Monday, August 22, 2011

I have been there...

I am not sure how much detail I have gone into about each of my kids. As with everyone else, I have three kids with three different personalities, but with that I have gained knowledge and patience on how to help each one of them succeed. I also feel like I can be a resource to friends and family when they too are faced with something I have gone through.

That being said, in the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to help two friends who have boys with ADHD. Now let me back up, my oldest was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 4years old. That is very early, but it was very obvious at the time. He has also been on medication since then and in the past 7 years we have researched, studied and learned everything we can about the situation. He has had more struggles I can count and I have cried buckets of tears over things I have no control over. I have asked "what did I do wrong" or "why him" so many times that I learned to stop and face it HEAD ON. And that we have. Faced it. Owned it and even bragged about it in a way. I grew up in a southern household, we don't hide crazy, we put it on the front porch!

So back to my friends, each one has a different is accepting (finally) and working with doctors to find the right meds and behavioral plan for her son. She has her husband on board and they are working with their son to help him learn to work with his abilities not to focus on the disability. She called me to ask for other methods to help and I gave her tons of advice on diet and that food is the hardest struggle with a medicated child. I gave her hints and tips with self esteem and confidence and rewards for the good things they do. We talked for hours and I had such a happy heart knowing I was helping a parent to avoid some of the struggles I have had to deal with.

When I talked to my other friend the conversation was totally different and the way I handled it totally shocked my husband! I am not one to hold back and I had finally had with this friend burying her head in the sand. She stopped me at school to ask if mine was having a good first week of school as she had already been called twice and was having a meeting with the teachers to discuss his behavior issues. She was exasperated and feeling at a loss over the situation. When she confirmed she had finally had him diagnosed with ADHD my next question was, which med is he on? She said he wasn't on any because she was scared of side effects, specifically the food issue. When I started talking to her about this I pointed out there are non-stimulant meds, what the meds were for and how to overcome the side effects. She looked at me like I had a third eye ball growing out of my head. She had no idea what I was talking about. This is when I finally got frank with her and told her to go home and do some research because she was not facing it head on and accepting the truth. It was time to get real and HELP HER CHILD! She doesn't even have a good understanding what the real situation is and doesn't understand what ADHD truly is.

I understand that many people do not agree with me about ADHD. BUT I HAVE LIVED IT FOR 7 YEARS! I have seen the good and the very, very bad and open to discussing it with anyone who asks! I will tell the truth about my child and how we have managed things but I do it to help others. IF your going to ignore it and not step up and protect your child then don't ask me about mine.It's not a dirty little secret in our house and I have gone to battle with family members and teachers to make sure my child gets what he needs.

Medication is not the answer for everyone, I agree with that but it is and has been for my son. He has improved at school considerably over the years even with his struggles.He doesn't get in trouble at school and I don't get phone calls about aggressive behavior and defiance. He is taking control of himself on his own and is learning the cues to know when something isn't right for him. He knows he is loved and is learning to embrace his abilities not focusing on the disabilities. He wears his ADHD label like a badge of honor and is proud of himself when he overcomes an obstacle. He is NOT GIVING UP!

So if your wondering why I jumped on my soapbox this morning, here is why. Research, learn and step up for your child. They are the ones living with these many things and diagnosis and they are not in a position to fight for themselves. BE their advocate and DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO HELP THEM BE SUCCESSFUL. There are TONS of resources out their and I will be happy to help anyone who needs it.

But don't ask me if you don't want an honest answer because it will not always be what you want to hear.
Tahoe Girl


Sunshine and Snoopy said...

You are an amazing mom. And friend. Your kid is beyond lucky to have you for his mom. Kids do need an adovcate, especially in the school system. Keep up the good work. You are an inspiration to me.

Sunshine and Snoopy said...

You are an amazing mom. And friend. Your kid is beyond lucky to have you for his mom. Kids do need an adovcate, especially in the school system. Keep up the good work. You are an inspiration to me.

Kids, Canines, and Chaos said...

Good for you! As a teacher of children with many needs (special education-- emotionally disturbed, ADHD, you name it, we've got it!) I often have to resist the urge to dump all of the information I have regarding medication. I am so proud of parents who face this head on, find approaches that work for their child/family, and share that information with others. Good for you! You had a courageous conversation with someone who was probably in denial about the issue. I hope you continue to stand up and be heard-- you are the best advocate for your child. Hopefully many others will be inspired by your story.

The Major's Wife said...

Book recommendatios please. My son is three but I see it already. Been in education and well, he is my husband's son no doubt. I am just waiting as long as I can until it affects him at school etc...