Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is defined as a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity or a combination of them all. It can be treated with medicine and therapy; it’s a long-term condition so it isn’t something you can grow out of. 8.4% of school-aged children are diagnosed with ADHD. A lot of parents just assume that their kids have a behavioral problem and the kids can go years without being diagnosed with ADHD, on of those kids is Tyler Loeslein.
Tyler was born in South Carolina on a military base in 1992, her father died before she was born leaving her mother alone with a child. Katherine Schwedler, her mother, eventually remarried and now Tyler has 3 younger brothers. Tyler’s stepfather, Jorma Schwedler, has been the only father she’s ever known so in her mind, he is.
When Tyler was growing up her parents started noticing her inability to focus on one thing for very long. It got so bad that they took her to a doctor. The doctor told them that it was just a behavioral problem having to do with not knowing her dad, so they sent her off to therapy. All through elementary and junior high it got worst and nothing was helping. Finally her parents took her to a different doctor and she was diagnosed with ADHD.
“I knew, I mean there had to be something wrong with me. I honestly couldn’t focus on anything for too long and most of my friends looked at me like I was crazy sometimes. My parents were relieved that I wasn’t just one of those troubled kids. They started me on Ritalin and that first school day taking it was horrible. I got in trouble because I got up and started pacing in the classroom; I just couldn’t sit. It made me feel like I needed to get things done in hyper speed, I was so focused and I had never felt like that before so I didn’t know what to do with it,” stated Tyler.
With her strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes, freckles and a contagious smile, her mother decided that cheerleading would be a good outlet to help with all of the extra energy. She was right, when Tyler started cheering it helped a lot by teaching her to focus and use up some of the extra energy, but another problem was about to show it’s face. The Ritalin Tyler was taking had diminished her appetite; she had a hard time eating more than one small meal a day when she took her medicine.
It wasn’t that she didn’t want to eat; it was that she honestly couldn’t choke down the food. She tried to not take the medicine on the weekends so she could eat normal portions, but it wasn’t enough. Not realizing the harm she was doing, she covered up her little problem. She didn’t want to give her parents another problem to deal with.
“I remember thinking that they were going to be mad at me because I couldn’t control myself. They really didn’t have any clue what I was going through so I fought my battles myself. I tried eating as much as I could and ended up vomiting most of it up when I was on the medicine. After awhile it happened at school and that’s when I got caught. I was in the bathroom puking my guts up and I heard the door open. I tried to act like nothing was going on but my English teacher knocked on the stall door. I opened it and started crying.” Tyler said.
Tyler finally told her parents and they took another trip to the doctor, she was prescribed a lower dose of Ritalin. Everything seemed to be working out for a while, but another problem was on its way. The lower dose wasn’t working as well and Tyler again was having trouble focusing and this time her grades were suffering. Her parents didn’t know what to do and that’s when the relationship between Tyler and her parents started to suffer.
“It wasn’t there fault, they just didn’t know how to handle it. My grades were dropping, my parents were yelling and I was becoming depressed. This was my junior year and that was the year I started becoming depressed. My life was pretty much falling apart and I just couldn’t handle it. “