Upon hearing the news that they’re expecting, many parents will pray that their child is healthy or smart or doesn’t inherit their father’s freakishly long toes. My pregnancy wish, on the other hand, was for a well-behaved child. Then my son’s first grade teacher requested a special conference to address some “issues” he was having in class and my stomach dropped. I grew up with four brothers, so a little bit of rambunctiousness was normal for me, but when she recommended that we have him tested for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, I remember crying as if the diagnosis was a terminal illness. I had such engrained preconceptions about ADHD, thinking this was something parents made up to excuse their child’s poor behavior.
But then I started researching it. I got every book from my public library and bought several from the store. I read online articles, spoke with experts in the field, and joined community forums. One particular book that spoke to me was The Gift of ADHD by Lara Honos-Webb. By the time I got through reading it, I was actually hoping that all the tests administered by the pediatrician, neurologist, and clinical psychologist revealed that my son had this disorder I’d once dreaded.
Like Dr. Julia Fitzgerald explains to Kane Chatterson in The Makeover Prescription, we told our son that he had a super fast racecar brain, which was a good thing, but sometimes he might need help slowing down when it was time to make turns or come into the pit stop. Kane has always been ashamed of his hyperactivity, using an aloof façade to mask his insecurity around Julia, a genius neurosurgeon. Yet sometimes, it takes a special person with a positive insight to see the good in us before we can believe it ourselves.
The Makeover Prescription is now available in stores and on e-books. Chat with me on Twitter at @ChristyJeffries or find me on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love to hear from you.