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Tex Commando

I'm not angry, just outspoken

My eldest child was just diagnosed with ADHD. I have ‘known’ for at least ten years. I think I was in denial for several years. I knew she was bright, energetic, spirited, scatterbrained. She never sat still in school. For the first two years of school, she got along just fine because she had great teachers who just loved her for who she was, and allowed her the freedom to learn and express herself in her own way. Second grade was very hard for her because she had an old crotchety teacher who had no patience for my spirited little girl. I can’t say that I blame her. I had little patience for her. But, I think that was the beginning of her problems. She’s been a mediocre student at best. Lately, she’s been failing classes because she just can’t get it together.

But it’s not just school. She has problems at home too. She spaces out when she’s supposed to do something that she doesn’t necessarily want to do, like clean her room or put the dishes away. What takes my other kids 10 minutes to do, she takes an hour or more no matter how great the reward is or how severe the punishment is. Mood swings? Check. Difficulty transitioning from one activity to another? Check. Lack of control over impulses? Double check. For years, I thought that maybe she was just immature. But she’d eventually grow out of it if she was immature. Maybe it was a parenting deficiency. I don’t think it is, because the other kids would have the same(ish) problems, wouldn’t they? I never had any problems with any of the others like I have had with her. My kids are pretty well behaved.

And now more than ever, it’s affecting her feelings of self worth. She’s afraid that she won’t be able to graduate high school. She’s afraid of not being able to ‘do’ college. Or a job. She is afraid that she won’t be able to get her act together and be a productive and successful adult. She knows she’s smart. She knows that she should be able to get great grades. She just can’t.

For the past year, I have been trying to get her on board with getting help.  She’s too old for me to make her see a therapist. She’s too old for me to force her to take the hours long diagnostic testing. And I’m certainly not going to FORCE her to take drugs.

After doing her own research on ADHD, she finally agreed that she should go through the necessary steps to get help. We found a great therapist who is working with her on some behavioral strategies that will help her manage her time and help her organize her school work. Today, she’s seeing a psychiatrist who will most likely prescribe her medication to help her function better. She really is looking forward to getting help.

After I set up the appointment for her, I had her read Brandi’s post about her experiences with ADHD and medication. She could relate so well to Liam’s experience of ‘fighting with his brain’. I know she’s looking forward to not having to constantly fight her brain. I’ll let you mofos know how it works out.

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