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Beyond The Maze

Why I say living with ADHD

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Why I say living with ADHD

For those that know me and have spoken with me before, you may have heard me say that my child ‘lives with ADHD’ not ‘has ADHD’.

For those that haven’t spoken with me or heard me say that – you will.

I wanted to give you the background of this and why I say this, you might like to adopt it too!

A year or so ago, I heard a wonderful lady speak by the name of Julie Cross. For those of you who have never heard Julie Cross speak I encourage you to do so, you won’t be sorry.

After being asked by a friend who lived on the Sunshine Coast if I could like to come and see Julie I made the trip to the Sunshine Coast and walked into the big room where Julie was going to speak.

Julie came on the stage and completely blew my mind! I laughed, I cried and nodded my head in complete understanding of what she was talking about.

You see, Julie’s son lives with Autism and if you follow her on Facebook she openly refers to this.

One of the things I noticed which just leapt out at me was that she said her son lived with Autism, not has Autism.

This strongly resonated with me and her talk moved me like no-one had done in a long time.

I am not usually one of these people that ‘hang back’ after a speaker has spoken to meet them, I usually head off without a sound. However, Julie had moved me so much that I needed to speak to her. After waiting for a few people to talk to her I got the opportunity to speak with her.

I asked her if I was able to give her a hug (I am not particularly a hugger either) and she said “of course” I told her that I really related to her story and it was so similar to mine in the regards that my son has ADHD as opposed to her son who has ASD. She told me that she saw me crying with her story and couldn’t look my way as I would have started her as well.

We then got talking about the fact that she used living with ASD instead of has ASD and how much I loved the fact that she did that.

I told her that I offered support for parents of children with ADHD and she strongly encouraged me to use the terminology ‘living with ADHD’

From that moment onwards I did! Although it seemed a little odd at first, it totally resonated with me and I felt so much better for doing so.

My reason – using HAS ADHD is like having a cold, it seems to me a bad thing that you just can’t get over or it will take you awhile to get over it. As we know ADHD isn’t curable so you will never get ‘over it’ it is something that we live with.

To say you ‘live with’ ADHD seems so much better, it is something we all have to learn how to live with it and manage it to the best of our ability. Some days it is better than other days but we live with it just the same.

I think saying that you have something is so final because it indicates that there may not be anything we can do about it. Living with it seems to indicate to find a way to live with it as it is part of our daily life.

Whatever way you say it, the fact is that ADHD is part of our lives and we have to work out some way or another to accept it and work with it as much as we can.

If you want more information on how to work with your ADHD child feel free to contact Paula at

Paula is an ADHD coach, parent advocate and author who is passionate about helping parents with children living with ADHD and changing society’s opinion on ADHD. Paula is available for speaking events also.

We hope to see you there!

Tagged ADD, ADHD, Behaviour, BEYOND THE MAZE, Brisbane, coach, REdcliffe, support

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