Finance & Enjoyment Blog

I made it!  Both of my boys were diagnosed with ADD or ADHD at a young age.  What a struggle it has been getting them through school.  My youngest is a senior in high school and by the grace of God he will graduate in May.

There have been many obstacles to overcome during their school years.  For my oldest, staying focused on homework, or just a simple task that was out of the ordinary, were his biggest obstacles.  He has ADHD.

Trying to keep him in a chair for more than 2 minutes was such an effort.  There were many days when he was younger that we would have to go outside and run as hard as he could.  Then I would set the pace to slow him down.

Trying to get dressed in the morning was another struggle.  There could be NO change in his routine.  First, put on your pants, then your shirt, then your socks, then your shoes, and last brush your teeth.  A minor change of putting on shirt before pants would set the tone for a very rough day.

I would make one request of him, at most maybe two at a time, if I could see that he was likely to be on track for a good day.  His brain simply could not focus on more instruction.  I learned early on that if I made multiple requests of him, he would be set up for failure, and we would both face frustration.

It is a lot of work for a parent to be the one who is constantly reminding a child to stay on course.  For the duration of high school he chose not to take medication in order to avoid side effects.  We discovered that a popular caffeinated soft drink was our best friend.  That caffeine would stimulate his brain nearly the same way the medication would.  My oldest is now an assistant manager at a restaurant, and capable of managing his disability by himself.

My second son has ADD, a silent disability.  Teachers and friends have told me he is just lazy or antisocial, which I don't believe is true.  Actually, he has many friends, and is popular at school.  The fact is he has a disability, and although it is a bit easier with him than it was raising his brother, he is also challenged to get things done, accomplish tasks and reach his goals.  We discovered an alternative power drink that helps to focus his mind in the right place.

I realize it is a daunting job to raise children with disabilities as I have.  Anyone who is raising children with ADD or ADHD faces daily challenges that sometimes seem overwhelming.  Please know that you can get through this together, and that you will learn lessons that prepare you for life's challenges, and make you proud.  I know mine have.

Posted in Time Management and Organization »

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