June 24th, 2009

ADHD — A Family’s Story

After we launched the Johnson & Johnson health channel on YouTube in August of last year, one of the first videos I posted was a series on ADHD which was originally produced by Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The first part called ADHD: A Child’s Diagnosis told the story of Davina Beacham, a 37 year-old artist whose oldest son Brad was recently diagnosed with ADHD. During the course of this diagnosis, Davina discovered that she too had ADD (without the hyperactivity).

Now Davina is a frequent visitor to social media sites like YouTube, and when she saw that the video she was featured in was running on the Johnson & Johnson health channel, she felt compelled to leave a comment. When I saw her comment, I contacted her and asked if she was interested doing a follow up video. We decided that we would, and so I grabbed a cameraman and drove up to Dover, MA, to visit Davina at her home. She and her family were extremely gracious, and we did interviews with Davina, her husband, Hal, and her two boys Brad and George.

Subsequent to the original video two years ago, she also learned that George, her younger son, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as well as ADHD. Despite all the complications and challenges posed by this situation, what impressed me most was the openness, patience and understanding that Davina showed her two boys, always emphasizing and nurturing their creativity and expressiveness. Her husband Hal, the only member of the family without ADHD, showed a similar patience, embracing the situation, rather than resisting it.

I’m very happy with the video stories that were the result of this visit. And I left the two boys with flip cameras. I WAS going to leave one for both of them to share, but I found out VERY quickly that wasn’t going to work! The idea is for them to record a kind of video diary of their very interesting life, which I would then post on the JNJhealth channel. I’m looking forward to these, and I’m sure they will be as interesting and gratifying as our own experience videotaping this wonderful family. Here are the links to the current videos:

Davina, Part One
Davina, Part Two

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