I wrote this post more than five years ago. These words were expressed when I was working full time and trying to raise 2 kiddos with ADHD, 2 with ADD, and 2 with RAD. I have cooled down a bit, and things have improved immensely. (I know many people are anti-medication for good reasons, but for me, my children would not have survived with out it.) I have nostalgia for several of the comments, and say “GOOD RIDDANCE” to the things I don’t have to worry about anymore!
And so, without further ado, The ABCs of ADHD redux!
I’ve read the articles and books on ADHD. I know the discipline methods, positive reinforcement, rewards and time outs, the methods of Ross Green, sensory diets, nutritional preferences and the medications that work best. But I also know the realities of ADHD. In real life terms, the ABCs of ADHD/ADD are:
Attention! Always on alert for dangerous situations due to impulsive behaviors, such as running across streets without looking, grabbing a butcher knife to cut the end off a banana, running up the down escalator, and grabbing the dog or any other animal roughly and the dog (or other animal) retaliating by biting (or scratching.)
“Be careful! Be careful! Be careful” is the parent mantra.
Climbing climbing climbing: out of the crib at age 15 months, out of the bedroom window when a teenager, on rock walls and curbstones and couches.
Don’t touch that! Don’t do that! Don’t hit her! Don’t pull that! Don’t eat that! Don’t hurt it! Don’t break it!
Exhausted parents trying their best to keep up.
Friendships are difficult.
Go! Go! Go! They’re always on the go!
Helpless parents, unable to control their child’s behavior, especially embarrassing in the grocery store under the staring eyes of others, judging them.
If only he’d… If only she’d…. Parents dream for a different lifestyle.
Jumping Bean: he goes here and there from friend to friend to friend, never staying long enough to establish a real friendship.
Kitchen walls are written on, cupboard doors have nicks in them, curtains are ripped, bedrooms are messy.
LOVE. Parents give unconditional love, but the behavior doesn’t change because the ADHD remains…
Medication? Medication? Medication? Should I use it or should I not?
Not paying attention in school so schoolwork suffers: not paying attention for homework, so it’s a nightly fight: not paying attention to other’s feelings, so keeping friends is difficult.
Overload happens easily and tantrums result. Keep it quiet. Keep it simple. Keep it under stimulated for peace.
Psychiatrists have become my best friends!
Questions! Questions from them all the time! Especially hard to escape when you are stuck riding in the car together.
Rewards for good behaviors; cuddles, high 5s, stickers, ice cream, Playstation, tv.
Self-esteem is low; it seems as though parent’s and teacher’s patience is limited; always the troublemaker, always in trouble.
Time-outs in the seat till we’re blue in the face. All the time spent in time-outs would add up to a year in the life.
Understanding is needed from parents, family, friends and teachers; understanding is often in short supply.
Very draining on all, child and adults.
Whining, whining, whining until parent’s ears hurt.
X-rays, CAT Scans and emergency room visits: active behavior results in injuries.
YIKES! What has he done NOW?!?!
Zest for life would be a polite way of putting it…
To read more about those early years, struggling to raise children, please read my book. Here is a link:
The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane