Queen of the Distracted

Imagine life in a house with 6 kids - now imagine if 5 of those kids and their father have ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - that is our house! Welcome to an inside view of my life and our home dominated by ADHD... THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!"

Those were our oldest daughter Rachel's first words, from the time she was a toddler she would belt them out proudly standing on the arm of the couch. At the time we had no idea what ADHD was or that it would play such a central roll in our lives.

Since then we have learned a lot, not the least of which is how many individuals and families suffer in silence. We have experienced first hand how misunderstood and misrepresented a disorder can be.

As a family we decided to take action - to risk embarrassment and labeling to get this important message out to the world. Come join our family, share in our lives, and see ADD/ADHD as we see it...
A gift with a heavy price tag.

WELCOME to life in the ADD/ADHD House!

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Soapbox Moment

Someone said to me the other night that they saw the picture of my kids bahooties on Facebook - they wanted to make sure I knew about it.  I know about it -- I put it there.  Actually, I told the person, it was on Facebook because I was letting people know that I had a new blog post up.  I tried to explain the purpose of the blog but I think it wasn't really clicking.

I suppose that might seem a little wrong or improper to some people to post details of our lives that might make us look "bad."  First of all , let me assure you that everyone in the house knows what I post before I post it.  At least the content.  Most of the time they read everything I post, they help me remember the details,  listen to how it is flowing and help find the pictures. In fact, if it weren't for their technical savvy there would be no blog.

Occasionally one slips by, this morning my oldest did ask why a picture of her shoes were on the blog. I told her, because you didn't put them away in the shoebox (Parkas in Summer, Shorts in the Winter).  She had listened to the blog but hadn't seen the pictures I put up until this morning. 

Second, I have a bunch of kids, six natural and certainly more than a few we have collected along the way, I got over "looking bad"  to the public a long time ago.  It doesn't mean that I don't care about it.  For example, I want my kids to be well groomed, respectful of their environment, and well mannered.  But as my father has always said, "wanting and getting are two different things." Most of the time we are somewhere in between.  Life is certainly a continuum in our house.

I am under no delusion that they are perfect or will be perfect.  No one is perfect.  Heaven knows that is doubly true with ADHD.   I believe that we are what we are.  It doesn't mean that we are not trying to be better and learning as we go but we are where we are at for today.

Today that means we were geeking out at the library book sale, waiting for Mary's speech therapy session, overwhelming the poor white haired librarian.  She made the mistake of directing Hunter to the books for young readers.  He politely explained that he read on a college level, which he does, then started on his knowledge of all things Tolkien.  He even showed her his folder where he is keeping his notes -- he is learning to speak the Dark Tongue of Mordor.

Last week the same young man had his bahootie in the air and his head down in the freezer case with his siblings for no particular reason.  He is the one with his feet dangling in the air.

I am a firm believer that there is no progress in pretending that we are something we are not.  Everyone has to start somewhere and real progress comes when we can say this is where I am right now.  This is what I need to change. This is how I am going to work on that.  Then get busy.  Life is a process of growth and change.  That is certainly what I have tried to teach my children as we daily work bit by bit on ourselves.  Not just them, me too.

Third, being frank about our lives is the purpose of the blog.  It is to explore what life is like - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It is all about the way the brains in this house operate, why they work the way they do, how that effects all of us (ADHD or not).  It is all about our struggles and our triumphs.  It is about finding humor along the way.  It is about bringing awareness and personalizing ADHD to the both the ADHD community and those that work and interact with those who have ADHD.

Statistics are truly all over the place but it is safe to say that between 7 - 10% of our population have been diagnosed with ADHD.  Certainly there are more that have not been.  Odds are that everybody at one point or another will interact with someone who is ADHD.

Which means this blog, our experiences, are for everybody.

* On a side note -- the same boy that reads on a college level put potato pearls in his yogurt this morning instead of granola because the packages are similar and he wasn't paying attention.  

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