Living in a home where three of the four are diagnosed ADHD, there’s always a new story, a new experience. We have cried, we have yelled, we have cursed, we have laughed, but most of all we have learned. And no I don’t mean academically, though we did do that this year, I mean we have learned about ourselves and others. We have learned firsthand how different everyone’s adhd is from another person’s and how to begin to adjust and understand and show compassion.
Every day is a new battle, and some days, they are not worth it. Some days, the house stays a mess, the dishes don’t get washed, the clothes don’t get cleaned, but the home is more peaceful. Sure, there are pencil and crayon marks on a wall or dresser, clothes in the bathroom floor where they didn’t get picked up, and ten disposable cups on a table because teaching any kid, never mind one with ADHD to rinse and reuse that day is impossible. The toddler runs around with a pull up on her head and a bare bottom because “they like to” and potty training is futile, so we are thankful if we can get the pull-up back on the correct end. My older child may feed the cat three days worth of food one day trying to help, and it’ll be ok. My box of wine may be empty now, that one I’m not sure is ok. (:P)
When you pair ADHD with other comorbid disorders, it adds a whole new spectrum to the mix. Suddenly, I’m not just treating hyperactivity and focus, but anxiety, sensory problems, depression, and anger issues. Suddenly my ADHD has become ADHD and possible DMDD or Childhood Bipolar Disorder with Sensory processing disorder (focus on noise levels and textures).
It’s never-ending, and most days, frustrating. It seems like its hopeless, especially when you yourself have ADHD with underlying anxiety and depression. There are days you wake up and just want to hide in your room, under the blanket, for…ever. And during those moments, my girls pounce on the bed and cover me in kisses and hugs and affection, and I am reminded why I keep fighting for them.
This year was a struggle, and I have realized that the struggle at school isn’t because the teachers aren’t teaching…its because they are not educated and given the tools to accommodate children who have neurodevelopmental/logical or behavioral issues that don’t require special education classes. Yes, we have Section 504 accommodations and IEP, but even when they are in place and being applied, how much understanding and compassion do they really have? I had a person this year, who at one point looked me dead in the eye, and told me that ADHD doesn’t exist. That they just need to apply themselves and sit down and be still and hush. Yes, they were a part of the educational field. We need to help our teachers understand not just ADHD but other non typical disorders and be able to help all the students, without leaving those behind or making them feel ignorant and stupid.
My 8 year old, 9 in July, has an IQ of 101 and test’s comprehensively on educational testing above her grade level. Her grades on these tests were in range of 3.8 (math) to 5 (reading comprehension). Yet, in a classroom setting, she could not finish her work or would miss a lot of the questions, sometimes to the point of making an F. She would not pick up a book because the year before she was told she couldn’t test on chapter books because she took too long reading them. As far as the classroom testing environment, my kiddo constantly told me it was noisy (which for her could be anything from slight to major), but when I mentioned she needed silence and no distractions for testing, I was told it was impossible with kids their age.
We discovered Fidget’s this year. And they have been a lifeline. Her cube and her calming bottle were the biggest help next to her therapist. She now has a spinner, pipe cleaners, squishy things that are textured, and I have ordered a tangle and spinner ring. We plan on spending the summer finding exactly what does and does not work and implementing it next year. I just recently in the past year found out that Section 504 was a thing and offered (I was never told though school has known since Kinder she was adhd) though I couldn’t get it started this year. Next year, it will all be in place, though I hope for a teacher that is educated and has the proper ability to help a child like mine, all teachers need to be taught, because they are there for our kids, otherwise, why are they teaching?