Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dear mom of an ADHD child



Dear mom of an ADHD child,

I know you are tired. You are worn out. Your house is always in chaos and never clean. There is yelling and fighting between siblings. There have been toys thrown and tears cried. Toothpaste has been spread all over the mirror and homework is a constant battle.

You have called your husband crying. Not knowing if you can take anymore. You've wondered if she would have been better off being an only child, thinking if only she were I could give her the attention she wants. You have yelled more than you like to admit. And you've said things you wish you could take back.

You've made hard choices. Change the families diet? Therapy? Medicine? Maybe you've made all of those choices at different times. Whatever choice you make you are never sure if it's the right one.

To the mom who doesn't give medicine. I know everyday is a struggle. Sometimes you can't wait for bedtime. You are exhausted and tired of yelling. You are doing the best you can when sometimes you don't feel like you are. You change your child's diet and take your child to therapy. You just wish something would "click." You deal with people telling you, "just give your child a pill." You are tired of explaining your choice.

To the mom who does mediciate. I know everyday is a struggle. Sometimes you can't wait for bedtime. Your child has good days but sometimes they have bad ones. You are exhausted and tired of yelling. You are doing the best you can when sometimes you don't feel like you are.You deal with people telling you that you are drugging your child. They question how you could do such a thing. They question the type of doctor you bring your child to being sure that doctors "these days just hand out pills." You've done your research. You tried everything else before this. You've been to multiple doctors. But what they don't understand is this. They didn't see the difference the moment your child took the right medicine for them. They didn't see your child being able to focus and listen to everything that is said to them. They didn't see the notes sent home from teachers who said they noticed the huge difference and that things are just clicking for them now. They didn't see how happy that made your heart and what a huge difference it has done for your child more than anything.

I've been both moms. The one who doesn't medicate and the one who does. Neither of them are easy choices. You both question if you're doing the right thing every single day. And whatever choice you make you make it every day. But only you know what's best for your child. And only you can decide. Not your family. Or friends. And that's something you need to let go. You need to stop letting it bother you. I know it's hard but please do it. Because we all know you are doing what you think is best for your child. And that's all that matters.

I wrote this letter for me. But I wrote it for you too. And I hope you re-read it when you need to.

Love,
A mom of an ADHD child


57 comments:

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  2. Thank you!! I didn't realize how much I needed this until I read the entire thing and found myself wiping the tears away. I have 4 boys, 3 of which have ADHD. My sister, as well, was diagnosed with ADHD. And seeing her fight with the teachers throughout school, I was entirely against medication. So when my oldest son was diagnosed in 3rd grade I fought and fought to keep him off the pills. But I did all my research and talked to friends and family with medical and personal experience, and I finally decided to try the dreaded pills. The change was amazing!! He went from almost failing to getting A's and B's. And I'm happy to say it didn't affect his personality at all!. Then his younger brother was diagnosed as early as 4 years old, with much different symptoms. He puts the "H" in ADHD! And he was having serious problems with self control and could have full blown fits for 2 hours or more. It killed me to see him like that! The medication helped him to get better control of himself and he was much happier (and a bit calmer). And then my youngest got diagnosed in the beginning of 1st grade, after I fought with his Kindergarten teacher all year. I always thought that I was ok with my decision no matter what anyone says. But I think, we all still have that little niggling feeling that maybe we could've done better, no matter what decision we made. I think the only deciding factor should be, are our children happy? And are they able to progress and learn they way they were meant to be? Nothing is more important than that! Happy, healthy kids and family should always be our ultimate goal as parents!! Again, thank you for the letter!! It was beautiful!!

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    1. Thank you, thank you! I see myself in your letter. I hated to try meds with my son Caden, but the changes in him are amazing! ADHD runs in the family, yet I still feel guilty that he has it.

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    2. thank you my son is six and has just been diagnosed with adhd and severe oppositional benhavipurs we have known for yrs there was somethinng with our boy but its taken 5yrs for the so called professiomnals to work it out!!!they are just now going to try him on a trial of ritalin.are we doing the right thing?,a very concerned dad

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    3. I really needed this tonight! After a very long couple days with adjusting to new dosage of meds and feeling hopeless and defeated, its uplifting to find this letter..Thank you for your words of encouragement and HOPE!

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    4. A very concerned dad- Only you can decide if you are doing the right thing as far as medicine. I will say it helped my daughter so much when we found the right medicine for her. She is still her, but able to focus. Good luck! And please let me know how it all goes!

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    5. thank you so much for this. i needed this this morning made me feel so not alone

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    6. I CAN'T imagine . I would tie them behind a 4 wheeler and make them run till tired . vitemins or wcky weed that makes you tired . it must suck parents are tough . when you have to look out for somebody it kills you're life weather its a kid or parents . I am moving away from my trouble to make money and not turn into what ya trying to help .lol. nothing to do with adhd though . take care .

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  3. I cried reading this its beautiful thankyou x

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  4. Thank you.... I needed to hear that also..... We are raising our 9 year old grandson, have had him since he was 2.... I noticed back then that he reacted to red food dye, so we eliminated it.... He started Kindergarten.... ok he passed to 1st... that is when the brick wall went up.... We struggled with the medication bit... oh we struggled so hard.... but he was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD .... we decided to medicate with behavioral therapy and it has taken 3 years of trial and error to get it almost right... but he is thriving again.... still struggles with school.. he happens to like the sports and gym aspect of school instead of the academics.... but we are working on that. I have felt guilty and still do every time I have given him his meds, but without them he is absolutely lost. So thank you for making me feel better about our choice.

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  5. The teachers and babysitters of our 7 year old son, discouraged medication. I was however, was at my wits end. This brilliant boy was suffering academically, but even harder to watch, he was suffering socially. We opted for medication. The teachers and babysitters, former naysayers, remarked at what a difference the medication made. We saw his grades improve and he blossomed socially. Things at our house were easier to handle, perfect-no, but easier. All of those outcomes are great, but the thing that made me know I did the right thing was when my son told me, "Mom, I don't feel right when I don't take my medicine, I feel more in control when I do.". Each family has to do what works for them. Medication worked for ours.

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  6. Ty very much for this i cry each day i have 5 kids of 4 of them that have adhd n one has add ocd odd n i deal.w alot w him alone hes almost 13 n thinks i cant tell.him what to do.or say n its hard but i aint quitting i loved this n cried alot now i know.im not.alone n someone out there has something similar like my issue keep me posted..on ideas im tired of yelling n repeating my self to kids more then 2 times sometimes is 15 times to tell him to do something.

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  7. I myself is a wonderful recipient of ADD .. I also have four children who are now the ages between 13 and 21. I have watched my struggles in thier eyes year after year. Thankfully I am able to understand how hard it is to live in that mind. Everything you have said is very true for both them and I. I refused the medicine for many years but as my oldest reached a age where I would be having more to handle and guide her in her future. I decided then I needed to be focused . It was the best choice I ever made. I will say it took several types to find what worked for me but,I know now I will be late,I will forget, and I will not focus without it. Everyone who has this problem, has these struggles everyday,I call them ticks like turrets uncontrolled reactions to normal situations. the wrong food,to much noise,to many people,to much sleep,not enough sleep and no routine everyday all contribute to being hyper,sad, frustrated,learning and not learning..You become the outcast because you talk in circles,to much and to fast, You act imature or inappropriate,you forget things all the time, you stuggle in school because you are really smarter then most, but you learn different and can't understand the way they teach or the amount of distractions are overwhelming so what you learned was the fan is bent is why it makes that noise not two plus two is four..also one thing I learned is it takes me three hours of calm for me to go to sleep so until lights are out and quite I am wide awake... I hope this helps someone who struggles with someone who has these problems everyday. I hope you see the people who have this are smart,loving,happy people, they just have a world that feels like they are in a crowded room with everyone face to face all in a hurry to get out of the same door. Sometimes they just need someone to stand in the back hold there hand show them the way out while telling them calmly there is no rush.. with a smile of course.

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  8. I myself is a wonderful recipient of ADD .. I also have four children who are now the ages between 13 and 21. I have watched my struggles in thier eyes year after year. Thankfully I am able to understand how hard it is to live in that mind. Everything you have said is very true for both them and I. I refused the medicine for many years but as my oldest reached a age where I would be having more to handle and guide her in her future. I decided then I needed to be focused . It was the best choice I ever made. I will say it took several types to find what worked for me but,I know now I will be late,I will forget, and I will not focus without it. Everyone who has this problem, has these struggles everyday,I call them ticks like turrets uncontrolled reactions to normal situations. the wrong food,to much noise,to many people,to much sleep,not enough sleep and no routine everyday all contribute to being hyper,sad, frustrated,learning and not learning..You become the outcast because you talk in circles,to much and to fast, You act imature or inappropriate,you forget things all the time, you stuggle in school because you are really smarter then most, but you learn different and can't understand the way they teach or the amount of distractions are overwhelming so what you learned was the fan is bent is why it makes that noise not two plus two is four..also one thing I learned is it takes me three hours of calm for me to go to sleep so until lights are out and quite I am wide awake... I hope this helps someone who struggles with someone who has these problems everyday. I hope you see the people who have this are smart,loving,happy people, they just have a world that feels like they are in a crowded room with everyone face to face all in a hurry to get out of the same door. Sometimes they just need someone to stand in the back hold there hand show them the way out while telling them calmly there is no rush.. with a smile of course.

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  9. Brought tears to my eyes!!

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  10. Thank you so much. I have felt so alone. My 13-year-old son has ADHD and so does my husband, but my husband refuses to admit it and only lets me know everything I'm always doing wrong when it comes to our son (not that he is involved in any way of raising him outside of contributing financially). This letter made me cry just to know I am not alone in this struggle. Thank you again.

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  11. Thank you so very much. I have felt so alone for so long. My 13-year-old son has ADHD and so does my husband and I feel so strung out being in the middle, especially since my husband refuses to change or admit he has it and constantly criticizes me for trying to help my son (and I try everything!) -- and my husband stands back and doesn't help at all, just points fingers. Your letter made me cry as I saw I'm not alone in this. Thank you.

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  12. Thank you so much for this. I really needed to see this today. We have the same struggles daily.

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  13. Thank you so much for this! It almost made me cry im all teary. Best part of my day so far.

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  14. Thanks so much for this. It almost made me cry. Im still a little teary eyed. Definitely needed it after the morning I had.

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  15. Megan - What a sweetly encouraging and vulnerable post. I'm proud of your courage to write this and share your heart. You've clearly touched so many!

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  16. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING THAT. IT REALLY DOES HELP TO KNOW THAT SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS.

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  17. We just got our diagnosis Thursday... The first step!! Any help or advice is very welcomed!!

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    1. Glad you all took the first step! My # 1 advice is to research and learn as much as you can about ADHD. The more you learn the more you learn why your child does what they do. Understanding that helps a TON! It helped me a lot once I realized why my daughter does what she does. It also helped learning that she wanted to listen and be good, but just couldn't. Good luck! And feel free to ask any questions! :)

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    2. please head over too
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/ADHD-ODD-Child-lets-help-eachother/1401408456786683?ref=hl

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  18. Both my sons battled with all those well-known the symptoms of ADHD. Forgetting books at school, losing things, that dreaded report comment "not achieving according to potential", so many visits to the ER because of accidents after rushing into impulsive actions, etc, etc. And I ( a teacher waddayouknow) felt like this terrible mom. Both sons are now in their 30's and both still use Ritalin. They are not drug addicts, they haven't committed any crimes, their brains function 100% and they're satisfied with live. So, nothing wrong with medication. Save yourself-respect, your marriage, your relationship with you children, and enjoy you kids.

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  19. As I lay in my bed and my child beside me in his bed I think how lucky I am to have a special child one that can bring joy, laughter, tears of happiness ,tears of sadness, tears of sear determination, all in one day .I have thought the demons ( ie doctors) I thought for years first with my eldest 8 years in fact , I can remember the when someone said love its not your fault he has non verbal learning difficulties it was a heavy load had been lifted but the battle wasnt won My youngest had just started school and aong come the problems but the school was great and got all the help he neeeded until yr four when no longer could they cope nor could I so the battle went on new school new hope three yrs later he is in a better place as am I now my eldest is in the mist of leaving school to go sixth form my battle will never end as long as I have them both beside me and to be honest I will fight every corner of the earth for my special boys cause to me that is that a parent does best plus life would be boring dull and lifeless if we didn't have these special wondeful people in our life

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  20. Thank you for putting this in words. I understand every word. This is a very trying disorder but knowing that there are others going through the exact same experiences
    makes it easier.

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  21. Thank you! I've been both moms. It is so hard. Sometimes people mean well with their advice or suggestions, but really people, do you think we haven't thought long and hard about how to navigate this? I'm sharing this for people to see. I know so many can relate to it, and hopefully, a lot of people can learn from it as well!

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  22. Thank you so much for this! My son is in 2nd grade, and was diagnosed with ADHD about 2 months ago. I've always known there was a problem since he started kindergarten, but I didn't talk to my husband about it because I knew his thoughts about labeling and medication. Homework almost always brought on yelling (from both of us), and tantrums. We had an SST meeting in 1st grade to talk about what can be done to help him with his behavior and grades. The teacher and I both filled out a form, which asked us to score his behavior, among other things.

    We got the results back, which showed that his teacher scored him to have ADHD. My husband didn't accept it, so we didn't take it to the pediatrician.

    So now, he's in 2nd grade, got the diagnosis and is taking medication, and I'm afraid we're too late in getting him the help he needs, and that he might fail. I've been beating myself up about it...and reading this letter has given me the strength to want to fight for him again.

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  23. After much angst, my daughter tried meds for her 7 yr old son with ADHD. We didn't see much change at home as it wears off about the same time the school day ends ~ but that is ok. She knew it was the right decision when the dr. asked him how the medicine makes him feel and he joyfully responded, "I can think!".

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  24. I have never had my daughter tested but she has always had the signs. She is 12 now and moving from a private school w a class of 12 students to a regular public school this year ( 7th grade) and starting her period has sent her over the top. She does bad in all her classes, even PE and Choir which she loves. She cant sit still or is often spaced out according to the teachers. I called her regular Dr. to get referral to have her tested and I guess I will go from there, anyone have any advice for me? She had never been able to sit still or focus, thats why shes good at sports, its fast. She is very compulsive, forgetful etc. I know for a fact she has ADHD, its obvious. I took her out of public school in 3rd grade because the teacher told me my daughter needed to be tested for ADHD and wanted her to see a shrink, I was so sad and livid I took her out and put her in a small private school from 4th to 6th, even tho she struggled a bit there, she had a lot of help. Now as much as we have had teacher meetings and calls and emails from teachers since Aug 2013 she still hasnt changed. She says she tries and she can't, she says she can''t focus and has no control of herself. I find that hard to believe but I'm not so familiar with this condition and am highly afraid of and meds... any advice or help would be awesome. You can always email me to at lisacouil@yahoo.com Thanks.

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  25. OK here's my dilemma. My husband and I are adopting our nephew who was diagnosed with ADHD and depression. He is 7 and has had a rough life. But now we're here. The problems I'm facing is we have met with his doc and weened him off all meds which kept him in a zombie state. Now all meds out of system and he's having trouble focusing. I am highly against the meds after seeing the state he was in. But I also see him struggling in school at home no problems not even with homework he's my angel. This ADHD is so new to me. I guess I'm looking for some advice as to what we can do as parents to help with out the use of meds.

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    1. I would say, if you aren't already, start with behavioral therapy. We still go to behavioral therapy and it helps a lot. You could also get an IEP for him at school that will help adjust his school needs to him. For example, someone might come into the classroom for a couple hours a week to help him with his work, etc. A lot of children with ADHD have IEP's and that helps a lot too. Good luck! :)

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  26. Thank you.. My daughter has had a ton of medical issues and ADHD being one of them. I feel guilty for not noticing it sooner and getting upset at her for things she was doing that would drive me nuts before we got the diagnosis.. we medicate my child and its an amazing difference. People look at me though when I tell them and they judge and for me thats hard as I only do what is best for my child. But thank you for writing this I dont feel so alone anymore!

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  27. Hi, our 5 year old has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. We have noticed a difference in her and our younger daughter since infancy. I've struggled with feeling like a not good enough Mom, other parents seem to have their kids under control, what was wrong with me? I've fought meds for a long time, just started her on Adderall. Like you said, I feel bad everytime I give it to her. I'm scared I'm turning her into a drug addict. I'm scared if I don't give it to her that she will become a drug addict. I feel so frustrated and helpless much of the time! I have tried EVERYTHING except meds. Behavioral therapy helped tremendously at home but none at school. She has been kicked out of multiple daycares, schools, actitivites and I've watched her cry at night because she doesn't have friends at school and the other kids tell her she's a 'bad girl'. I'm just so sad. This will be her first day of school being on the med, we'll see.

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  28. hi there i am a mother of an ADHD and ODD boy and have started a page for suport and ideas for other parents going threw the same thing, you are all more then welcome to come join and support eachother threw a hard road :)
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/ADHD-ODD-Child-lets-help-eachother/1401408456786683?ref=hl

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  29. I guess we are not alone. My (soon to be 8yr old) son has ADD, hates school and at times has said that he wants to die. He was recently EMS and my husband and I are constantly disagreeing/arguing about what is going on at school. The truth is that we are in school #3 and by now we both agree that maybe we should try medication. Our son goes tomorrow to the Psychiatrist. A new journey may begin.... Thanks for this blog.

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  30. I have 2 ADHD boys and two year old boy. Sometimes I just wanna check myself in to the mental ward at a hospital. Then the insurance company decides to stop interfering and pay for their meds and things get better till either the doctor or insurance company screws up again.

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  31. My son has had ADHD for several years. Most of this being found out after my -ex left when my son was 6. He is quick to say I'm crazy for putting my son on meds. He wasn't the one trying to help a crying child with homework or seeing grades drop when he is so eager to learn. My son is now 16 and doing very well!!! He is still on meds during the school year...but I see improvement all the time. Hard choices made with the best intentions.

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  32. This is really great and has brought tears to my eyes. I live in Kenya where not too many people are exposed to hyperactivity or understand what it is. Its taken me a long time too to know what it is and what to do and its great to see u get me!! Youve expressed me!!! My son just turned 6 and Im sooo happy. Sometimes he has to sit close to the teacher just to learn or all hell brakes loose, and other times hes ok. Our house too gets crazy at times and I feel sorry for my 13 year old daughter who dosent always understand the confusion. My son who is on a 2 year anticonvulsant medication has changed my life. Hes made me sensitive to all the wonderful children out there who are UNIQUE as I call them. They are special. Very special and has made me realise that I should take each child as an individual. I have learnt alot and I too want the world to know and understand them. I have a U are Unique facebook page too where I talk about my experiences. Thanks alot!!

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  33. This so awsome its so true I have a son that has ADHD he's had since he was 6 years old he will be 18 in a couple months and its been a battle alot of up and downs alot of tears wondering if I have done the right thing all these years him taking meds I think this post is so awsome you don't hear alot about ADHD.

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