For parents starting out on their journey with a disability I would say:
* Grill your paediatricians, doctors, sensory support for as much information as you can
* Try and have a list of questions when you go to appointments in case you forget to ask something that has been bugging you. Type them in your phone or jot them down as and when you think of them. It's hard to keep on top of them I know but it could make a difference.
* Take each day as it comes, there will be good and bad days you have to accept this and it's hard, really hard!!!!
* With ADD pick your battles....this is a really hard one to do, you feel you can't give in
* Have some me time!!!! It's hard but having some down time wether it's a walk, going out or getting lost in a book we need to try and do something for ourselves and recharge our batteries. I tried for so long just to get on and be a parent but eventually realised it does not make me a bad mother to say help I need some rest and relaxation!!!
* Don't be afraid to ask for help....again another difficult one especially when faced with people who do not understand your child's behaviours and needs but on the flip side if we do not give them that chance to interact and experience it themselves how are they ever going to understand
One thing I think is true of parents who raise children with special needs and disabilities is the constant effort to do what is best for your child and sometimes these decisions can upset the normal routines and daily life.
ADD has taught me so much in the last 8 years and its teaching me a lot more as the months, years go on. No one child is ever the same and I think that is certainly true with children who have ADD. Every child has their own quirks, breaking points, triggers. No one child has the same symptoms but an array of them making them unique. We as parents have to learn how to adapt to take care of these children. There is no training manual its a case of trial and error!!! Its always interesting and helpful to speak to other parents for support, advice and just for someone that understands what you are going through. Facebook groups are a good place to start.
Elements of ADD will cause you frustration, heartache, anger and you may feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster. Memory problems for me cause me the most headaches and moments of sheer annoyance and anger and tears. I struggle as I am really an organised person to understand some days why my child forgets. Other days I feel sad for the things she looses and events she doesn't understand as she has forgotten them. A diagnosis of anything is no picnic and is never a simple cut and dry case. Just because you can't see a disability does not mean its not there.
I do blame myself as a parent for the way my children are..... Its easy to isn't it?
It's not my fault I know, but some days when feeling low in myself it is easy to play the blame game. We parents put ourselves through so much. We tackle parenthood head on and do everything we can to make sure our babies grow and thrive. The day we parents get our children's diagnosises can be the worst. For me being told my daughter had hearing loss at 2 and ADD at 7 were days that I don't really remember much about. They are lost to me in a haze all I remember doing is crying and then getting on and parenting as best as I could.
At the end of the day remember we are all super Mums and super Dads. In the eyes of our children we are their superheroes no matter what the days, months and years ahead bring. For all the love in the world raising our children to be loved and accepted is in my view what it's all about. Yes I get angry and frustrated but the milestones my children complete and the characters they are will never ever make me think for one second that I wish life had been different. Our children are who they are and we have this amazing job ❤️
Please feel free to get in touch
Xx Leanne xx