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Life Has Its Challenges

September 23, 2008
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Laura’s Blog Entry

A new school year is always a two-sided coin (What coin isn’t two-sided? But I couldn’t think of another metaphor, so deal with it). I look forward to having my days more open, being able to take off and do something at a moments notice, and having long stretches of time to focus on a project without interruption.

But then there are the challenges. You see, little Mari would prefer not to go to school. It isn’t that she’s not being challenged or that she doesn’t get enough individual attention. She just would rather spend her time doing the things she loves: reading books of her choosing, playing on kid’s websites or video games, making something, or daydreaming. Mostly she would like to be daydreaming.

You see Mari was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) three years ago. I have never had the guts to blog about it before, because it is a hot-button topic for many people. There is a lot of judgment laid on the parents of ADHD kids and the kids themselves. But I am feeling a little braver these days (or maybe just ACTING a little braver these days – there IS a difference). Mari gave me permission to talk about it, so we are cool on that front, too.

So what do I have to say about it? Well, I learned that life can be really hard if you have ADHD. Many times, these kids experience the world in a very negative way. Neil and I couldn’t figure out why Mari was often so pessimistic about things. She usually leaps to the worst conclusion for every situation that is the least bit challenging. We’ve found that is because her experiences with challenges are quite often negative. She is easily overwhelmed by too much information. She can’t see simple patterns that are obvious to the rest of us. She just sees lots, and lots, and lots of information.

In situations most kids find fun and exciting, like a large group of kids participating and singing at some sort of program, Mari gets very uncomfortable and overwhelmed and then, eventually cranky. Or she loves it at first, but when it is time for it to be over she goes nuts and can’t bring herself back down from the excitement of the event.

Fortunately, we’ve seen her grow in maturity, and each year she is capable of handling more of what the world throws at her. But there are still many struggles and it is so hard sometimes to know how to help her cope.

We’ve had lots of help from doctors, psychologists, and teachers, which makes all the difference. But even simple things can be really hard. And that is exhausting as a parent. So, because it is hard, I’m thinking it might be hard for some other people, too.  I am considering writing about this on an ongoing basis. I can share strategies we’ve learned. I can vent. And maybe some of you have experience to share, too.

So consider this the beginning of a conversation. Now excuse me while I go hide under the bed.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2008 2:56 pm

    Hey…come out from under the bed, I do not know what it is like to have a child let alone a child with ADHD, but do know this…you will always have someone willing to listen. You know who that is? Me you silly dope. ME!

  2. September 23, 2008 3:01 pm

    I DO know that Kevin! I’ll be calling you for a chat very soon! And thanks for calling me a silly dope. I love that.

  3. Donell (rustidonell) permalink
    September 23, 2008 4:18 pm

    Laura…you should have a good long chat with Kate over on DMF. She’s been dealing with ADHD for many years and I think the two of you could really comfort and encourage each other. If you’ve never talked to her…she’s awesome and a total sweet heart. And a MASSIVE Mode fan… 🙂 If you want/need her contact info just holler, I know she’s like to hear from you.

    Then there’s always me…I have no kids…but i’m always full of useless advice… 🙂 My ear/shoulder is always available even if it’s just to shut my trap and listen.

    And come out from under the bed, kudos to you for finding the courage to talk about something that makes you uncomfortable. It always seems like once you start talking about things…some of the weight is lifted.

    *Big Hugs*

  4. September 23, 2008 4:43 pm

    Thanks, Donell! I do think I have Kate’s contact info. I’ll let you know if I can’t find it. Thanks for passing on that connection. And for your support!

  5. Sue (IFL) permalink
    September 23, 2008 6:05 pm

    I wondered what was going on there, you hinted at something a while back but said you weren’t ready to (or Maree wasn’t ready) to say what yet.

    Good on you for sharing, it lightens the load and it’ll be easier for people to understand when the crankiness sets in. I agree with Donell, Kate will be a rock for you when you want to talk about something like this.


  6. September 23, 2008 7:49 pm

    First, I would like to say how awesome it is that you asked Mari if you could discuss this with other people. I don’t really know too much about the subject, but if Kevin isn’t free, you can email the crud out of me…Even if it’s to say blah!


  7. September 23, 2008 8:37 pm

    I kind of feel like I am on suicide watch… thanks so much everybody. It is much appreciated!

  8. September 23, 2008 8:41 pm

    Okay, I’m after Kevin and Nessa, You can just walk into the living room… I’ll be in the big black chair.

    Neil (your husband)

  9. September 24, 2008 10:11 am

    I think it’s awesome that you’re sharing about this. I’d like to spend my day daydreaming too.

    I thought you were about to tell us that she was a Republican. Consider me relieved.

  10. September 24, 2008 10:15 am

    Gene, she probably will end up a Republican. She already prefers a PC to a Mac. Perhaps she was switched at birth after all.

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