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Where do I start? I think the real challenge would be . . . where do I finish. I can go on and on, but I want to share with you some insights that I have learned in raising a boy diagnosed not only with ADHD, but with O.D.D. (oppositional defiant disorder) and Tourette Syndrome. I am especially challenged because I also suffer from ADHD.
It’s been a rough road from day one. No sense sugar-coating it. It’s hard! His ongoing struggles in school often stem from teachers and aides who think that if his disability isn’t “noticeable to the eye” it can’t be a disability. His teacher’s will often say he is “just lazy” or “mean spirited”, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. As his mother, I have gone way beyond what a “normal” parent goes through in raising their child. It seems like I spend most of my time calling schools, attending disciplinary meetings, and arguing daily with my son to keep up with his school work and not get in trouble.
I have been fortunate to finally have found after many years an advocate for my son other than myself. My son’s therapist has helped me better understand my son’s behaviors. He has attended IEP and discipline meetings as an advocate for my son. He has tried to demonstrate to my son’s teachers that ADHD is a real disorder and not an excuse for bad behavior.
My son, like all children, does respond positively to the right type of treatment. He wants to be liked by his teachers even though he can be harder to teach and sometimes harder to like.
Raising my son has been a struggle every day, but he’s worth fighting for. I will not always get it right, but I will never give up . . . trying new ways, because raising a child with ADHD, you always have to find new ways. I guess you can say one thing . . . life is never dull.
If not for help from my sons therapist and the readings he had recommended, I don’t know what would have happened to my sanity. I had no idea how to deal with a child who seemed to willfully ignore me, seemingly pretend to be unable to figure out the simplest tasks, and had no clue how to complete a task that I’d walked him through at least a hundred times.
I have come to understand better that some of my son’s challenges are “normal” for children with ADHD. With the help of my son’s therapist and books that I have read on ADHD, I’ve been able to understand that my son needs me to stop expecting him to be like every other kid, and help him be successful as the person he is. It was me who needed to understand so that I could help him – not to keep trying to do the same thing with the same kid and expect different results.
There is so much more I could write about on my son with ADD, but what I’ve learned still gives me cause to pause.