Reply To: They called CPS on us! (Long… please bear with me)

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Boy, can I relate to your story! My son has ADHD to the max. When he was in pre-K, he was accused of being “sexually inappropriate” because he was goofing around and pushed one of the boys standing in front of him in the lunch line. As the other boy started to fall, Bradley reached out to grab him by the waistband to catch him, and his fingers touched the top of the boy’s butt. The school made a big deal of it requiring him to be evaluated by a mental health professional before they would let him back in school. In a way, it was a mixed blessing because that’s when we discovered he had ADHD. Then he was playing at a water park and reached out to tag a girl who was running from him and ended up pulling her bathing suit bottoms down just enough to expose her private parts. It was totally an accident but he was accused of being a “sexual deviant” by the time he was six. His reputation preceded him everywhere he went, and it seemed like everybody…parents, his teachers, even our friends began seeing every quirky thing he did as some sort of sociopathic condition and we, as his parents, were to blame for it. Eventually, we moved to a new neighborhood to escape the scrutiny and get a fresh start. I debated whether to tell the neighbors that Bradley had ADHD, but I decided to tell them so that they might see his impulsive behavior for what it was…a manifestation of ADHD. I don’t think we were in the neighborhood for a week when he was playing in our neighbor’s swimming pool and jumped in on a foam boogie board which shot up in the air and hit the neighbor’s son in the head. The mom then went all over the neighborhood spreading the word that Bradley hit her son in the head with a board. You can just imagine the image that conjured up with our neighbors. It was an innocent accident that could have happened to anyone, but because my son had ADHD, our neighbors all viewed it as “bad boy behavior” caused by “bad parenting”. It’s too bad that people couldn’t see his impulsive behavior for what it was. But I have to admit, before I had a kid with ADHD, I used to see other people’s ADHD kids in the same light and thought the parents just weren’t disciplining their kids enough. ADHD is probably harder on parents, particularly us moms, than our kids because we want to insulate our kids from the bad rap they get. But kids are more resilient than we think, and they tend to work things out amongst themselves. It’s tough to educate others about your kid’s ADHD because they sometimes view ADHD as an excuse…like it’s not real. But I got this book, “All Dogs Have ADHD”, that sits on my coffee table as a conversation starter. It’s a collection of captioned images of dogs doing some of the quirky things my son does. When I invite my neighbors over for a visit, and invariably they pick up the book and start sifting through the pages. Eventually, they began to see Bradley in a different light as his true personality came shining through. He’s still impulsive at times, but now he’s one of the most respected teenagers in our neighborhood. When he runs through the house and knocks things over, I smile and think to myself, “that’s my little puppy dog wagging his tail because he’s so happy his exuberance can’t be contained”. Lamps are just material things that can be replaced, but nothing can replace my energetic, smart, terrific, loving son whom I adore. He’s my little “puppy dog” and I wouldn’t want him to be any other way. My advice to you is to relax…things will work out. Don’t worry about what the neighbor’s think…they’ll come around eventually. Get the book…maybe it will help you adopt a puppy dog mentally towards your son too. If nothing else, it will make you laugh!