Many people know (or think they know) what ADHD is all about. There also are people who believe it is a “made up diagnosis” for “lazy” “bad” kids. However, I will give my testimony to ANYONE willing to listen, it’s REAL, and it’s HEART BREAKING as a mother, and soul crushing for my son.
The stress this condition puts on me as a mother of 4 is so overwhelming, I only work weekends to keep my sanity. I HAVE to be available to my son during the school week from sun up to sun down.
There may be days where he has melt downs in school, and I have to be called or go to school because I’m the only one who can redirect him. He will get so fixated on one thing (usually a bad grade) and just go over the deep end. He’ll be rambling, repeating himself over and over again, crying and just falling apart inside.
I wake up and go roam my house and without a doubt, know every room my son has been in. If I want to know if he took his medicine like he should have, I just walk int he kitchen and look for his medicine bottle to be on the island with a half drunken glass of something sweet.
If I want to know if he managed his personal hygiene CORRECTLY (he is still a boy), I go in the bathroom and see if the toothpaste and deodorant has the cap on, and if the brush is NOT where it belongs.
When school let out, if I wonder if he took his medication or dumped it, I simply ask him if he wants something to eat. WHY, because he never has an appetite if he took his afternoon dose. His other give away, is when he walks up to my car with a million and one things to say, typically on medication he has about 5 words the whole ride home.
Once we get home from school, I wait for him to get out the car so I can see what he left behind in my car that I’m pretty sure he’ll need for homework.
Every night his step-father or I have to do book bag checks to make sure his work is in their corresponding folders. Otherwise his book bag will be filled with bent, crumbled, folded papers everywhere but the folders labeled and color coded for each class. We also spend countless hours doing homework that should take only 1.5 hours top, because he have difficulty follow the directions, or interprets them incorrectly.
Whenever I want to send a child on an errand he is always a last resort because I know he won’t complete the task with entirely or correctly.
I’ll ask him to clean the kitchen and remind him to use the laminated step-by-step list of EXACTLY HOW to clean the kitchen. I’ll then remind him 3-4 times to go back and check and make sure he followed EVERY DIRECTION CORRECTLY. And guess what?? The kitchen is never done correctly. He’ll ask me did he follow the directions and I explain to him what steps he miss, and he walks away with defeat.
Some days, I just want to say yes, because that look in his eyes tears me up inside. However, I have to be honest with him, because that is what he asks for. I always put a positive spin on it, and assure him he’ll get it next time. However, that doesn’t change the fact he feels like he can’t do anything right. To try and compensate for this, I try my best to bring out the best in him, to assure him he is great despite his short comings. He’s an excellent cook, statistician, mathematician, and memory keeper. On days when I know he’s feeling down, I’ll have him cook dinner, because it always lifts his spirits. Or I’ll give him a list of things I need to remember and take him on errands with me to remind me. When I praise him for such a good meal, or tell him, “I don’t know what I’d do without your memory,” the smile and glimmer of hope in his eye is priceless.
The worst part of ADHD is my son being labeled a “lazy” “average” student, when his IQ is off the charts. I have to fight with teachers, administrators, principals, and even superintendents to get my son the services he needs to be successful in school. The way they treat my son does nothing for his self esteem and makes me have to work ten times as hard to assure him he’e just as smart if not smarter than every student in his class.
While it may seem like I’m complaining, I’m not. I love my son with every breath in my body, and accept him for who he is. I know he will one day learn to compensate for his condition and be a very successful man in society. I just intended to allow people to see a glimpse of a disability that is not seen by the naked eye.