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Please help me! I have an ADHD son and I think I'm going crazy!

Posted Jun 05 2009 5:07pm
Every now and then life hands you some remarkable tidbit that you can scan right over if your not paying attention. But if your fortunate enough to be awake when it appears, you can grasp on and go for the ride of your life.

I recently received one of these golden opportunities.

It came in the form of an anonymous SOS thru this blog. A desperate mom...

She has graciously agreed to allow our e-mails to be shared here in the hopes that some other hurting parent may stumble upon them and find some strength, hope and humor to get them through. We also hope that you will post your ideas, inspirations and support in the comments section.

This will be an ongoing process. I know nothing of this lady as of yet but we are all kindred souls in this amazing journey.

It started very simply but my spirit felt her. The original email was..

FROM: Anonymous
OCT. 12 2008, at 2:01 PM


"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "An Angel":

please get back to me and tell me your story my son is 11 and I feel like i am losing my mind sometimes. "

FROM: Tracy
OCT. 12 2008, at 6:52 PM


"Hey, I got your SOS and I'm here!
Your gonna be OK just hang on to your tiny little thread of hope.
I am taking off for a couple hours but will be home by 9 PM pacific
time.

Please tell me whats going on, I know you feel like your drowning
right now, I remember well, but your NOT alone out there.

Leave you number and a good time to call if you like as well. I will
try to get back to you ASAP.

When Cody was 11, I locked myself in the bathroom, put on a headset
of nice music, and soaked in a warm bubble bath...
I also cried.

You are much stronger than you think!

Tracy

FROM: ANONYMOUS
OCT. 12, 2008, at 6:52 PM,


Thank you my son is 11 and I am crying now. I feel like I am always
yelling and that he is always being punished. I am a single mom
with 3 children. One daughter has ADD she is 18 and my other daughter is
15 and she is the only one with out ADD or ADHD. My ex was just
diagnosed and my friends swear I have it. lol My phone number is
xxx-xxx-xxxx. Right now I am going to watch a movie with him.
But try me sometime tomorrow my cell is xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Thank you for writing back.

FROM: Tracy
OCT. 13, 2008, at 6:54 AM



I was a single mom of three boys. Cody had one of the worst cases of
ADHD the doc had ever seen. The others had ADD but not bad enough for
treatment.

You wrote "I feel like i am always yelling and that he is always
being punished"

Yes, I was always yelling too, and an amazing therapist told me to
look for the things Cody was doing right, ignore the bad stuff to the
best of my ability (in other words, choose your battles wisely). What
the therapist didn't understand is that I never could catch him doing
anything right!

So I had to start small... if he took his plate to the kitchen,
"Thank you sweetie for taking your plate to the kitchen, you really
are helpful".

For NOT yelling in the car "Cody, I really appreciate you talking in
such a calm tone, it helps me drive better and understand you more".

Of course at first, whenever I'd mention what he was doing right,
he'd act out Immediately, like in the car, he'd begin yelling.

He was uncomfortable and unfamiliar with my behavior so it was
understandable. I just ignored it and turned my attention elsewhere.
"Cody, isn't that the restaurant that had those horrible burgers? or
" Do you know what kind of tree that is?", after some time and TONS
of patience he began getting used to the positive affirmation and the
results were noticeable.

Since you have older kids, you will want to have them in on it.
As annoying as he may be to them, have them do as your doing.

The other thing we did was play a game together. Every time we went
thru a stop sign or a stop light and every time we walked thru a
door, we said "I'm valuable and lovable" OUT LOUD. Both of us. If you
can get the girls to do it as well, make it a family game it will
help. We felt totally stupid at first of course, then it was kind of
fun to beat the other to the punch, or catch one another forgetting.

ADHD folks are competitive, he will enjoy the game if you can get him
to buy into it. After some time, I really noticed a difference, in
myself primarily. I'm positive that it turned a huge corner for both
of us.

It was important for me to get a proper diagnosis as well. I began
taking medication and it was like someone had taken the hundreds of
puzzle pieces of my life and fit them all together. I distinctly
remember saying "Oh my God! This must be what everyone else feels
like!" I said it out loud in my living room, I was alone but it's one
of those memories that is etched into my soul permanently.

When my behavior cleared up, it was much easier to see the situation clearer.
I highly recommend that you get tested and treated. Keep in mind that
each person is unique. Getting the right combo. of meds can be trying
at best, but mostly very very frustrating. Be patient with yourself.

You are in the midst of what I called "the coping years". Cope. That
is the best we can do at times.

Never forget that Chad has more ability than disability. ADHD people
have some remarkable talents and gifts. Our job as parents is too
think outside the box. Give up the idea that he is ever going to be
like anyone else and it will take a lot of the pressure off of him.

I found a website that showed famous people with ADD... think I'll go
find it and post it.
Thank God for ADHD, these people bring color to our world.


Blessings
Tracy

P.S.
I have an idea I want to run by you.
How would you feel about my posting our e-mails back and forth on the
blog? Of course we can keep you anonymous if you like and change the
kids names. But the whole reason I post there is to help struggling
parents like us. In the same way you found me, others in need may
find help and hope from what happens here. Trial and error.
Mentorship. Identification. The reality that they are NOT going
crazy, they are NOT bad parents and they are NOT alone.

I am very happy to be here for you, I did it by myself and it was too
much for anyone to ever have to walk thru blindly, I nearly didn't
make it.

Another benefit might be that when people comment, we might get some
wonderful suggestions. I am willing to help you, are you willing to
become transparent and pay it forward?

Of course I will help you in any way I can regardless, but please think it over.
You and Chad are not the only ones suffering, lets see if we can bring in the village,
it will help everyone.

FROM: Anonymous
OCT. 13, 2008, at 6:54 AM


Yes, I would be more than happy to share my story with others like myself. It could only help me and others. I look forward to hearing what other parents go through then I'll feel it is not just me and my family. I love my kids so much I am willing to do anything for them. Thank you for letting me into your world. Let me no how to get started. I am a computer dummy beware. lol

FROM: Tracy
OCT. 13, 2008, at 12:28 PM
Anonymous replied later in the evening. (in bold)


Very cool,
OK I need some basic information from you.
Are you in the US? Yes
Does your local school district have a good program for kids with learning disabilities? Yes
Have you taken advantage of that? I had to be a fierce advocate for my son, you will fall through the cracks very quickly if you don't stay on top of it. Yes I did for my son and daughter.
Do you have a good relationship with his teacher? School? Yes
I went to the local college and put up fliers for a tutor. We found a WONDERFUL young lady that adored Cody and he really was open to learning. She was cheap too.
Is he on medication? Yes, Adderall xr
Is it working? Yes
Does he resist taking it? No he only takes it when school is in session
What methods have you tried? (allergy testing, organic foods, behavior modification) Through therapy
Have you been able to research the disorder? Yes, but I want to know more
Do you think you understand how your son views the world? No not at all I wish I could see it through his eyes and his mind
Has he been in any type of therapy, individual or family? All kinds, continuing
How is your medical coverage? Great
Through the State I found free programs, I found grants, studies, I went to UC Davis Medical center and asked about tutors, or interns who might need a lab rat :-), I was VERY resourceful.
How involved is his Dad? Every other weekend, that's it, no more.
Do you have a support system close by? Family? (I didn't, this was one of the most challenging things I faced). Not really mom does not understand thinks he in just fresh, among other things
Do you work? If so what kind of hours? 8-2:30 perfect. I work with preschool autistic I love it i am a paraprofessional
Do you do anything for yourself? (work out, tennis, bake, anything you find therapeutic and relaxing)? I walk alot, Go out with friends. I have the best friends ever. Date somewhat thats a joke.


Name the top things that are happening with Chad that are concerning you the most.
Chad just went to a new school it is intermediate school. He started very frustrated. I met with the teachers and he seems to be getting a little better. I know the first marking period was going to be rough.

His O.D.D is killing me. If i say black he says white. Argues most of the time but he will tell you he doesn't.

Chad is very athletic and is a caring boy. I am far from the perfect parent with my kids we are a very loud family one tries to speak over the other.

We all go to counseling. I have made many mistakes but I am trying to get better at the parenting stuff.

I have 3 great kids and people tell me so all the time so I know I'm doing something right. His temper tantrums are not as bad as they were. Through his counselor I have learned some techniques that have really worked. But he can turn my household upside down in a matter of seconds when he loses it.

But then there are stories that I could tell you that you would just sit back and laugh. My best Friend Anne and I are going to write a book about the life with chad. We are calling it the adventures of ChadMan. That is his nickname She gave that to him when he was little stuck ever since.

He does have an angel that watches over him. I used to tell the barber not to cut his horns off when cutting his hair. Chad is very honest that is one of his best qualities. He can snuggle up like no one else can and can make you laugh at almost anything. He has the cutest smile. He can charm the pants off you. All I want is for my kids to be happy in life. I am a outgoing happy person on the most part I pretty much smile through almost anything. All I need is a good cry and then I move on to the next thing. I do not drink nor do drugs pretty good huh.


Now I also want you to make a goal list. It can be totally crazy, it doesn't matter, write down everything you want. Mine looked something like this...
I want some time for myself to do nothing and not feel guilty
I want a nice boyfriend that likes my kids and doesn't mind helping
I want a housekeeper
I want a cook
Hell I want a 1950s WIFE! lol
I want a tutor for my son
I want to see my son experience success
I want to have time to pay attention to my other kids
I want to get massages, manicures and good hair cuts
I want a new car
I want more time to do fun things
I want a hot tub
I want to go to a warm tropical island with a hunk on vacation and not worry about my kids
I want all the broken crap in my house fixed
I want to be more organized
I want a job that pays well and has good benefits
I want my son to be liked by his peers at school
I want to sing, write and paint
I want to NOT KILL MY KID
I want to have hope
etc...

At the time I wrote this, a single mom, with a psycho ex-husband and a high school education on welfare,
I may as well have been asking for the moon.
I want you to know tho, that over time, I got every one of these (well except the cook and wife, bummer!)

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it

My Goal List...........................
I want to give separate time to each one of my kids Alone time
I want to stop being a screamer in my house.
I want everyone to try to at least like each other. Someone is always arguing with someone.
I want all the stuff fixed in my house to although Rome was not built in a day
I want a YES man, lol, my friends say my standards are set a little to high
I want all of my children to finish school and go onto college and finish.
I want to go back to college and become a teacher
or an advocate for parents and children
I want to make all people smile and laugh
I want my van on PIMP my Ride
I want a hummer
I want someone to take care of me just once in awhile
Instead of hearing my Mom criticize... I want to hear her say, "Your doing a great job!"
I want a boob job, I hope I can say that
I want the facial hair that was not there before to go away and not come back.
I want my friend to be cancer free for ever
I want my friends who are unhappy with their lives, to get what the want and to smile again
I want my ex to spend more time with his kids.
I want to always be able to laugh at myself and to just laugh.
I want to be able to take the 5 steps forward and not feel like it's 10 steps back.
I want to know that I am not the only parent that goes though this


I am a single mother with thre children. I was a stay at home mom for 15 years. I was class mom, a girl scout leader, a soccer mom, call mom, PTA mom, you name it I was so involved with my kids life that I did not have my own. When I got divorced I had to get a job. Where does a 38 year old women who just went to high school and was a stay home mom get a job? Where else? The school. I was a lunch aid then I nagged them to become a a para professional. I have now been with the school for 4 years. I just got a contract with benefits yea!!!!!!!! I love what I do. It also allows me to be home when my kids are home... I can see all thier games. I am more fortunate than most. My parents are a big help finacially and just carting kids to appointments or games. My dad fixes things in the house mostly. I keep up with the house to. But some things you just need money to fix. Thank you for letting me write this and I hope in return I can meet parents who go through the same things I am going through. I always say when everyone is sleeping, that I have done my job! We made it through another day. Lets see what tomorrow brings.
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