I never believed in ADHD. I thought it was just some made up diagnosis for kids who didn’t listen, for parents who couldn’t parent properly. An excuse.
Medicating a kid for a kid who has ADHD was rediculous. This was for people who wanted their kids to be zombies so that they didn’t have to discipline them. How could you put this medication in a child just to get you’re relief?
Damien was a great baby. He started sleeping through the night at a month old. Always took naps and never fussed. He was a happy baby and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.
Around the time Damien was one and a half things got hard. He was so wild. He would climb anything and everything. He ran around the house and got into everything. He had so much energy. I took it as he was a toddler boy.
My sister would always tell me to get him checked out for ADHD, because her son had it and was medicated, and she saw the same signs in Damien. I didn’t believe in it and thought she just couldn’t handle her kids, so I said no.
As Damien got older we realized he had issues with his speech. He started talking late, but all of his physical milestones were hit early or on time. I figured he would grow out of the speech issues, since everything else was on track.
He started preschool at 4. A little late in the game but I couldn’t get him into preschool in our previous town. This was hard for him. He had a hard time sitting still and concentrating. When it came time to transition to another activity or take a nap he would throw a fit, many times ending with me picking him up early. Eventually he went to half days.
Everyone told me Damien was not mentally mature enough to go to kindergarten. I couldn’t believe them! Do you even know this child? Maybe he doesn’t act the same way in school as he does at home. He is the most loving kid I have ever know. He is also super independent.
I eventually got physiological testing done on Damien. It was hard to come to this decision but with mental health being hereditary I felt he had some anxiety and maybe something else. I see myself in him in so many ways it scares me.
The test came back. He was diagnosed with severe ADHD, speech disorter, anxiety, and ODD.
While the psychiatrist explained what it all was, things started to fall into place.
Careless mistakes/lack of attention to detail —check
Lack of sustained attention—unless it’s video games check
Not following through on tasks—-check
Avoids tasks that require sustained mental effort—check
Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli or unrelated thoughts—check
Forgetful in everyday tasks—check
This is only a few of the things he fell under. My mind went crazy. Why didn’t I see this before now? Still ADHD, really? I know how to discipline my kid this can’t be right.
After knowing the results I slowly started noticing little things. He can never stop moving. Whether it was his leg bouncing or just wiggling in his chair. He even kept moving in his sleep. That was horrible to watch. He looked so pained by it in his sleep. He’s very emotional, and gets very frustrated very easily.
The more I watched him the more I believed this ADHD thing was real. He struggles with so many thing, it was heart breaking to watch.
Finally I gave in. I hated the thought of putting my kid on meds but felt that I had no other choice. I was scared that he would be a zombie and not himself.
We started with a low dose. That didn’t really do anything. We then up the dose. Slowly I could see the change in him. He wasn’t a zombie he was himself! He was more calm and less emotional. He started listening better and doing better in school. Maybe meds aren’t such a bad thing. Some people just need them.
Damien loves himself on the meds. He says they make him calm and think straight.
I know people think I’m a horrible mother to put my kid on meds, but that’s ok. What other people think of me is none of my business. It works for Damien and gives him more confidence. And that is what I love to see.
We still have bad days. Like today. He was screaming and crying because I told him he couldn’t play games. That is his calm place, gaming. I put him in a time out and just let him scream and cry. Sometimes I even do this, scream and cry. I think everyone does from time to time. You just build it up until one day you have no choice to let it out. After all he is a human being.
Once he had calmed down, about 15 mins, he asked to play games. I told him to change his attitude and then we could talk about playing games. Within 5 mins his attitude did a 180. He was calm, helpful, and even helped make lunch.
It’s amazing how his attitude can change so fast, but then again mine goes all over the charts too.
Take my hand and come with me,
I want to teach you about ADHD.
I need you to know, I want to explain,
I have a very different brain.
Sights, sounds, and thoughts collide.
What to do first? I can’t decide.
Please understand I’m not to blame,
I just can’t process things the same.
Take my hand and walk with me,
Let me show you about ADHD.
I try to behave, I want to be good,
But I sometimes forget to do as I should.
Walk with me and wear my shoes,
You’ll see its not the way I’d choose.
I do know what I’m supposed to do,
But my brain is slow getting the message through.
Take my hand and talk with me,
I want to tell you about ADHD.
I rarely think before I talk,
I often run when I should walk.
It’s hard to get my school work done,
My thoughts are outside having fun.
I never know just where to start,
I think with my feelings and see with my heart.
Take my hand and stand by me,
I need you to know about ADHD.
It’s hard to explain but I want you to know,
I can’t help letting my feelings show.
Sometimes I’m angry, jealous, or sad.
I feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and mad.
I can’t concentrate and I lose all my stuff.
I try really hard but it’s never enough.
Take my hand and learn with me,
We need to know more about ADHD.
I worry a lot about getting things wrong,
Everything I do takes twice as long.
Everyday is exhausting for me…
Looking through the fog of ADHD.
I’m often so misunderstood,
I would change in a heartbeat if I could.
Take my hand and listen to me,
I want to share a secret about ADHD.
I want you to know there is more to me.
I’m not defined by it, you see.
I’m sensitive, kind and lots of fun.
I’m blamed for things I haven’t done.
I’m the loyalist friend you’ll ever know,
I just need a chance to let it show.
Take my hand and look at me,
Just forget about the ADHD.
I have real feelings just like you.
The love in my heart is just as true.
I may have a brain that can never rest,
But please understand I’m trying my best.
I want you to know, I need you to see,
I’m more than the label, I am still me!!!!