Until the term ADHD came into our lives, I don’t know how many times my son’s disruptive behavior was chalked up to that overused phrase, “boys will be boys.”
My son’s behavior seemed to be stuck on hyperdrive all the time.
Keeping him from doing and saying certain things became a full-time job.
After being kicked out of two daycares by the time he was three, I was convinced he had ADHD.
How did I arrive at this diagnosis? I saw the same behavior with my daughter – who’s also ADHD.
Despite the mental eye-rolls from his pediatrician, I took my son to a specialist for testing.
The exhaustion on the child psychologist’s face confirms my suspicions.
My Son has ADHD and Our Lives Would Change Forever
First, there was anger, next, there was why me? And then, there was not AGAIN.
I’m not sure why God would make me repeat the test when I failed miserably the first time.
Memories of my daughter’s ADHD made me ask God for an easier kid during my pregnancy.
My daughter’s ADHD was challenging.
She was talkative, lacked focus, and was plagued with serious impulse control issues. Fifteen years ago, you could get medication easily with a proper diagnosis.
Unfortunately, it’s 2019 and times changed – and they changed for the worse.
Doctors are reluctant to prescribe medication for children under five.
The education system has limited resources to help children like my son. And please don’t get me started on insurance companies.
As Uncle Ben from Spiderman quotes, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
The old methods I used to parent weren’t going to cut it. I had to forget everything I knew about my earlier experience with ADHD.
I couldn’t expect the medication to fix his ADHD.
I couldn’t expect counseling or the school to help him either. And if I’m being honest, I couldn’t expect my husband to understand either.
No expectation became the new expectation.
Let me explain what I mean.
I couldn’t expect the medication to fix his ADHD. There are so many medications on the market claiming to do one thing or another. A lot of them come with scary side effects.
Until recently, I didn’t know DNA plays a role in developing ADHD.
I ordered a gene testing kit from Kailos to determine which meds work the best. I suspected his current medication wasn’t helping and I tried to explain it to his pediatric neurologist earlier, but he wasn’t hearing me.
I can’t wait to see the look on his face at our next visit when I show him the test results.
Denial Just Ain’t a River in Egypt
Taking him to a counselor helped, but in the middle of the sessions, his counselor informed me he couldn’t work with him anymore because our insurance wouldn’t pay for it.
This was after the bill reached six hundred dollars.
My husband was in denial at first, but even when faced with reality, the responsibility of managing our son’s ADHD is solely on my lap. Having a child with any special need is tough on relationships. It’s the elephant in the room in our house.
The ABC’s of ADHD
After attending a Pre-K program and attending 504 meetings, my son transitioned to kindergarten.
My expectation was I could relax because they’re trained to help him. While he was in daycare, my husband and I were called every day to come pick him up.
I unenrolled him and we did homeschool one month after school started.
My six-year-old was charged with bullying after pushing another student. The principal and vice-principal did nothing except warn me that I may be confronted by the other parents.
I’ve since licked my wounds, but I’m still on the fence about sending him back.
We moved to another school district that seems promising, but I’m scared he’ll be labeled as “that little boy with ADHD” again.
I hate he’s missing out on making friends and other important personal milestones, but my trust has been shattered.
I recently found a blog post with advice on how to handle difficult children. Even though I have my own blog that deals with ADHD, I’m always open to learning more because I know I don’t have all the answers.
My biggest consolation is knowing I’m not alone.
My greatest advice is embrace and accept who your children are and not what you want them to be. It helps on the tough days.
Before I started writing this post, my son had a meltdown over a math lesson.
I didn’t scream, I didn’t threaten, and I didn’t take away privileges. I know it came from frustration from the both of us.
Math is my worst subject and learning new things is tough for him because of his ADHD.
I went to my happy place and he went to his calm down corner. This is what we do when life gets hard; if he was in school, I would have received a phone call by now to come get him.
His ADHD diagnosis shattered the saying that boys will be boys as nonsense. Because his problems can’t be fixed with ice cream or a new toy, I must be his advocate and provide a safe space when his disability gets the best of him.
As far as returning him to public school, I will do it when he’s ready. After his outburst today, I think we will wait another year or I may visit a homeschool co-op instead.
In a co-op, he can be around kids his own age without the pressure of trying to fit into some ridiculous mold. I will continue to seek support, better medication, and better doctors when I have the resources. Right now, I want to use my strength to be his mom.
Do you have a child with ADHD? How are you doing Mom, we’d love to hear about it!