Support & Stories

Kids, Where’s My Car?

My inattentive ADHD gave me — and my kids — a big scare on a recent family outing. Luckily, I’ve learned strategies to stop it from happening again.

A child with OCD refusing to get into the car
Child and dog near car

Recently, my two sons and I visited Philadelphia for the first time. We parked downtown, got the ticket to the parking deck, and headed off to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and a host of other monuments. We had a great time. Four hours later, we returned — or tried to, until my attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) got in the way. Turns out, there were lots of parking decks that looked just like the one where I had left the car.

My parking ticket didn’t help. It listed the name of the company, which owned 15 parking lots in Philadelphia. This mishap was my fault, and I should have known better. Inattentive ADHD causes me problems with direction. Researchers believe that it is due to visual system deficiencies. I didn’t care at that point. I just wanted to find our car.

We finally found the right parking deck, but not before my kids questioned my sanity. I thought they might cut me some slack, considering that I spend my life doing stuff for them. They didn’t. They badmouthed me, probably because they were scared.

Scaring my kids forced me to change my behavior. After that upsetting parking incident, I now use my smartphone to remember where I parked. Before I leave the lot, I pull up Google Maps, and touch and hold on my location, to “drop a pin.” I touch the address at the bottom of my screen, select “Share,” and e-mail myself the number of my parking spot.

If my children drive along with me, they do not let me leave the car until I do all of these steps. Now the kids are calmer, I am calmer, and, best of all, I haven’t lost our car ever again.


[Self-Test: Do You Have a Working Memory Deficit?]