Raw Post Alert: My transformation

Photo by Irene Dávila on Unsplash

This post lists many of the “hurdles” I’ve jumped in the 8 years since I learned my son (and then my husband and I) had ADHD.  Read on for some of the “oh sh$&” and “I can do this” moments in my battle to gain a sense of control over our ADHD household.

Maybe these will resonate with you. . .

-I no longer freak out if neighbors pop in because of the mess.
-People don’t talk over one another in our house (that much).
-People eat dinner together without a screen in their face.
-I want to spend time with my kids and I no longer put them in front of a movie because I can’t handle their behavior.
-I’m not walking on egg shells around my partner because I know what sets him off and when to leave him alone.
-I know hanger is a real thing and I am ready and equipped with cliff bars to handle it.
-I won’t assume my child isn’t interested in something like chess because he’s hyperactive.
-We will go out to a restaurant together and not have everyone staring, like “I didn’t know the circus was in town.”
-In our house, people say what they mean, they aren’t just MEAN.
-I know the difference between my child talking and his emotions/condition/meds talking.
-My child has accommodations at school and he knows when he does and doesn’t need them.
-My child understands his own symptoms and apologizes or says “I don’t know why I got so mad, threw that toy, slammed the door.”
-I am able to remember things like my child’s field trip form so he’s not THE ADHD KID without the necessary tools or supplies.
-I know what a fidget spinner, knitting needles and yarn, or other refocus tool is and I know how to use it.
-I’m learning how to homeschool and I will make an informed decision about which education style works best for my son. #knowingishalfthebattle #yesimadeaGIJoereference
-I know how to create a calm space in each room of the house and it’s cheap (new meaning for the phrase escape room).
-I know that getting my mind right gets my life right and I’m willing to make diet and exercise a priority for me and my family because it helps quell ADHD symptoms.
-I will not feel embarrassed when a neighbor sees me walking down the street with my 2 year-old who is completely out of control. I’m no longer secretly afraid she knows I have ADHD and thinks that’s why I’m not a good mom and can’t control my kid.
-I will put any doctor to shame who says ADHD women may not want to have kids, and DEFINITELY NOT THREE.  YES, a doctor actually said that to me!!!
-I will not cry when the pharmacy has run out of the medication I am taking and they tell me “there is a limited amount of this medication available because it’s a controlled substance.” Listen, my brain is a controlled substance and I’m losing the control right now, a$$hole.
-I will not feel shame when I leave the doctors office in tears because she tells me “you’re just busy, try meditation, I don’t think you have ADHD.”
-I won’t have another morning where all the laundry is dirty or “mystery” (clean? dirty? mixed?) so my son wears stained shorts to school.
-I’ll wake up before my children to get some quiet focus for my day before “Who let the dogs out?” becomes my theme song.
-I will not feel badly about choosing not to spank my children.  I don’t care how many family members tell me to get my kids and their screaming under control.
-I will not spit on the woman who screamed at my son when he was playing in the revolving door.  She also shared that I should stop letting my son run wild when I opened the “regular” door for her because it was easier than dealing with a meltdown from him. There are places for people like you lady, and it ain’t heaven.
-I will not give up on a medication trial until I’m sure I’ve tried enough dosages and different medicines.
-I’m strong and educated enough about ADHD to have my reservations about meds, but still try them.
-I’m strong enough in my ADHD medication convictions to say, that’s not for me or my child right now.
-I will never judge a parent because I have a kid who is different and I know we all have our own stories-conditions-reasons for doing what we do.
-I will never shame my son or let a family member shame him by calling him lazy, or making fun of his flapping arms or other spectrum-y behaviors.
-I will never give up on myself or my child.  I know that ADHD makes us special, different and connected in a way most don’t understand.  It’s a super power, especially once you’ve mastered your shortcomings.

Published by Jet Educational Therapy

Nicole Santiago is an educational therapist, student advocate, and founder of JET Educational Therapy. As an ed therapist, she assesses and teaches clients (adults and adolescents) to manage and grow their executive functioning skills which include emotional regulation, task initiation, and time management. As an advocate (IEP coach), she is a member of COPAA and ensures inclusive (special) education students receive the most appropriate educational services possible. She often collaborates with OT's, SLP's and neuropsychologists all in the name of student improvement and success. Her practice, JET Educational Therapy, is located in San Antonio, TX, and everywhere (virtually). The author grew up an army brat and spends time with her three ND children and husband in Puerto Rico whenever possible. She writes about mental health, parenting, education, and entrepreneurship on her blog: FamilyADDventures.com

3 thoughts on “Raw Post Alert: My transformation

  1. I read every post that you write. I watch you clear your head and grow in leaps and bounds about living w and loving and trenching a child w ADHD.
    I have watched you for 39 years. I am your mom.
    I do not write bc I am prejudice about how good you and I think your writings are.
    Tonight, however, I must write:
    You made your B.
    You loved and fed and nurtured B.
    You stood by B.
    You turned away from advice that you knew would not help your B.
    You stood alone when you had to w your punching gloves on for and about your B.
    You never faltered or failed your B.
    You have grown yourself bc you had to fight so hard for B.
    If any of your readers need a shoulder on which to cry, read my daugnter’s words in her many blogs, hold your head and cry and realize that, indeed, you are not alone, and, through all the trials of raising a child w ADHD, you can also lead the way for you, your child, AND your extended family in understanding your baby just like my Baby Girl has led the way for us.
    God Bless You Colely and Thank You for showing us the way too.


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