Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The note

A few weeks ago we got "the" note. "I would like to set up a time to talk with you about David's issues with attention". We went in later that week and listened to example after example as to why she feels our son has ADHD. In our hearts, we know that she is right. It's embarrassing. It makes you angry. More than anything, it breaks your heart.

This is not our first talk with teachers. His preschool teachers expressed some concern but at that time people tell you "He's too young and should grow out of it". We heard the same thing in kindergarten. "He's a boy and they are not meant to sit down all day". That would be great except kindergarten was two hours long! You hear it all. "Schools are not meant for boys, boys mature later than girls, etc". My favorite is "ADHD is sooooo over diagnosed. It's just an excuse for poor parenting".

As a parent, you hope and pray that "they" are right. Who wants to admit that their child has a disability, especially one that is so controversial? I had someone tell me "Oh Amy. Please don't drug him". How's that for comfort?

You try it all. The food supplements. You bribe and beg to get the nasty fish oil capsules down. You break out the behavior chart and promise all sorts of great things. You pray for a miracle. You wait for this miracle maturing to take place.

Meanwhile, most people do not see what you are seeing. People offer suggestions and comments, all of which you have either tried or know are useless. You want to scream "I need your help and support" but realize that this is going to be a journey that you embark on with few people.

But there comes a point where you have to shut out the rest of the world. You have to cover your ears to the opinions of friends, and what is even harder, family. Teachers tell you that he is struggling. Socially, you see him making choices that are alienating him from his peers. You begin to fear social gatherings as you never know what your child is going to do. The phone doesn't ring for playdates and no party invitations come home.

So here we are. Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation? I'd love to know . . .


Chinamama4 said...

Amy, I don't have any experience with ADHD, but we have had to do many things "differently" for our children - it's pretty common when you adopt children who have been in institutions. You're right, it's hard to be on the receiving end of all this "well-meaning" advice, and to wonder what others are thinking of your parenting skills. But you know what's best for your child - you are his best advocate! And know that you have cyber-friends who support you and your decisions!

Trisha said...

Gosh it sounds like you are in a pretty hard place right now. I don't have any experience witth ADHD either, but I agree that you have to do what you think is best for him and try to filter out of the rest. Sending hugs and prayers your way.

Anonymous said...

Dear Amy,

I red your post on your blog and tears came to my eyes.

I have been through the guilt and the blame of others on my bad parenting skills (my mom is visiting for an extended period and keeps on telling me how bad my parenting is).

I have done the fish oil (still do as it has other benefits), natural suplements + all kinds of charts and bribery with no avail.

Yes these things are over diagnosed and sometimes miss diagnosed as ADHD can be a condition or an array of symptoms for another underlying condition. Sometimes also these kids, ADHD, have co-morbid conditions thus why some medications do not work.

But in the end of it and after much soul searching and several tests, specialists and therapists we have adopted an aproach of special schooling, early intervention therapies, full familly counseling to adopt behavirour and enviromental changes and MEDICATION. Yes, MEDICATION. The bottom line is some kids are just wired diffrently and they need the meds.

My kids (have 2 with differant types of LD) can know operate in a seamingly 'normal' enviourment and I can enjoy seeing them learn and florish. It is still a work in progress but by the grace of God we will persevere.

Amy listen to your heart and you need to decide what is right for your child.

May the Lord bless your family,

Mr. T from South Africa

ccw said...

Amy, thanks for commenting on my blog. This could easily be my post.

The range of emotions involved with an ADHD diagnosis is amazing. Unless you live with a child with ADHD, it is almost impossible to get people to understand. 2 months ago, I was one of those parents who believed it was overdiagnosed and thought I had a lazy child.

I know it's hard, but be thankful that you are catching this early. I could kick myself and a few teachers for not associating Kid L's struggles with ADHD sooner.

Scattered Mom said...

"Is there anyone else in this situation? I'd love to know."

YES. I have a son who is gifted/learning disabled, and from about ages 4-7 the schools insisted he had ADHD. He's 10 now, and the docs say that he isn't ADHD at all. Giftedness and LD can cause many symptoms that appear to look like ADHD.

I'm not going to throw advice at you, but instead invite you to come read my blog. :) Maybe you'll find some answers, or at least some comfort, there.

The only bit of advice I will leave you with is that no matter what the so-called 'experts' say, YOU are his mother. You know him better then they ever will, and you need to trust your own parenting and your instincts because at the end of the day, you are the one that holds him. It's hard when family blames your parenting (been there done that) but keep your chin up. It does get better.

Amy said...

I don't have a adhd child either but my oldest son was diagnosed with asperger's syndrome/mild autism a few years ago so I can sort of relate to how you are feeling as a parent. *hugs* from me to you.

Amy said...

Thank you for all of your wonderful comments and support. I was hoping by posting I would be able to "link" up with other families for advice, support, etc. THANK YOU! Amy