When my oldest son was 7 years old, his teacher wrote him up for tapping his pencil on the desk and wiggling in his chair. I was appalled - how could a kid get written up for struggling to sit still? Isn't that normal for a first grader? When I called her to discuss it, she told me she thought he might have attention deficit disorder (ADD) and needed to be medicated. I instantly bristled. In my opinion at the time, too many children were medicated for being ... kids. And now, to justify a petty write up, my son's teacher was trying to do the same thing! Not on my watch, I thought.
Fast forward 3 years and a LOT of struggles, fights and battles, it turns out E really is ADHD and despite every coping skill we've tried- consistent schedule, coaxing, discussing, and full blown tears - medication is the only thing that helps him get his thoughts in order and reduces the compulsions typical of kids with ADD/ADHD. Compounding the issue of ADHD is Evan's fantastic mind. He's a bonafide genius, who is also color blind. His ability to compensate for his color deficiency is astounding and if you ever chat with him, you'll be blown away by his ability to recognize and interpret patterns and puzzles. He amazes me every day - even when he frustrates me
Now that E is 11 he's able to really vocalize the frustrations of ADD/ADHD in a way that I never really understood, despite the things I've read and thought I understood. We had a long chat one recent evening and he shared with me some of the internal struggles and pain he feels trying to deal with ADD/ADHD. I want to share that with you.
What a profound and insightful view, and how incredibly heartbreaking to hear.
I also hope to share with you the desire to help these kids find an outlet that encourages them without stifling them; something that allows them to be outside of the norm without feeling like social outcasts.
E is currently writing a book... well he's actually writing three books and is also creating the story line for a video game. Haha another example of the numerous projects going on in his mind! He shared with me some of his writing, and together we created an image that visually depicts what he has been creating in writing. This, ladies and gentlemen is 'Shadow'. :)
E's little brother, H, was very excited to see what E and I created, so he asked for one, too. Here is H's visual version of The Green Ninja from Lego Ninjago.
(C) Rachel St. Photography
I'd like to really share the joy that E has received from this project to your kids, also! I have begun a personal project and invite you and your families to participate. I want to help create what your kids see in their mind's eye. Please call me at 409.659.3151 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation and discuss the ins and outs of the project!
Being a parent of a child or children who have ADD or ADHD can be overwhelming and frustrating. There are literally hundreds of resources for parents out there. Your child is not alone and YOU are not alone! In addition to a lot of tears, prayer, and trial and error, here are some links that I have found helpful or encouraging.
Stay strong and remember that the chaos in their mind is frustrating for them, too! <3 <3 Educate yourself, take some deep breaths, talk to their teachers and talk to your kids. You'll likely be amazed by the things they have to say.