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!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Moved! Just in Time to Start School

Our summer has been BING! BANG! BOOM!  We packed, we moved, we registered for school and this week everyone started back to school.  I am not sure I have ever been so ready (not prepared, just ready) for school to start.  I don't want the hassle and anxiety of school; but, I am welcoming the end of our chaotic and nerve wracking summer.

doing school at the desk
This week was a barrage of first days of school and registering.  My two that are still home schooling started on Monday after the longest registration process ever (considering they are returning students).  It was a scene from an ADHD horror film.  It was the longest line ever to meet the teacher and sign paperwork.

doing school under the desk
Our teacher was ever too polite and chatty with each parent and student as the line of people waiting for her grew and grew.  Hunter, very ADHD, stood next to me beating his head on my shoulder repeatedly.  He insisted on reminding me, just about ever 30 seconds,  that he hates waiting in line and that he can't handle the noise.  In the end, our teacher and our line were the only ones left in the room. 

Tuesday my oldest two daughters started community college.   As luck would have it our daughter, who has been waiting for college since kindergarten, showed up for her first class only to find the door locked and the classroom dark.  Apparently, the teacher quit the day before classes started.  Neither of our daughters drive yet so they are at our mercy to be dropped off and picked up.  This left Mariah stuck at the school for hours until her next class, distraught that she had yet to experience a college class, and bored. Not necessarily a good combination for any person with ADHD.

She handled every conceivable piece of business she could think of, walked 2.8 billion times around the campus (according to her facebook post), she discovered the computer lab, and then I started seeing posts like this...

"Welcome to my elevator. Stop. Who would enter the Elevator of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see. What is your name? What is your quest? What is the capital of Assyria?"


"LOVE the music video for Dark Blue by Jack's Mannequin, makes me wish I was there. *sighs* nope I'm just here, trollin' in the college computer lab....*face slams of keyboard* *sobs into keyboard* I'M SO LAME!!!! D: WHY????  STOP SPEAKING VERY LOUDLY INTO YOUR CELLPHONE SHORT HAIRY MAN CAN'T YOU SEE I'M SOBBING INTO MY KEYBOARD?!?!?!"

Wednesday Fernie started school.  New district, new programs, new stress.  Fernie came late to our family is and playing catch up educationally.  It has placed him in the very different environment of alternative education.  After a day in this super small class with very creative teachers he said to me that if he could have had this learning environment earlier maybe he would not be so behind in credits. SO true.  

No one should not have to drown before they're thrown a life preserver and yet so many of our school function on this premise. Teachers frustrated that they can't meet all the needs all the time.  Parents frustrated that they can't get the help they need.  Districts frustrated by low budgets and big needs.  All equals up to no programs for smart kids who do not learn well in a traditional environment.  

Hannah, Fernie, and Mary
Thursday my two younger daughters started at the regular high school.  Excited but scary.  They have all been doing home school or online classes for the last 4 years so re-entering a brick and mortar school is bound to be a big adjustment.  To top it off my youngest daughter, Mary, is the child in the family with the most disabilities.  She was joking about how there was not enough room on the form to list them all.

It took me back to elementary school when I would catch the teacher to give her a heads up.  "Mary has ADHD, extreme ADHD, like I swear she has taken her meds and there really is a huge difference but you will probably think she forgot to take them this morning....and she has dyspraxia, I know that is a strange term check out dyslexia and dyscalculia and dysgraphia, she has them all...and a sensory processing disorder and a language processing disorder and a speech problem with stems from the dyspraxia (her motor processing disorder) and she only sees out of one eye. Have a good day!"

It is hard for me to trust the schools with her.  She has been home schooling for he last 4 years and I worry about her in a traditional school setting.  But this is a small school and she really wants to give it a try.  Her counselor boosted my confidence when he told me that he used to teach special ed and really understands learning differences.  Then to top it off when we laid the whole eye thing at his feet he immediately guessed which eye was her strong eye.  He's good.  

And so we are all off and running in our different directions.  It feels like it is going to be a good year!  

No comments: