I’ve had this topic in the draft folder of my brain for months now. Months! Who would have thought four little letters would cause such an internal debate for me, but they have. Having been a social media mom (aka blogger, twitterholic, facebooker, etc) for over 3 years now, my life hasn’t exactly been a big secret. I’ve been pretty open and honest about the darkest days of my life, the best and worst moments of my marriage, even my own personal struggles with my weight, pregnancy and low self-esteem.
So why has it been so difficult for me talk to talk about ADHD?
Because it involves my child.
Talking about a medical condition may or may not cross the blurry line of what is or isn’t okay to share with the online world. I never want to do or say anything that would hurt my child now or in the future. But at the same time, this is new territory for me. While I can talk to my pediatrician until I’m blue in the face, I don’t get the feeling of support and understanding. Doctors diagnosis, treat and say goodbye. They aren’t a support system. I need more than that!
So I’m going to share (with my son’s permission).
My son was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) this past summer.
For years we’ve known that something was different about our son. He’s always been active, overly sensitive, inattentive and more recently, aggressive. This combination of behaviors got emotionally and physically exhausting for my husband and I (putting it mildly). This summer it all came to a head when our son started acting out violently, unable to control his emotions … or perhaps even unable to understand them. It was at this breaking point for all of us that I started checking Dr. Google (not recommended) for an idea of why he was behaving like this.
Was it something we did as parents? Not enough attention? Too much attention? The wrong foods? Too much spoiling? I questioned every decision I made as a parent thinking somehow this has to be my fault. After all, I am the person the created his mind and body for nine months followed by years of dealing with my own struggles of being a young, new parent. Somehow this had to be my fault.
After weeks worth of internet searches I came across one answer time and time again. ADHD.
As much as I didn’t want to believe it or even blame his behavior on this mysterious condition, it made sense. He fit into nearly every “symptom” and after a consultation with our pediatrician and his teacher, it was confirmed. And you know what, it was the best decision we ever made. I set aside my mommy guilt and finally realized this is NOT my fault. He began treatment with a low dose medication, which also happens to be emptying our bank account but it’s worth it. We immediately saw improvements in his behavior, his attention span and even the overly emotional crying spells have diminished significantly. The only thing I feel guilty about now is not having him treated sooner. Somehow, mommy guilt always sneaks in.
So here we are, still struggling some days but for the most part, we’re doing okay. My son has become someone we can now have conversations with, take to the store without worrying about melt downs and the best part … his grades have dramatically improved.
My previous C and D student just brought home a report card with 5 A’s, 3 B’s and just one C which oddly comes from a special reading class that he was placed in because of previous year’s issues with reading. Which I find completely odd because this kid reads constantly and books that are far above his grade reading level. I’m going to chalk that one up to a teacher issue.
What I’d love more than anything right now is for other parents of children with ADHD to reach out and share their own experiences.