyle, more exercise that she can do to compensate for the medication, but the doctor said there would be no change. However, the good thing about her case, is that her dose will not be very high, and year after year she could come back for a check up to see whether she reached a stage in her life where she might no longer need medication.
After taking a few other doctor’s opinions, ultimately the most important conversation she had, was with her daughter. She explained the diagnosis to her, and how if she takes medication it would have a positive effect on her. To her surprise, it had turned out her daughter was really suffering, but didn’t know how to tell her mum. She found it very hard to sit and study for exams, all the students in the class got the information much faster than her. They were also able to focus and remember the things they took in class, while she didn’t.
So it was settled, they decided to take medication and check in month after month with one another to see how she was doing, if she was experiencing any side effects, or if she was noticing a difference etc…
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Fast forward to senior year!
She told us that ever since her daughter started medication, she noticed an instant flip in her performance, and she even started to get positive feedback from her teachers. More importantly, when her daughter got into one of the top universities in the states, she went on thanking her for giving her the medication. ‘It was a moment where my daughter thanked me for taking care of her, that made me realize this was the best decision I’ve ever made.’