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!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

An Oppositionally Defiant Essay

Less than a week away from graduation and her teacher told her that he would not accept her physical education essays, they would have to be redone. 

He had changed what he wanted last minute.  Now one of the essays had to be on a health related issue.  Little miss "I think I might have ODD" did not take this well at all. (see post: Mum, I Think I Might Have ODD)  As I reviewed the symptoms of ODD on the Mayo Clinic website it was clear that what followed would definitely fall under the, "spiteful and vindictive behavior" symptom or maybe "deliberate annoyance of other people."

I am definitely leaning towards spiteful and vindictive.

How can an essay on a health related issue be spiteful and vindictive behavior?  When you make reading it as uncomfortable as humanly possible while keeping to a relevant health issue.  For example, when you write a three page essay on the importance of prostate exams and email it into to your male teacher to fulfill the last minute essay requirement.

The title alone would be enough to scare most people off, but the real genius was in the body of the essay.  There, supported by quotes from various credible medical sources; she discussed the importance of prostate exams.  She put forth the option and process of self examination.  Including tips from professionals about how to make self examination more comfortable and what to look for.  She discussed the value of a proper exam from a trained medical professional.  And, in depth, dispelled concerns that men may have about involuntary physical responses to the exam itself.

It was well written and well supported by data.   It was so truthful, so awkward, so unabashed.  It was awful. 

And yet, it explained a lot.  Just this afternoon the very same teacher had called me to report on how another one of my kids was progressing in their classes.  When he got to Mariah all he said was, "she's on track."  Then he changed the subject very quickly.  Clearly, he had already received the essay. 

The essay that I didn't get to hear until it was written and sent.  I am sure I would have protested as soon as I stopped laughing so hard, wiped the tears from my eyes, and caught my breath.  As it stood, it was a done deal.  It was one of those parenting moments when your reaction is uncontrollable.  It is hard to be taken seriously as a disciplinarian when you are laughing so hard you can't breathe. 

One thing I will have to give her credit for is learning to direct those defiant emotions in a direction that may raise eyebrows but fits within the parameters that she is supposed to operate in.  There was a time that she would have mouthed off to the teacher, argued, and surely stepped way outside the lines of acceptable behavior.  Instead, she complied but still got her jab in. 

Definitely spiteful and vindictive, though I am sure that it was also meant to be a deliberate annoyance. 

Yes, my dear, I do think you have ODD.

No comments: