According to the DSM-V, there are three types of AD/HD: Inattentive Type, Hyperactive Type, and Combined Type. According to my parents, their peers would often ask them, “How were you able to raise three children with all three types of AD/HD?” But twenty years after being diagnosed, my siblings and I have grown up and learned to do our own thing. At least, that’s what we would like to think.
My Kuya Mino is the one diagnosed with AD/HD Hyperactive Type. He may be large for his size, but he could chase you down and make you run for your life. When he’s not in front of his computer, he’s most likely bothering with something. And he won’t stop bothering you until you listen to him. You may say something against him, but he always has something to say in his defense. If he could write what he says down, it would probably make for a good law case.
When he has nothing to do, Kuya Mino is restless. How he manages his boredom ranges from dragging you around, to sitting on you, to standing in front of you, to acting up, and eventually making you laugh. He’s also very loud, and it helps to remind him to keep his voice and speakers quiet at night. But when it comes to his cooking, you can expect him to prepare a party. He bugs you like those nightmares that keep you up at night, but the man cooks like a dream. When he’s enjoying himself, Kuya Mino is fun to have around. He loves to make sure everyone is happy—or, at the very least, smiling.
My Ate Iya is diagnosed with the Inattentive Type AD/HD. If I counted how many times she has left her cellphone at home when she goes to work, it would be easier to count the stars in the sky. She may be an architect now, but that was due to her herculean effort to stay organized and on track with her studies and her work. This often came at the cost of the organization of her room. Ate Iya always has the messiest room in the house. She may clean it up from time to time, but after a few days everything gets scattered all over again.
“No matter who your child grows up to be, I think it is best they learn to love themselves for who they are. As the doctors say, “AD/HD is managed, not cured.” It does not go away. But it doesn’t mean you can’t accept who you are, and work on being a better person.“
You’ve also got to be sure Ate Iya is listening to you. My mom often complains about telling her to do something, and Ate Iya replying, “You didn’t tell me that!” However, Ate Iya is a very responsible person. She cares too much for the people around her to lose sight of things. If you come to her for help, she’s willing to give her all to make things work. Her determination has helped her to overcome her shortcomings, and has made her a dependable architect and manager in First Balfour.
As for me, well, everyone loves the Nikki Pooh! I am diagnosed with Combined Type AD/HD, which means I’m both hyperactive and inattentive. My friends call me weird, but I know that they also find me annoying. I can’t help it that I like to butt in on everyone’s conversation, even if you weren’t speaking to me. And sometimes my energy can be too much for others to handle, but I just have to keep moving! I often need to be reminded of my priorities—especially finishing my own personal work, like my thesis—but I feel so busy doing everything else that I have no time for personal responsibilities. I enjoy finishing smaller projects, one project at a time, compared to working on a big project in one go.
I wish to say I have things better managed. But that of course would be a misconception. I often find myself at the edge of my self-control, inches away from running and screaming and performing an array of stunts and stiff-awkward dances. It is for this reason I tend not to care of what others think of me and feel comfortable doing whatever it is I do. I mean, sure, give me a strict set of rules and a deadline, and I will be professional with you. But most of the time I just want to let loose and enjoy being who I am.
As you can see with the three of us, living with AD/HD is no easy task. But no matter who your child grows up to be, I think it is best they learn to love themselves for who they are. As the doctors say, “AD/HD is managed, not cured.” It does not go away. But it doesn’t mean you can’t accept who you are, and work on being a better person. Every child grows up one day. The best you can do for them now is understand what they are going through, protect them as they go through life’s challenges, and care for their needs and welfare. Who knows? One day, your child may become a chef, or an architect. As for me, I’m ready for what the future will bring. ADGP
ANDREW DOMINIC PE has been with the AD/HD Society of the Philippines since its founding days, producing PowerPoint Presentations to inspire parents and teachers. While finishing his degree in Speech Communication at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Andrew looks forward to finally getting his first full-time job—after he finishes his thesis.