Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ADD me a friend

Talking about ADD and ADHD has become a lot easier for people in recent years. Unfortunately though in South Africa, it seems that the conversation is exclusive to parents who have children with ADD or ADHD rather than adults who still live with either today. I have liked the ADHD group on Facebook and not once have I seen any topics being addressed about adults who live with ADD.
In recent weeks I have found it very difficult to find people who relate to what is going on in my head and am starting to wonder if people are just too afraid to admit that they are ADHDer’s or if there are not very many people in my age category who have it. I went to two remedial primary schools that were filled with ADHDer’s so I don’t think it is the latter.

Why my need to have a friend like me, well a few months ago, my eldest L started struggling tremendously in school and no amount of arguing or nagging him to do homework was any help at all. My Aunt had said to me more than a year ago already to get him tested by an educational psychologist and I did not really feel that it was necessary back then, but his grades were getting weaker and his emotional outbursts were becoming more frequent, so we gave it a bash. To my dismay, it turns out that there were a couple of issues that we needed to send him to an OT (Occupational Therapist) for and added to that, have him taken for a hearing test and speech therapy.

Of course, him being our eldest, we did not really think he had any issues before since we had nobody else’s children to compare him too. He is a bright child, but can seem very spaced at times. The makings of a creative mind, I thought, but his inability to construct a sentence in his head or blurt out a completely unrelated topic of discussion in the middle of an adult conversation was becoming a bit worrisome.  Also having to repeat instructions at least five times before he even began to listen was very concerning. The behaviour continued no matter what we did.

So here we are now, with weekly OT sessions, where L gets to have learning fun for the next few weeks in hopes that he improves at school and with life in general.  If only it were as simple as that.

I am sure for any regular parent; the adjustment from becoming frustrated to relieved would have been a lot easier now knowing how to deal with their child’s situation. Unfortunately, my ADD  nature is struggling to deal with the added responsibility. It’s already harder for me to remember to hang the key behind the door once I have opened the door to our home.  My husband has even adapted to my behaviour and fills in where I fall short. Now I have to remember for both myself and L. Homework is still a nightmare for both of us and because we both anticipate failure and a fight, both our anxiety levels fly through the roof.  Since there are things we both struggle with, one would think that I would be the perfect teacher in all this, but it’s quite the opposite. Because we are both so frustrated, we end up budding heads.

I have said all that to say that it would be such a relief to find someone who resonates with the difficulty of being the ADD talk a lot and never complete anything er… who’s children face similar hurdles that they do. Just to have someone to offload on who actually understands why the kids homework gives me nightmares. Someone I could share Ritalin stories with and who could help me keep my cell phone safe in a place they keep forgetting they have.  Just a woman, who has a home, a family and a job,  who happens to be ADD…. Guess I will have to keep searching for someone who is not afraid to talk about their STATUS.

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