Knowledge is Power
… To hell with what other people thought or the obstacles I might face along the way. I signed up for the CHADD conference and my world did a 180. From doctors to psychologists, to educators, to other moms in support groups, I found my ADHD community…
In my recent interview on Building Blocks Parenting, Carlee Krichmar asked me if there was one take away, a piece of advice I could give other parents raising children with ADHD. Three words popped into my head that had given me the way forward and taught me how to believe in myself again.
“Knowledge is Power.”
I’d been so scared. When my child’s diagnoses started piling up on top of each other, like a stack of teetering stones, I kept trying to hide them, deny them out of existence, and pretend everything was normal. It felt as if I was hanging onto the side of a steep mountain, too afraid to take the next step. If I didn’t hold tight to my old beliefs, sheltered by my worst fears, then I’d tumble blindly into space.
But the day came when my child, spinning out of control, said, “Mommy, my body moves too fast and my brain can’t stop it.”
Hearing her words broke through my wall of doubt and shame. To hell with what other people thought or the obstacles I might face along the way. I signed up for the CHADD conference and my world did a 180. From doctors, to psychologists, to educators, to other moms in support groups, I found my ADHD community.
The knowledge I gained gave me the power to come back and give my daughter’s teachers new ways for her to keep up in class. I found activities she could do outside of school to build her self-esteem. And I was honest with other parents, asking for their understanding. Armed with knowledge, I now had the key to help my daughter with strategies and tools to succeed.
Yesterday, I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across a mother who had given up hope in her child. Her worries of having her child labeled and the stigma of being judged had left her hanging on the side of that same mountain. What she didn’t realize, I thought, is what she would feel if she reached out for help. A solid foothold. The kind that only comes when you give yourself the gift of navigating a new way ahead.
As Mother’s Day approaches, I want to thank all the special moms who supported me through the years. Parenting a neurodiverse child is challenging and makes it difficult sometimes to find understanding friends. When I was struggling, long before my child’s ADHD diagnosis, two moms stepped forward and gave me hope and the gift of friendship. This blog is in honor of them.
Over the years in my quest to help my child with ADHD and now complete a memoir about it, I accumulated many books on the subject. Maybe it’s the teacher in me or just my passion for books, but I ended up with a pretty good collection. This month’s blog focuses on some of my favorites.
Even though I’d heard that communication is a skill we learn and practice, no one told me how important that would be in raising my child. Between Lee’s inability to focus, a lot of hyperactivity, and emotions that were hard to regulate, it became my challenge to find a different way to communicate. In this month’s blog, I put together the tips that worked for me over the years. Hope you’ll find one that works for you!