Similarities outweigh the differences when it comes to parenting a child with ADHD

ADHD: The Struggle is Real

Children with ADHD are unique creatures. Not just different from their peers, but different from other children with ADHD as well. The disorder affects each individual who has it in a unique constellation of ways. For instance, my son, Ricochet, has combined-type ADHD,  but also anxiety, sensory processing disorder, dysgraphia, written expression disorder, significant executive functioning deficits, a gifted intelligence, and possibly high-functioning autism. He is also super-sensitive to medications, vitamins, and supplements, so uncovering effective treatment for him has been a huge challenge. I would venture to guess your child has some of the same challenges as Ricochet, but not exactly the same list. And your child may have some challenges that mine does not as well. That’s  why ADHD and Autism are often referred to as being on a spectrum, because there are many presentations and different levels of severity of these disorders.

One thing you and I can likely agree 100% on though, is that raising a child with any degree of ADHD is overwhelming, exhausting, and down-right tough. This parenthood is exponentially more demanding than raising a neurotypical child. {Can I get an “amen?”}  Parenting a child with ADHD requires more physically, mentally, and emotionally. The time it requires also means we don’t typically care for ourselves as we should as we must. We are run down and let the challenge of our child’s ADHD overshadow our own selves (I wrote about that in the book, “Easy to Love but Hard to Raise.”) We build up this thick armor to aid in survival  in these trenches called special needs parenthood andwe lose who we are deep down, aside from the role of parent.

parenting a child with adhdAt the heart of our similarities is the emotional turmoil, guilt, and isolation that most parents of special needs children experience, especially those with neurobehavioral disorders. When you raise a child with special needs, you begin to find it difficult to relate to parents who haven’t walked a mile in similar shoes. At some point, most of us quit trying to relate — we just don’t have the energy. Then we’re left feeling like the only parent in the world with a child that’s so difficult to raise day-to-day. We are not alone though. There are thousands of parents raising a child with ADHD who visit this website each month, and tens of thousands of others on a similar parenting journey. It’s crucial that we connect to each other for support and community, even if that opportunity only exists online for you. While our kids with ADHD aren’t exactly the same, the emotional experience of being their parent is a common thread we can all relate to.

 

I just released my first book, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. I have been absolutely stunned by the number of moms who have read the book and sent me a note to say it felt as though I had written the book about them. Knowing how different each of our kids with ADHD are, I never imagined this type of feedback from a book about my own experience learning to parent my unique and challenging kiddo, and ADHD’s effect on our family. After I received this same feedback the third or fourth time, the light bulb lit up and I realized that the emotions of this parenthood transcend the differences in our children’s challenges, our everyday lives, the structure of our families, where we live, our beliefs and faith, our personality and temperament… This parenthood is hard on each and every one of us.

You, fellow Warrior Parent, are most definitely not alone.

 

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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adhd and stress, ADHD stress, advocacy, attention/focus, caregiver stress, community, exhausting, General ADHD, gifted and adhd, learning disabilities, parenting, parenting ADHD, parenting/FAMILY, Penny Williams, resiliency, stress and resilience, Take Care of You, taking care of you, twice exceptional ·

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.
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  • http://argonnechronicles.blogspot.com/ Dee

    This is so true! Another mom at my son’s school recently started an ADHD Parents Support Group and everyone reports that just talking to one another (not necessarily finding answers) is what makes it so helpful!

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  • Andrea Nordstrom

    Though neither of my kids have been formally diagnosed I certainly notice a lot of traits. With a mom who has ADHD and very likely a dad too, they come by their traits honestly. The biggest struggle I notice is always having to be “on” – when I’m not, it seems like things fall apart way to easily (and let me say, I’m often NOT “on”). Its reassuring to think that we moms are alll warriors together in this battle, and we are not alone. Thanks for a great post!

  • Courtney

    Thank you for this post. We very recently received our ADHD diagnosis on my son’s 7th birthday. I have always described his as a kid that just needs more of EVERYTHING. Patience, love, engagement, food, touch, talk, discipline, patience (can’t mention that one too often). It is comforting and terrifying that we now have more clues as to why he has always needed more. If there are any other blogs I should be looking for, guidance would be appreciated.

  • Sven Osenga

    I have to say that i am so happy that i found this Blog, i am so tired of reading all the negativity about ADHD. as i am not a Mom or a Dad for that matter, i myself am a person who has been diagnosed with this a long time ago ( 22 years ago to be exact ) and i know all the hard moments that parents go through, as i have seen my parents go through this.

    I think every parent needs professionall help to learn how to work with a child that has ADHD, but i also firmly believe that every child that has ADHD needs a psychologist when they go into adulthood.

    when i was first diagnosed i was told that this was more a childrens disease, which is something that they currently don’t believe anymore, now i’m 31 and i restarted medication after being off of them for about 12 years.

    I noticed that i am a more happy adult, better at my work and i can actually manage to maintain a relation without all too much trouble, where as before my medication this was all a lot more difficult, ofcourse i was able to do all of this, but it costed a whole lot more trouble.

    i’d say keep on doing this good job and inform people, but also stay informed yourself, doctors prescribe meds too quickly, and a lot of psychologists smell a quick buck when a child is indeed a bit active, or for instance intolerant to a certain substance.

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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