Whether it’s avoiding the mom shame game, or the challenges of having multiple young kids, we think that the best way to work through motherhood is together. No topic is off limits, even if it means getting honest about body image issues for young girls in Baton Rouge. ADHD is another topic that requires support and understanding, especially when having a child diagnosed with ADHD.
Having a child diagnosed with ADHD is more than a task.
With us just coming out of October and it being the month for ADHD awareness, I wanted to share our ADHD journey. It doesn’t take much to feel isolated in this world of parenting. Society can not be very welcoming when it comes to children not of the norm. We put so much pressure on ourselves and children to uphold certain standards and appear to ‘have it together’ at all times.
We all know this not reality, especially when you have a child who is diagnosed with a mental or behavioral disability/disorder. Believe me, I have felt all the eyes of judgment while out in public. I believe it hurts more that they are judging my son before even knowing him. Brady was officially diagnosed with ADHD before turning 7 years old. We put most of his behavior and issues with attention to the fact that he had a developmental delay, including speech delay and being on the autism spectrum (very mild autism)-Aspergers.
When we were confronted by his second grade teacher (first go through in second grade), we knew that there was more going on with Brady’s classroom behavior. Brady would randomly get up and walk across the classroom for no apparent reason. He also would randomly stand up next to his desk just to do jumping jacks.
Now, Brady is not a ‘bad’ kid. He doesn’t do things to intentionally get in trouble. I knew, as well as his teacher, that this was impulsive and was leaning towards ADHD characteristics. If it weren’t for the behavioral problem, I would not have thought about an ADHD diagnosis. He does great when it comes to learning and his grades. The struggle was more that he wasn’t able to control himself and was beginning to get that ‘Misbehaving/bad kid’ label. Absolutely not having any of this!
ADHD represents itself differently in students, but with one thing in common: inability to stay on any mundane task for a long period of time. Brady has the drive to do things, but his brain loses interest as soon as he loses the excitement. Once his brain senses a decrease in this, it is off to search for something else that is stimulating. This is where the impulsivity comes into play. He is on the move all the time, feeding his brain what it desires: stimulation.
A trip in the store can be overwhelming with Brady. We honestly never know how it is going to be. If his medicine is still active, then he will pay more attention to details. We have stayed on 1 aisle in the store for over 30 minutes as he reorganizes the products on the shelves. Now, if he isn’t on any medicine, you better put your butt in high gear. He will be all over the place. “Wait! What is this?! Oh look! What is over here?!”
He will want to touch and play with all the things he sees. Some of you may be thinking, ‘My child already does this and is not diagnosed with ADHD.’ A child with ADHD is like a child of the norm on steroids when it comes to these type of behaviors. It is exhausting.
Having a child diagnosed with ADHD and on meds.
Having a child diagnosed with ADHD and also being put on meds is a personal choice. I knew my son would thrive if he were put on a medication that would help him control himself in the classroom. The part you don’t hear about when it comes to ADHD meds is the late afternoon side effect: THE CRASH. It literally is a crash that they experience as the ADHD med begins to wear off. Think about it.
Their brain has been given assistance all day, keeping it from getting overstimulated so that it can stay on task. Take away this controlling feature, and the brain is like “Heck yea! Time to go!”. This in turn causes an increase in agitation and the inability to control one’s emotional feelings. Depending on the med, some crashes may be worst than others. We recently had to switch our son’s medication due to this. His after crash was so bad, that I was left in an emotional exhausted state and a few broken items in the house: including a lamp.
The anger that you see on this crash is like no other. You literally are walking on eggshells. Some of you may be thinking ‘Then why put them on the med in the first place?’ Like I mentioned earlier, some meds are worse than others. The new one that Brady has been on has been wonderful! He does have some agitation in the later afternoon, but it is manageable. I would way rather he be treated for his ADHD during the day than worry about a little afternoon crash episode.
This will be an ongoing thing for us, specifically Brady. We will be staying on top of what works best and how to make the most of each and every day. Do you have a child that is diagnosed with ADHD?