there’s no excuse

One of Luke’s occupational therapists, Mr. T, said something so simple to me a couple weeks ago.  It felt so profound though and it has been on my mind ever since. 

He was working with Luke on throwing and catching during Tomatis therapy. When he gave me a re-cap after his session, I confirmed that throwing and catching was a good thing to work on with Luke, he had a tough time in baseball this year. His OT responded, “that’s why we work on basic things like throwing and catching; every one of these kids should be included in everything other children do. We need to teach them the necessary skills and make the appropriate accommodations so they can have childhood experiences like any other child.”

Luke says he’s going to be a race car driver.
Why not? {except that his mom would have a heart attack!}

I think this impacted me so deeply because I often talk about what we should and shouldn’t do with our children with ADHD. We are all guilty of avoiding certain activities and public places because we know our children will not handle it like neuro-typical children. How many of you don’t offer Little League Baseball/Softball  to your attention-different child because you know it’s not the best sport for ADHD? I’ll admit, I probably wouldn’t have taken Luke back to Little League after the first year if Daddy and Emma had not been so involved. We read all the time that certain sports are better for an ADHD brain than others. But I guarantee there are professional baseball players with ADHD. If their family had said, “no, you are not built for baseball,” they would have missed their passion and possibly life success. 


Thanks to Mr. T, I now see that it’s important to offer our children all the activities and experiences we’d offer them if they didn’t have special needs. They need to try what interests them and make up their own minds. I do also feel you shouldn’t encourage something you know they will really, really struggle with though. There’s a fine line between these two stances: you don’t want them in a lot of activities that make them feel defeated, but you also don’t want to deprive them of wonderful childhood experiences by using ADHD as an excuse to avoid something that may be more difficult. Our children can be like other children. They can find ways to compensate for their differences to participate with success.


Luke has become ultra sensitive to loud noises recently. We’ve had a few incidents this summer with a close train blaring its horn incessantly and fireworks after the baseball game. Rather than deprive Luke (and the rest of the family by default) of the joy of fireworks, we purchased noise-cancelling headphones. We keep them with us for planned activities, such as fireworks, so we can control the noise level for him and help him be able to enjoy it (I also hold him very tight through it too). July 4th was a success with this accommodation and we are going to see fireworks after the baseball game again tomorrow night. He’s a bit anxious about it but we are prepared and I know I can make him comfortable.


We can’t use ADHD as an excuse for not trying things. We will only deprive our children of great childhood events and memories as a consequence. I have been giving ADHD grand excuse status for so long and now I have spent an enormous amount of effort this summer trying to undo it. 


Don’t we seek treatment and medication to help our kids find success in this world? We can’t change the world’s expectations. We can”t change our children’s differences. So we seek to help them find a way to get along in the world. We need to help them find a way to thrive in anything in this world they desire, not just those activities deemed “ADHD-friendly.” 


ADHD is a gift and we just need to teach our children to use it as such.

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom.
A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom’s view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

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Related posts:

celebrating gifts, General ADHD, occupational therapy ·

About the author

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom. A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom's view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

2 Comments

  1. SLM says:

    That is so true, thinking about it while reading your post, we do the same with Isaac, we shied him, he's asked to go to football club with his school friends & we've avoided it as he simply wouldn't cope with the discipline needed. He is still only 6 but has the social skills more like a toddler. We've recently had a problem with Beavers (a scouting group, not sure of you are in the UK), and our reaction has been to withdraw him from the group which I blogged about in childhood knocks. However our decision to withdraw him from something he loved was due to the other parents ignorance, rather than him. still I now feel guilty and think once the summer hols are over, I might now find him a new group. You are right, why should he miss out? It's down to us as parents to find ways to help him make the mist if the experience and find ways of coping.

    Reply
  2. Lisa says:

    I found your blog about a month ago. I don't know if I ever commented. It is such a relief to be able to read this. Thank you!!
    I have recently discovered on my own, that my son has all symptoms of ADHD. I started telling my husband 4 years ago (my son is now 8) that there is something not right and it is getting worse. And it has only gotten worse. In fact. It's really bad to a point that it's seriously disturbing our family life. Anyway, Everyone around us (mostly family) keeps saying its kind of a made up name just so they can make a drug to give to make people satisfied. He just needs more attention and stuff. It's so frustrating! All that aside, I know it's real, I live it everyday. Just like you know. I just feel a sense of relief to see how someone else deals with it and to see how there is another child out there the same age as him that does the exact same things.
    I guess we all need a support group somewhere, I am glad that I found your blog to read. You sound like an amazing Mom! I know it is not easy. Your children seam wonderful too.
    Thank you for sharing your life. 🙂
    Lisa

    Reply

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The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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