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!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sucker Punched

I am tired.

I am tired from staying up late with kids who have insomnia, kids that are worried and need the world put back together.  I am tired of the emotions of not understanding social skills; both for them and for me.  I am tired of social skills stories to teach what comes innately to other kids.  Tired of emotional scales to register when life is overstimulating.  Situational scales.  It's a lot of work.

I am tired of OCD, SPD, ADHD, ODD, and all the other initials in my life.

I am tired of reading every quality book I can find on them looking for knowledge, understanding, and new coping mechanisms that might tip the scales in my child's favor.  I am tired of the space it takes up on my bookshelf. 

I am tired of working for years to teach kids how to read -- dyslexia.  How to do math facts-- dyscalculia.   How to write -- dysgraphia.  I am tired of dyspraxia.

I am tired of homeschooling so that my children don't get left behind in a classroom full of distractions, at a pace and in a style that doesn't work for them.  I am tired of us being the square peg being jammed in the round hole.

Tired of driving miles to doctors appointments, getting prescriptions, delivering prescriptions, picking up prescriptions.  No one should know their pharmacist as well as I know ours.

Some dear family of ours got hit up-side the head with the "bad parenting" myth recently.  It has me over flowing with frustration and anger.  Just ask my husband and kids, they have had to listen to me rant about it endlessly.  To put this much work into parenting and then have someone accuse you of being a bad parent, is really a sucker punch.

It is the biggest irony of all. 

Our kids, speaking collectively,  have neuro-biological conditions that effect how their brains work.  If we could control it, keep the wonderful parts and ditch the struggles, we would.  That is what we are working for when we read, talk, drive, work in behalf of our children.  The irony is that we are working so hard to be good parents and yet that stigma, the assumption when things go wrong, is still that bad choices are caused by bad parents.

The irony is that by and large we are great parents hidden by disorders of appearance.

Really, how many books has the average parent read on parenting?  How many seminars has the parent of a child without all these differences attended?  How many nights in a row have they been up until 2 or 3 in the morning talking to a fretful child?  How much conscious behavior modeling, social story-boarding, and role playing have they done? 

The truth is that we will take being tired, exhausted, even sucker punched for our kids.  We will do everything in our power to help our kids overcome their struggles, even though progress is painfully slow. All with hope that the world can catch a glimpse of their greatness, the greatness we see, even though their flaws are often the most public.

I am tired of assumptions.  If you are going to judge me as a parent, if you are going to judge any of us in our family of disorders, then take a walk in our shoes.  Spend hours trying to get homework done that every other kid finishes in less than an hour.  Get everyone up early so that you can try and be on time, then be late because your child forgot the very basic routine of getting dressed.  Get chased down by a teacher anxious to point out your child's latest classroom exploits.  Or by a coach because your child is picking daisies while the game play passes him by.  Or by another parent because your child said or did something offensive.

Walk in my shoes, then you might see my children's indiscretions, impulsiveness, outburst, and meltdowns in a different light. You might measure their progress differently than you do now.  You might see the greatness I see.  A day in my shoes might bring empathy for our kids and their parents.  It might cultivate understanding and ease sucker punches.

I am tired, but I wouldn't change one thing I do in behalf of my children.  Most of the parents I know, struggling with similar situations, feel the same.  Our children are worth every ounce of effort and more.

I am tired, but it's worth it.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

More power to you, Lisa!