Dealing with other Parents who don't understand

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    • #66841
      zachdaddy
      Participant

      It’s so painful watching your child struggle through school with this condition. Even with good therapists and medication, it’s taken me years to understand ADHD and we’re still trying to learn the best way to support him. And if you don’t have ADHD in your life, and someone is venting to you about how hard it is to deal with a kid who has it – please don’t be one of those smug assholes who thinks that your kids don’t have this problems because of your brilliant parenting. I’ve gotten that smirk when I describe his behavior to other people and you know they’re thinking “I’d never put up with that from my kid..” Yes, if they had ADHD, you would.

      It’s like someone saying that their kid is diabetic and you’re thinking “if you were a better parent your kid wouldn’t be like this.”

      “Be kinder than necessary – everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” – Plato

    • #66842
      liasamturn
      Participant

      I do feel for you! If you have any questions or problems with his school, this is SUCH a valuable resource. We’ve almost all got adhd ourselves, and quite a few of us are teachers or teaching assistants (myself included) because those kinds of jobs seem to draw us lot! Ask away; if I can’t help someone else will be able to. Lots of luck to you, it sounds like you’re doing a great job!

      • #67115
        jeschainks-jrchase
        Participant

        It can be worse, it really can. Try being a parent with ADHD, and with children with ADHD… then people just honestly believe you are a loser and that is why your children behave that way. “Well, you should be trying harder to stick to routines and schedules”…. I am TRYING… it isn’t just my ADHD screwing up that… three of my FOUR children have ADHD… it’s apparently genetic. Or, I love this one…. maybe if worked less. Ok, if you have ADHD… you know that when there is a problem, you come up with an AWESOME solution, that usually runs you right into the ground and then you screw up everything and then have to start again. Usually, I went through the “solution” of picking up multiple jobs and leaving my non-ADHD husband at the time with three ADHD children. So, while I worked well over 60 hours a week… the house fell completely apart. So, I was a bad mom when I did pay my bills, I was a bad mom when I stayed home and managed my house. I was a bad mom for EVERYTHING I did. I didn’t discipline enough, I didn’t “clean” well enough, or consistently… yet, just so you know, that all these parents who thought I was a bad mom, did, on many different times over the course of the years, send child services to my house. They DID NOT think I was a bad mom, they were pretty impressed… except the one lady…. that is a story that gets my blood boiling.

        You are a GOOD MOM… no matter what any other idiot thinks. Every home is unique, and as long as you truly love your children and are doing the best you can… you ARE a good mom! Or dad…. dads…. this applies to them too.

    • #66873
      Pump2Duncan
      Participant

      Oh how I feel ya. I’ve given up venting to any adult that doesn’t have a child with a similar disability. Then when I do find someone it’s like we latch onto one another in a sort of shared relief that we can speak freely without rude comments about how our parenting style is really the cause of all issues.

      My son’s disorders have taught me to be more compassionate to other parents and their children. And I am thankful for that. And those disorders have also made my son become completely welcoming to any child, no matter their differences.

    • #66907
      marypole
      Participant

      It’s not just other parents it’s family members with kids. I absolutely love it when they tell me how difficult their little “Jonny” is to manage. And how they manage him, and that is how we should manage our boy. They have no clue what we are dealing with. A great clueless one recently was from in-laws who don’t get that my son won’t eat and just tell me he is being difficult and I should do xxxxx. I have tried everything and I mean everything. My little one has ADHD, Dyspraxia and a chromosome disorder. I would love him to be as they call it difficult and needing a bit of discipline, we walk on egg shells every day. Oh and how smug they are about how good parents they are and that we clearly are doing a bad job. … lol rant!!!!

      • #67082
        Charliecundiff
        Participant

        ADHD and dyspraxia are indeed a tough combo as we are finding out with my 5 year old.

    • #66914
      zachdaddy
      Participant

      Please – rant away. I work with one who doesn’t even have kids and tells me how to handle an ADHD son. These people are like 20 years younger than me and are arrogant enough to give me advice. I’m up at 4am staring at the ceiling wondering if my son can get into college and if he does how in hell is he going to finish an assignment without me standing over him asking him if he remembers when it will be due. He can’t join the military because they don’t take anyone who’s been on ADHDmeds wishing the past 3 years, I’m afraid he’ll be living in my basement when he’s 30. And all I want is for him to have a happy normal life. If I believed in God I’d be angry at him. But I guess I’m just angry.

      • #66927
        Pump2Duncan
        Participant

        You mean ADHD meds mean you can’t get into the military? I am so going to have to research that. My son SO wants to join the Marines when he graduates high school. UGH – I’d hate if that was even taken away from him.

      • #67081
        Charliecundiff
        Participant

        Crazy. When my dad was in the military they gave him ddextroamphetamine.

      • #67144
        b2curious
        Participant

        You can be diagnosed with ADHD once you’re in the military, and through all of your training. My brother joined the National Guard about 15 years ago, he’d gone to Basic, but had a break between it and AIT (the school where you learn your job). My oldest daughter and I had just been diagnosed, and he got evaluated and diagnosed during that break. He was told that if he’d waited until after AIT to be diagnosed, he’d have been fine.Supposedly they’ve relaxed their policy on enlistment, but basically you can’t join if you are diagnosed and are either receiving treatment or actively have symptoms. https://www.thebalance.com/new-asthma-and-add-adhd-policy-3353970 So basically, if you’re diagnosed, you’re not getting in. However, it certainly seems like there are a lot of folks in the military with undiagnosed ADHD, but I could be wrong. It’d be interesting to do a study to try and find out what the percentage is. Maybe that would be enough to get the military to relax their rules.

    • #66919
      marypole
      Participant

      Yes Zachdaddy, I think that is the most important thing at the moment. How to help him have a happy and normal life. My son has other issues as well so he is very limited in his life choices. It’s all about finding something he can do, be proud of himself for achieving and what job he will be able to get in later life. At this stage (he is 9) I have no idea. He is becoming very anxious and now really dislikes school. I think the ADHD meds have helped him with his behaviour but made him very insecure. So living between a rock and a hard place, really don’t want to take him off the drugs but I am worried now that they are knocking his confidence through the floor. I think he will be living with us at 30 too.

    • #66981
      zachdaddy
      Participant

      You have to be off of them for a year / but don’t despair yet. First of all they only know if you tell them and as soon as they’re out of his system he can pass the physical. Second the military isn’t the first choice for a lot of young people today. When I was considering military service the recruiter asked me if I’d ever smoked pot and I said Yes, he looked at me across the table and said “I only know that if you tell me, would you like to answer again?”

      • #66985
        Pump2Duncan
        Participant

        Son’s Dad was a Marine. Son wants to be a Marine. I thought it would be a good fit for him. The things my son craves (highly structured routine, physically active, rigid rules, and clear chain of command) in his day-to-day life are present in the military.

        I might try to start introducing more college type options to him just in case.

      • #67150
        b2curious
        Participant

        True, they only know if you tell them. And it’s okay to be diagnosed once in the military and done with all the initial training – basic and the school for the military occupation….

    • #67067
      kcross2029
      Participant

      It’s a daily struggle for both my son and I. My frustration is with the teachers that don’t get it. I constantly get he will just sit there all period, I already told him numerous times what to do, or he doesn’t want to do the work. I feel like I am just screaming at the top of my lungs and no one hears me. They always ask have you tried medication? It’s such a touchy subject and I feel they want him medicated so they don’t have to deal with him. He is so smart and funny but suffers from anxiety and self esteem issues. Breaks my heart!! I too wonder if he will be able to survive without me breathing down his neck about anything and everything. I hope one day he appreciates how hard I fight for him and doesn’t resent me. I want him to be happy and not hate school.

      PKC

    • #67068
      random_outlaw
      Participant

      I really feel for you and your son – judgmental people are the worst! I’m getting a lot of judgement thrown at me by my son’s principal right now and I hate it and want to explode.

      As for your son’s future… I would give him some time to mature. Whether or not he does homework on his own is not an indicator of future success 🙂 . The important thing is to find and cultivate his talents.

      My son is a freshman in high school and is very talented in computer programming and mathematics. His stepdad and I have essentially encouraged him to embrace his talents and pass (as in pass the class) the rest. I have learned not to offer criticism and instead offer support. I have researched paths to college and nobody tells you this but the “kill yourself in HS-nail the SAT-apply to a million colleges” is no longer the only path to a university. My son is going to junior college for two years which only requires a basic skills test in order to attend. He will receive academic support in junior college and if he gets an associate’s degree he will be accepted into any state university with a full credit transfer. No SAT required. He’ll get extra time to hone his academic skills in a less stressful environment and can space out his classes over more than two years. Then he can get his bachelor’s degree.

      The fact that we have sat down as a family and discussed these issues and made a basic plan has given him so much confidence. He feels empowered and is eager to move on and get a job and a home of his own. Even if your kiddo is young it’s never too early to talk about interests, career options, and plans for the future.

    • #67076
      italianrae1986
      Participant

      Thank you for posting this. I’ve been feeling the same way lately and felt alone. Almost like no one else understood or even thought the way I do. Have you ever had a medical professional not understand?

      • #67086
        machalah
        Participant

        Yep, I have. I took my 7 year old daughter to see a psychiatrist last month for an initial visit. She scoffed at the fact that we homeschool, made assumptions about our “lack of effort” for extracurricular activities (I forced my kid to go to scouts for 2 years before finally giving in and letting her quit), and refused to listen to my daughter’s answers to her questions. She asked me, “What’s her favorite subject in school?” I replied “Well, I don’t know. Daughter, what’s your favorite subject?” The Dr. got all huffy and said, “I’m asking you, not her.” Sure, I could have answered with what I thought her favorite subject was, but she was RIGHT THERE! Why wouldn’t we ask her? She is not deaf or dumb. There’s no reason that question couldn’t have been answered by her. I think too often we don’t give children the credit they deserve. Three different times during the 75 minute session the Dr. said that she didn’t have time for this or that. At the end of the appointment she wrote a prescription and sent us on our way. I didn’t fill the script, and I won’t be back to see her. It was a horrid experience.

    • #67087
      amydelopez
      Participant

      Oh,my gosh, will you all be my friends? Honestly, the OP and every one of you has said something that makes me want to hold hands with you and weep because there’s someone who gets it. I feel like I am giving it all I got, but how my 17 year old is going to make it in college or hold down a regular job is beyond me. Family members who DO NOT get it think Im just enabling him. I feel like the deck is stacked against him. Im coming to grips with the fact that there are some skills he just isn’t going to acquire in time for college. He maybe needs an extra 10 years to ease into adulthood, so maybe I just need to take the pressure off and give him until he’s 30 to leave the nest. Darn everything. Leave us alone, you non-ADHD people, you and your neurotypical timeline and expectations are what’s wrong here. We’re doing the best we can.

    • #67088
      courtneybrianneroth
      Participant

      Thanks for posting. I feel the same way so often; even my partner doesn’t understand my son’s ADHD and it makes it even more frustrating and lonely.

    • #67090
      Grateful
      Participant

      Hi, I am not sure if my real name will show up or not but I really want to respond to try and help some parents out there.

    • #67091
      Grateful
      Participant

      Okay then, I have been trying to change my username for about 20 minutes now and I am frustrated beyond belief! I cannot respond unless I can do so anonymously – I am even getting off the computer I am really angry. This is what it is like to live with ADHD, it drives you to distraction. Good thing that I live alone, I absolutely could not live with anyone else because if someone came and asked me a question or something – even offered me something to eat or drink I would likely bite their head off. It is THAT frustrating because it is so important that I get the chance to talk to you parents! Arrrgghhh!

    • #67094
      Abthorn
      Participant

      Yes! Thank you for posting and opening this discussion. It’s so nice to be among people who understand. Amydelopez I’ll be your friend, my son is 17 as well. And you’re right- we’re doing the best we can. And continually wonder what more can be done. Yes, people who don’t understand think I’m enabling him like my husband (my son’s stepfather) who told me he does not want my son still living at home when he’s 30, so I have less than 13 years to get him ready for the world *wink* He stopped taking his meds sophomore year because he was tired of not feeling anything and not being hungry. (He told me he never knew the feeling of being hungry) He gained 20 pounds. But his focus in school suffered to where he was getting all F’s. It snowballed. I was afraid he’d drop out or worse. Luckily he found a way out. He took the CHSPE (Calif High School Proficiency Exam)and passed (for that he went back on meds, studied hard and welcomed tutoring-for the first time). I’m really proud of him. I am selfishly relived to be done with nagging about school and dealing with the school and teachers, but also feel kind of cheated out of his senior year and lost. But now he sits home all day. It was a way out, but there was no plan forward. He developed anxiety as a result of his school experience which making job hunting a mountain to climb. And more school (college) after escaping high school is not appealing at this point. So I’m enabling him. But I’m the only one who knows what he’s been through and seen him throw up from anxiety and know from reading that ADHD kids mature slower than everybody else’s perfect kids.

    • #67096
      Abthorn
      Participant

      M_outlaw you’ve done a great job setting your son up on the path to success. We found the same alternative path to college for our daughter (and much less expensive to start at a community college!)

    • #67099
      Abthorn
      Participant

      Machalah I understand you’re frustration with the psychiatrist. After similar experiences I realized psychiatrists are essentially only good for meds. And some are better than others. If you don’t like her then keep looking-it’s going to be a long relationship. I hate the searching part. But if you are planning on medications then you’ll probably need the psychiatrist and look for one that specializes in children with ADHD. So hold on to the script. (For better or worse our pediatrician actually oversaw my son’s ADHD meds). But for behavioral issues and strategy’s to deal with ADHD you’ll want to see a therapist or psychologist that specializes in children’s ADHD. Which they say is a good compliment to meds. And again good luck hopefully you’ll find someone you & your daughter click with.

    • #67101
      dlpimental
      Participant

      In my early 20’s, I witnessed my teenage niece lash out at her mom who let it slide…and I remember thinking, I’d never let my kid talk to me like that, lol. I was THAT jerk. Fast forward
      20 years and I have an adopted daughter with ADHD/ODD combo, along with all the anxieties, low self esteem, learning difficulties. In the process I also was diagnosed w/ ADHD. Discovered my aforementioned niece has all the same symptoms, too. Her mom is my biggest support!

      For the record, I do believe in God…and I may not have an easy life (really, who does have a perfect life?)…but I do know I’ve been entrusted with so much and can only celebrate the child I’ve been given, not the perfect one I dreamed of.

      That being said…her future is what she makes of it. She suffers consequences of poor decisions, I don’t protect her from that. I am making tutoring mandatory so I don’t have to nag and do battle with home work. My sanity has been restored. Worth..every…penny! That is one battlefield I will

      But I pick my battles, like my sister-in-law did. I amend alot of
      the discipline gurus teachings–like Love and Logic, I get through emails. The Explosive Child, by Ross W. Green is also an excellent help. I need to download him to my audiobooks for frequent reminders when at the end of my rope and I can’t think straight, note to self.

    • #67104
      navybalmer
      Participant

      I just have to leave a note to say if I could throw my arms around all of you and say, ” you are doing a great job” I would. It is not easy rearing children with special struggles, and until someone walks in those shoes they won’t get it…the perceived smug attitudes hurt … the perceived quick judgements hurt… the internal comparisons hurt…the toll on life is exhausting, but deep down I have a feeling that we all would not trade our special darlings for any of the “A students of the world”. Each of our children with their add has an extra spark that others don’t have… what helps me is knowing i am not the only one in the world that is carrying that type of load and I relish and pray for the occasional encouragement that others care. We all know the proud judgers would buckle in one day if they had to carry our load. Don’t give them the power to ruin your day. And if you can stretch yourself to forgive their comments due to ignorance, it can give you peace. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of burying my little 72 hour darling baby girl. In that experience I learned people say the stupidest things. No one gets grief until one walks in those shoes. I think raising a special challenging child is the same way. The best attitude is to rise above it, if you can dare take on Jesus’ attitude and say ” Father forgive us them they know not what they say”. You can stay focused on your job rearing your child the best way you know how. If you get caught up in the comparison, the hurt feelings etc, it does your family no good. Leave it in Gods hands. Life has a ironic way of cutting down the proud. I promise, it is only a matter of time before those that feel they have everything together and are the pinnacle of perfection, to get broadsided with something in life to crack that philosophy. Don’t waste your time rooting in something or someone that doesn’t have your child’s best interest at heart and is not being helpful. Treat it like an unwanted sales call. No thank you… not interested … click… move on… 😁 Hugs, and be encouraged. You are kicking butt! Pick up that sword and keep charging! Your child is going to do great things I just know it! Follow your gut & heart.

      Oh, and I just hate technology too! It’s all the time causing me grief and time. Don’t side kick your computer out the window though, you may need it later!

    • #67108
      leanz
      Participant

      Navybalmer,
      Thank you! 👍👍

    • #67110
      elmo-b
      Participant

      This sums up exactly how I feel most days…. My 6yo was only recently diagnosed, and I remember resenting those ‘serene’mommies with their perfect children who aren’t running around like crazy and acting up the whole time….

      Knowing that it isn’t me being a bad parent that caused it, that he has a real condition that affects his behaviour etc, has made me calm down a bit and learn to embrace the chaos….

    • #67118
      jhasselt
      Participant

      I had to post and just say you are all doing amazing! I’m with you original poster. I have 2 of my four children who I believe suffer (one is formally diagnosed and on medication, the younger we bring in today). The judgments come from both sides: 1. other parents that you should discipline more 2. adhd is not real and they’re a normal kid. I’m currently dealing with the later with my immediate family. They do not know about my kids, because I’m not sure they would be supportive. I spent over an hour there last night where they blamed everyone else for not letting my son be a typical energetic kid. They think my older son “grew out of it” because he calmed down when he started the meds. They’ve complimented his new behavior, but have convinced themselves that he just grew up and it was a stage…

      Long story short, we need to be here for each other! I wish I could find support in person from other parents, but in my community its all quiet.

    • #67119
      zachdaddy
      Participant

      Wow – when I started this thread I had no idea how many other people are dealing with the same frustration. One of the comments was about medical professionals who don’t understand and even worse, think they do. We went through a couple of bottom of the barrel therapists because they were on a list of people who would take our insurance. Then we got into the program at CHOP which is supposed to be one of the good ones and we had to go all the way to Philadelphia for a meeting 4 times a year, but their therapy program was rotational so we only saw the same counselor twice and then a new one rotated in and we had to explain the whole thing over again. It’s heartbreaking to pump drugs into your kid who just desperately wants to be normal and then start to feel
      Like the people prescribing the drugs are just guessing. Watching your kid stop eating because of the appetite suppressant effect f the medicine, sitting at the dinner table begging him to eat a few more bites and then trying to get him to bed before midnight. This has been exhausting. We finally found a good therapist who helps somewhat but of course he’s private pay (most of the good ones don’t take insurance) and we’re up to $700 a month for counseling sessions hoping for some behavioral change.

      • #67122
        random_outlaw
        Participant

        We have literally had this exact same experience. We went to the university fellowship psychiatry program for a year and it sucked. We did get the same doctor for a year, but it was very much a “get ’em in, get ’em out” deal. They were also impossible to reach by phone. We had an emergency and couldn’t reach anyone at the clinic.

        Faced with a recent need for meds, I went with a private pay psychiatrist who said she suspected he had autism after talking to him for 10 minutes based on his answer to one question. I kid you not. I could just feel her leading up to me forking out who knows how much money for (yet another) assessment. I told her there was no way we could afford another assessment right now. The thing is (and I’m definitely not “afraid” of autism or anything like that) is that he’s been assessed both privately and by the school district for autism and both ended up agreeing with ADHD/Anxiety.

        So now, like you, we’re forking out for a private pay counselor once a week because the psychiatrist wants him in therapy and we need the meds. Even though we live in a big metro area, there are very few psychiatrists who treat adolescents (all private pay) so I can’t afford to burn a bridge with this one.

        I don’t think people neurotypical children understand how much we go through and how much it costs! In our case it’s been literally 10s of thousands. The thing is, I don’t care about the money. I just want my kid to be OK. So when people like the $%*#( principal at his school mess up his IEP and trigger panic attacks I get a little bit ticked off!

    • #67121
      ChasingDawn
      Participant

      What I worry about is my 11-year-old daughter managing her finances as an adult. Managing finances is difficult for adults who don’t have ADHD or a learning disability to manage their finances. It will be doubly hard for me kid when she’s an adult. She was assessed with a learning disability and ADHD. So her basic math skills are not good, counting money, addition and subtraction. She’s getting better at multiplication and division because she has to use it often to solve complex Math problems. Better, but not fluent. She still couldn’t tell you some of her multiplication and division facts. Additionally, yesterday she told she couldn’t remember what 0 + 4 was because she rarely has to compute that!

      Of course, we practice with her. I also have noticed that she has a good memory for songs so we’ve done Schoolhouse Rocks and I’ve taught her my own songs for some of the other facts. We’ve done Touch Math. But I haven’t been able to teach her other songs to help with facts because she’s older now and she shuts down. It also becomes a matter of memorizing the songs. I’ve tried repetition but she doesn’t always remember what we teach her. The school has her practice Math facts in school but she uses charts “cheat sheets” for that! I told her that when she’s an adult, just use a calculator. One of the reasons she doesn’t remember Math facts is that she’s not as interested. I told her she’s going to get ripped off if she doesn’t learn basic math. Math is her least favorite subject.

      Point is, I don’t bother telling that to other people because all I get is that I need to get flashcards, have her do Math software to practice. One parent said that a lot of the kids that don’t know their facts, it’s because their parent is not working with them at home. Most parents of kids with ADHD are doing that! My 11 year old has doing that since Kindergarten! It’s not working. I’ve done the same with my other kids who have learning disabilities but because they don’t have a learning disability and ADHD they were able to retain their facts.

      • #67130
        random_outlaw
        Participant

        Hi ChasingDawn! As I suspected, there is an app for that: Money 1.0 . Take a look and see if you think it would help her. I’m a huge advocate of better living through technology. If you need more help looking for electronic resources let me know.

        Would you say that she is a visual or tactile learner? Right Start Math is a full curriculum but they have a set of games that are played with cards and an abacus. The abacus was magic for me an my son. I did two years of this program and he LOVED the abacus and the games. There is a game called Corners that is really neat (although the cards are a pain to manage!).

    • #67128
      Pump2Duncan
      Participant

      What is funny to me is the same parents who see me with my neurotypical child and think I am too strict, my routine is too set in stone, I expect to much, etc. will lecture me on how I am too “nice” to my ADHD son or how I’m taking the easy way out by going the medication route. LOL! You honestly believe that if ALL it took was a set in stone routine, high expectations and rules for my ADHD son to succeed I would waste my time and money dealing with therapists, doctors and school officials? SERIOUSLY!! They’re so right, it’s really that I feel like parenting my older son but not my younger son. LOL :/

      When you have a neurotypical child and a child with a disability, you get the unique opportunity to see first hand how our education system treats those that are gifted/neurotypical and those that are gifted with a disability. And it makes me so mad!! I have to walk this thin line between giving my older son all the opportunities he can have and being happy that he gets those while being mad that my younger son will NEVER have those opportunities. Case in point, my older son is smart, no doubt about it. So he got into a terrific middle school where admittance was granted based on his academics, overall student behavior and teacher recommendations. My younger son will not get into that school. Not because he’s not academically able, arguably his test scores are better than my older son’s. But because his disability affects what teachers write about his behavior and because I seriously doubt we would be able to get the required number of good teacher recommendations. Only 1% of the student body is on an IEP.

      OK end of rant.

    • #67158
      mellap711
      Participant

      I have a bit of the opposite problem – my daughter was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago as ADHD – Inattentive Type. This means she has trouble paying attention, not listening to all the directions, needs to be given “chunked” information instead of all at once…. among other things. We just had a conference with her teacher and principal and have started to make a plan. But her grades suffer and she is socially very shy and extremely passive. She gravitates towards being friends with the “mean” kids in her class and she is extremely susceptible to bullying. Other parents do not understand the constant struggles on any end of the ADHD spectrum unless they have a child suffering as well. She has struggles with schoolwork, with friendships and with sports. We are currently going through having girls tell my daughter that she is the worst player on the team and shouldn’t come back next year. what they fail to see in her is this: my child tries the hardest in class, she tries her best every day, she practices for sports and the school play and for tests… it takes us 1-2 hours for homework that should take 20 minutes…. it takes her double the amount of time to finally catch on to something new than it should take other kids… but the biggest thing they dont see is how kind hearted she is. she will be your best friend and most loyal too…even if you treat her poorly she feels everyone deserves another chance.

      • #67199
        Abthorn
        Participant

        Melapp711 I feel your pain. I too (as I guarantee most here) know the pain of seeing how hard your kid tries and (yes the hours of homework!) And it is heartbreaking having to watch your wonderful kid struggle socially. I wish I had the answer. My son finally made a good friend in middle school in his learning disabilities English class. And they’re still best friends 4 years later. The friend moved away but they play games together online-so I let him play more than I would have otherwise because they also talk and it’s more than about the game. And then they get to spend chunks of time together when the friend visits his grandmother. Hopefully your daughter will find a good friend soon. It’s painful to hear others have the same struggles but comforting that there’s a group of people who understand.

        • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Abthorn.
        • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Abthorn.
    • #67160
      mghannigan44
      Participant

      My biggest issue was dealing with the complete & utter denial of the problem from both sides of the immediate family. My 4 year old was “dismissed” out of day care last year for his behavior and still my father & my in-laws continued to say “He’s just a normal little boy”.
      Following the dismissal I went through 8 NANNIES in the course of 3 months. No one could last longer than 1 to 2 weeks with him. Even through this, they still wouldn’t accept anything was wrong.
      He went through all the testing, scoring low in almost all areas and qualifying for every type of therapy available. Again with even showing them the physical test results and the percentiles that he was falling in, they still affirmed that he was fine. The typical cliches being thrown out like…
      “In my day there was no ADHD”
      “The schools do this for more money – Its all for money”
      “He’ll outgrow it”
      “He doesnt act like that when he’s with us”
      It got so bad that at a certain point I just stopped telling them anything about what was going on with him. Its been very difficult. I lost my Husband 3 years ago so I feel very alone in dealing with these issues. I just wish they’d stop denying the problem. Its like Riley is the pink elephant in the room and no one wants to admit there’s something wrong. Thankfully he is now in a terrific special ed pre-school. No matter what happens in the future I will love and accept him for who he is.

    • #67240
      Krebolo125
      Participant

      You took the words right out of my mouth! ADHD is not a behavioral problem it is a true medical condition that can greatly impact your life. People, including family, don’t get it and think it is bad parenting when it really isn’t! It is so draining and judgement is just not necessary!

    • #67255
      salemer
      Participant

      Wow, I am so thankful I found this site! I can totally sympathize with each and everyone of you. Being a parent of a 14 year old son is tough enough in this day and age. Throw in ADHD and ODD and forget it! My son was diagnosed a year ago but we noticed his symptoms in elementary school. He’s a smart boy who “slipped through the cracks” because the school work was easy. Now that he’s in highschool and needs to focus a bit more, his behaviors are out of control. He has a mouth like a trucker (no offense truckers), is super disrespectful to anyone that tells him to do anything he doesn’t want to do and has no regard for rules. My biggest fear is that he’ll cross the line and get into real trouble with the law before we can “tame the beast.” We’ve been to counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists. We’ve had DCF called (department of child and family services, we’ve had behaviorists in the house. If I hear one more person tell me I need to give him more love, I might be screaming right along with him! Unfortunately, the parents of his friends no longer want them to “hang out” together. They’re afraid the behaviors will rub off. He is the “bad kid” in school. The school system can’t accommodate his learning style so he’s in his second outpatient program. As much as the programs are fantastic, he’s mixed in with children with other types of issues (drugs, juvenile offenders) so he’s picked up some lovely traits. To top it all off, my husband and I have different parenting styles and do not agree on how to best discipline him. Our home life is a wreck and our marriage is seriously suffering. My husband and I both work full time jobs and trying to get time off for various PPTs, MD appts, psychologists is tough, financially. It’s nice to have a place to vent. So thank you to all for listening. 🙂

      • #68939
        kearnsj00
        Participant

        I so feel for you!! My son also has been slipping through the cracks at school he’s only in 3rd grade but has had a 504 plan since kindergarten and we have exhausted the accommodations available under the plan. He’s need further intervention but he’s smart and he’s been denied an iep previously. I have a new iep eval next month and I am not taking no for an answer. The school struggles are the worst they don’t get it either even though they work with many children who have adhd struggles. My son has a stealing issue too been banned from stores, stolen from family members leaving those relationships strained. Nobody understands and it can feel isolating l. Thank you for sharing

    • #67267
      zachdaddy
      Participant

      So glad that you’re all finding this site also. When my son was only in elementary school the neighborhood “clique” and the mother who ran it started ostracizing him from the group events and at the same time she would smile and act pleasant to my face, even hug me at parties. I remember my son standing in our driveway when he was around 8 years old looking up the street where the bulk of the boys in the neighborhood were playing at this woman’s house and then he asked me “why don’t they like me?” This behavior continued through middle school and when her son (same age as mine) graduated from middle school she threw a graduation party and invited EVERY single kid in the neighborhood evcxept my son. You could hear the music blasting all over the neighborhood and so could my son. I went up into his room to talk to him and saw the hurt and tears in his eyes. The rejection and damage to his self-esteem. I can’t remember the last time I hated anyone as much as that woman. If karma is real she’ll come back I her next life as a kid with ADHD an be treated that way by someone. If I believed in God anymore I’d be praying for some kind of justice. Thanks for listening.

    • #67270
      mghannigan44
      Participant

      OMG I am so sorry for how that neighbor treated you. Heartbreaking truly!

    • #67283
      dlpimental
      Participant

      @ mellap711

      Your daughter sounds exactly like me. Extremely shy, sensitive, misunderstood and bullied. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 47. My life had been filled with fear, stress and hardships. Wish I could have had the support and understanding she is getting now from my parents.
      You are blessed with an early diagnosis and awareness. Please count that ginormous blessing. I think it is awesome.

      All people/children have different gifts and challenges. I think we’re wired to be a certain way for a purpose. We’re not supposed to be cookie cutter people. That’d be not only boring but economically disasterous.

      With my passionate and quick to anger-daughter, instead of strangling her, I try to imagine she may be wired to be some kind of warrior or defender of the needy in some way. Whatever her passion, I’ll do my best to assist her in the way she’ll go.

      As for me, my compassion for people led me to become an RN. A difficult, tortuous miracle for ADHD, but my friend with ADHD is now a nurse practitioner. Sometimes we find a way when we want something bad enough. I hope you can find some hope in that.

      With regards to money…I’m terribke with math and hate it with a passio. My dad had me open my own checking/savings account and with my allowance I
      was allowed to crash & burn and learn life lessons early when the stakes weren’t too high. If that helps anyone.

    • #67292
      navybalmer
      Participant

      Zachdaddy, that is pure evil that you experienced from your neighbor. I guess some never grew up out of their high school days and have to feel powerful by minipulating social things. My heart goes out to you and your son. No one should ever experience that kind of blatent low ball hit. ( I would have to invest in a punching bag). I’m not sure how long ago this happened, but it truly is heart breaking to me and if we all could we would be over at your house with our kids and have our own darn party! 🙂

    • #68938
      kearnsj00
      Participant

      Family relationships are definitely strained for me because they are older, uninformed on adhd and know zero about it. Judge judge judge tell me what I should do and shouldn’t do suggest things like I haven’t already tried it. How about learn about my son’s struggles then let’s have s conversation. Frustrating to talk to people that don’t get it but think they are helping. Also I have an iep eval meeting at my son’s school he was denied 2 years ago and I’m thinking this time they might also be resistant. Any tips would be helpful

    • #68952
      Justdance
      Blocked

      Probably 40% of the families contacting me for counsel to improve the educational experience of their children have children already diagnosed with ADHD.

      Parents can tell they are overly critical by being mindful of their own emotions: when a parent feels irritated by a child, that feeling of irritation is an indication that impatience or other feelings are causing a parent to respond in an unhelpful manner to a child with ADHD.

      The key I think for such parents is to distinguish between the child and the disability. You can love the child and be impatient with the disability. But loving the child is the first priority whenever evaluating the parental action to take.

      And only then focus on the aspect of ADHD manifesting in that prior moment of irritation to help your child understand and learn the executive functioning skills needed to regulate behavior and expression of emotion, and to organize her or his thinking.

      Example: S/he comes home from school. A torrent of information comes out in every breath. Parent is irritated, having only said “Hi Seeetheart, how’s your day? Ready for a snack?”

      How the parent responds to the torrent (or maybe a total lack of engagement) is key. You can’t ignore it.

      “Whoa. Sounds like a lot has happened. Wash your hands and tell me more.”

      S/he drops books and backpack on the floor (how many times have you said to put it on the hook?!) and begins washing hands.

      Washing hands makes this child focus on the feeling of water. Standing in one place with senses engaged, a conversation is possible.

      “What is the first most important thing you want to tell me?” asks the parent?

      Then “and the second most important thing that happened today?” And so on.

      Finally, “is there anything else?”

      By helping a child organize and prioritize oral presentation of information you are teaching important skills and engaging with a child who needs your engagement and love without irritation, anger, despair or helplessness.

      To create the best experiences for children and adults in a family, parents have to learn how to feel and act like adults — and systematically meet their child’s needs.

    • #70020
      Ntjhu
      Participant

      Thank you for being a parent that puts up with us adhd kids, I didn’t have a parent like you, so thank you for everything you do. 👏🥇🎖🏅🎗

    • #70126
      PocoPer
      Participant

      I’ve read through all the responses and can identify with so much. I can’t help but to wonder though–is the judgement that many of you have shared around ADHD or is it just what people do?

      Before we knew my son had ADHD, I felt the judgement too. Whether it was comments about how strict I was, or if my son would act out and I would get the stares… it was judgement. Hell, I’ll be honest enough to say that even before I became a parent I was a judgmental a** of parents. I distinctly remember seeing a young child or maybe 1 or 2 smack their mother and I turned to my then-fiance and told him I’d never allow that to happen. Well fast forward years later when something similar happened and though I did provide an immediate boundary, it’s not like it didn’t happen.

      My point here is that people are going to judge you no matter what “it” is that they’re judging over. They will judge you on the cars you drive, the houses you own, the things you have or don’t have. They’ll judge you on your looks, your color, your religion or your lack thereof. But who is it that gives them the power? We do. If we allow anyone like that to creep into our head space and take up our valuable time, then it may be helpful for us to recognize that and to not give them that power over us.

      I’ve also learned during this journey that everyone has their own burden to bear. It’s easy for me to “judge back” because the person I’m looking at must not understand what I’m going through with me and my child. And they may not. But they may have their own burden of unhappiness, medical issues, divorces, etc. I’ve also learned from a very early age (raised in a house with a bi-polar depressive) that people have an extremely hard time grasping anything they cannot see. Mental illness, ADHD, even the hidden aspects of non neurotypical conditions like Tourette Syndrome, OCD, anxiety, even drug or alcohol addiction etc. — most people cannot fathom what living with these things mean. Heck, I had 40+ years of hands on training and sometimes I scratch my head and wonder why someone can’t just “change.” Then I catch myself and remind myself of what I know. But the point is, it’s not an easy concept to grasp unless you’ve had experience with it.

      When it comes to living with and learning how to help my child who is managing a few conditions, I keep reminding myself (and my husband which I’m sure he loves lol) that we can’t control others reactions, only our own. To that end, we do not share our struggles with everyone. We keep those conversations to people like yourselves or to very close, trusted friends who even though they may not understand it all, they listen with loving ears and don’t judge. I also try to take anything anyone says as a grain of salt. I give them a “thanks for your opinion” and I keep moving. I treat it like they just told me they don’t like my shoes… oh well! It’s their issue, not mine.

      I only share this because I can feel the struggle some of you are going through. And trust me, we are going through many too so I don’t want this to sound preachy or anything along those lines. But WE are in control of the power we give anyone. I’ve stopped trying to make any non-essential people understand the issues we’re living with and instead try to focus on advocating to the essential people such as teachers, administration, caregivers so they understand. Everyone else can go take a long walk off a short pier.

      The challenges we face are prominent in our mind and we are very in-tune to them. Have compassion for those who don’t understand because I can guarantee you–at some point in their life, they are going to be smacked with that lesson on some level. I’ve seen it too many times to not believe it.

      I hope this comes across the way I’m intending it too. On no level is it meant to be a negative to anyone or any thoughts. Just sharing my thoughts based on what I’ve learned so far. Next year, hell next month my thoughts might be very different!

    • #70140
      sarahfleischer
      Participant

      I don’t know if I’m posting this in the right spot…I’m 15 years old and feel I may have ADD since I haven’t been able to focus and have many other symptoms stated online like anxiety and tics. My teachers thought I had ADD when I was in kindergarten, so I was tested and told I do not have it. Does this mean that I can’t have it now?

      • #70191
        Penny Williams
        Keymaster

        It is possible that your ADHD was missed back when you are in kindergarten. If you feel you have it, or something else, that’s impeding on your life, talk to your parents about another evaluation.

        Penny
        ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #70145
      zachdaddy
      Participant

      A few things:

      1) any teacher in a current school in the USA should be able to point you to a guidance counselor or someone who can re-evaluate you.

      2) I probably would have been diagnosed with ADD inattentive if they knew about ADD back when I was in school, so if you feel like you are unable to concentrate – whether you are officially diagnosed or not, your guidance counselor should help you.

      3) A lot of the people on this forum are teachers, so someone smarter than me should be along shortly to help. : )

    • #71095
      TaurusMoon
      Participant

      Amen to that! My son is amazing and I know he is “a lot” for the world to handle. He was diagnosed with ADHD Hyperactive/Impulsive type last spring and we have loved, raised and supported a “high octane” boy before a diagnosis was attached to him. We always will, ADHD or not.

      But man, if I had a dollar for every “look” we were shot, every side eye we have gotten or activity we were shunned or isolated from, I would be a rich woman (and would have shed fewer tears.)

      We are all out here doing our best as parents and we ALL have our own hurdles to jump.

      Be understanding, be kind, be inclusive.

    • #75170
      amandamchambers
      Participant

      Teachers can do the same exact thing! I have been blessed with amazing teachers for my daughter until this year! It drives me crazy trying to talk to her teacher now, when I can get a hold of her.

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