I was both apprehensive and trilled when my ADHD daughter was invited on a girls-only shopping trip. Should I let her go, or should I say no?
by Kay Marner
When Natalie’s friend Lindzey invited Nat to celebrate her 9th birthday with a mom-and-the-girls shopping trip to Jordan Creek Mall in Des Moines, I was both thrilled and terrified.
The thrill: A typically-developing friend…an age appropriate activity.
The terror: Due to her ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder, Natalie is prone to becoming overwhelmed and overstimulated by shopping, and she falls apart. What if she screams and cries and she can’t calm down? Will Lindzey’s mom, Ledah, know how to help her? Will Lindzey tell all the kids at school? Bye-bye typically-developing friend. Bye-bye age appropriate activities.
Should I let her go, or should I say no? What would you do? I decided to take a chance; give Natalie a chance -- to have a great experience. I told Ledah that Natalie might need breaks, and encouraged Nat to tell Ledah when that was the case. I gave Natalie some spending money. I crossed my fingers.
The outing was mostly successful. Both girls came home with a new Build-a-Bear, and with matching Aeropostale t-shirts. Nat did get upset, when Ledah told her she didn’t have enough money to buy skinny jeans. But, it turns out, so did Lindzey, when they couldn’t find the Ugg boots she wanted for her birthday. They both eventually got over it, with no harm done.
Now, when Natalie wears her Aeropostale t-shirt, I’m reminded—Natalie and Lindzey aren’t so different, after all.