Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, affects millions of people around the world. It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in children, affecting 2.4% of children aged 2-5 years and 9.6% of children aged 6-11 years. Although it affects children the most, at least 75% of adults with ADHD are unaware they have it.
Such was the case for Lillian LaShawn Fairley, who now leads the “Lifting Your ADHD Black Voices” workshop after being diagnosed with ADHD much later in life. Now that she is 54, the single mother is now moving to Orlando, Florida, after leaving a rather excellent government job, to put her plans in motion and take care of her struggling 18-year-old son. with the same neurodevelopmental disorder.
Lillian’s journey before being diagnosed was not easy, constantly struggling to meet people’s expectations while unknowingly balancing a life filled with unwanted ADHD symptoms. Undiagnosed ADHD in adults can present with mood swings, anxiety, and even extreme sadness. It wasn’t until her son received the diagnosis that she was informed of his as well, quickly realizing that she had to work on her issues before she could help him with his.
The loss of both her adoptive parents in separate cases made matters worse for Lillian, and at some point she began to set aside her self-confidence, aspirations and goals. Eventually, after reassessing her situation and being inspired by her late adoptive mother’s favorite saying, “Action speaks louder than words,” she found herself turning back to God. She went to church, read the Bible and constantly asked God for guidance. She also realized that she needed to change things for her child’s sake, so Lillian took the steps to get to where she is now.
After learning more about ADHD and constantly finding ways to deal with it, she is now an advocate and voice for African Americans who suffer from it. As ADHD affects all aspects of an individual’s life, Lillian has developed coping methods, including surrounding herself with positive affirmations, God and her faith being the strongest, and accepting the reality that God did it thus and that it does not make errors.
Tired of being judged, misunderstood, underappreciated and unappreciated, Lillian redefined ADHD for herself and made it something that gives her the strength to go on living.
She started “Lifting Your ADHD Black Voices” to inspire, help and assure those with the same condition that they are not alone. In addition to stopping shaming and blaming people with ADHD, she’s also made it her mission to help people with this neurodevelopmental condition better understand their situation and put them at ease enough to sharing their authentic and heartfelt stories and struggles while providing options. and tools to help manage their adult ADHD symptoms.
For more about Lillian, her journey through it all, and her advocacy, check out her website.