A Reminder

My kid has ADHD. He is mostly inattentive (forgetful, easily distracted, loses focus during tasks, can’t follow instructions and so on) and impulsive but he also has a touch of hyperactivity (talks a mile a minute, can’t sit still, has facial ticks and more).

Though Javi takes medication to help control his behavior and curb his impulses, he is definitely not a “zombie” or “soldier” as a result. And boy can the child still get in trouble. I have to remember that it’s all relative, though. For instance, where Javi talks out of turn and can’t resist talking to a child who’ll talk to him, there are others in his class who hit and curse and defy authority. Javi’s problematic behavior is nothing in comparison.

Unfortunately, his teachers don’t (can’t?) ignore him and he often winds up with some type of punishment. It’s not always fair (because he has a neurological disorder that precludes perfect behavior) but we don’t rail against the school (because they do cut him a lot of slack and I know he needs to understand consequences). Our system works well and everything rolls along smoothly…

Until I read something like this:

Pro: Awesome handwriting. Con: His thought
process shows just how rambley and looped
around his brain works.

It just makes my heart ache (right beside the rush of pride that my boy wrote so eloquently all on his own). My child is so smart and sensitive and utterly aware of what makes him different from his peers. Yes, he’s hot chocolate and a third-grade girl expert.

He’s also the first-grade scapegoat and a second-grade nuisance. I pray that he doesn’t spend so much time apologizing for what he can’t control that he loses sight of what’s good about his little self. I worry that he’ll get so tired of prostrating and begging his teachers (and parents?) for compassion that we’ll lose him in the same way his biological parents were lost.

I tacked this letter up (with the appropriate Spider-Man tool) where I can see it every day. I want it to serve as a reminder that he knows what he’s supposed to do and that he really strives to be the child we want him to be … but his brain works differently than ours do and he needs more than discipline. He needs understanding and empathy and a damn break sometimes.

Let this be my reminder, as his mother, to make sure he gets it.

Kelly Quinones Miller is the mother of an adopted son with ADHD, inattentive type. She works from home as a freelance writer and designer while trying to teach her son the strategies and skills he’ll need to succeed. Kelly blogs about family issues, casual environmentalism, backyard chickens, and more at The Miller Mix.

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About the author

Kelly Quinones Miller is the mother of an adopted son with ADHD, inattentive type. She works from home as a freelance writer and designer while trying to teach her son the strategies and skills he'll need to succeed. Kelly blogs about family issues, casual environmentalism, backyard chickens, and more at The Miller Mix.

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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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