Can You Relate?
a day in my life as a parent of an add child
OK. I'll put my hands in the air. I admit it. I am the mother of a disruptive child, according to some people the scourge of modern society.
What they don't know though, is that my son, George, has a neurological impairment which makes it impossible for him to put the brakes on unwise behavior. George is diagnosed as A.D.H.D. -Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; a genetic condition and not another name for a "naughty child."
From the moment he got to his feet, he behaved like a Tasmanian Devil on acid. As a toddler, he had to be watched constantly because the minute you turned your back he would have his finger in the light socket or be force-feeding the cat!
I was told by various health professionals over the years that George was just boisterous and he would grow out of it; but when you fear for the child's life because of the uncontrollable rages he flies into, when he is constantly covered in bruises because of all his dashing about, when he acts so impulsively that he cannot see the consequences of his actions, you know that something is just not right. Call it gut feeling or mother's intuition, but I just knew that he had a problem upstairs.
George is now eleven and he got his diagnosis just before his ninth birthday. It has been a long, hard struggle, but we are getting there. Unfortunately, the symptoms of A.D.H.D. cause trouble with a capital T. Apart from the three core symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, these children are also argumentative, oppositional, insatiable and usually have very low self-esteem because of all the years of negative feedback they endure from those around them.
Living with George is like living in the shadow of a tiny timebomb waiting to explode. Everyday is eventful. In fact there is never a dull moment when you have a child with A.D.H.D., as any mother of a sufferer will tell you.
George could argue for Britain! How's this for a typical conversation;
George: "What's for breakfast Mam? Cereal or toast? Are there any cheeseburgers?"
Mum: "No, you ate those yesterday, and anyway, why can't you eat breakfast food like everybody else? You always have to be different."
George: "Have we got any eggs?"
Mum: "George, you can have cereal or toast."
George: "It's not fair! Can't I have a meat pie?"
Mum: "No. They are for supper. You don't eat that type of thing for breakfast either."
George: "Grandma makes me bacon and egg sandwiches for breakfast."
Mum: "Yes, but Grandma gives you that as a treat and she doesn't have the million and one things to do every day that I have."
George: "If I have toast, can I have cheese on it?"
Mum: "George, I haven't got any cheese until shopping tomorrow."
George: "Have you got any tuna paste..."
Mum: "SHUT UP!"
George: "Why can't I have something on my toast then?"
Mum: "George - I - don't - have - much - until - I - go - shopping - tomorrow. You - can - have - toast - WITH - MARGARINE - or - nothing!"
George: "Can I have a seven pounds twenty for a new torch?"
Aaaaaggggghhhhh! You just can't win can you? A.D.H.D. kids nag and quibble to extreme proportions. By the end of the day you feel like you have been beaten about the head with a baseball bat.
George gets in to a lot of trouble at school because of this arguing. He always has to have the last word and he can be extremely cheeky to adults. Obviously this doesn't go down too well with teachers who don't like being told to sod off ..... and who can blame them? A.D.H.D. kids often appear rude and naughty individuals. It's a shame really, because under this terrible aggressive exterior are some of the sweetest, funniest, smartest and most affectionate children you could ever imagine. This side doesn't come to the fore very often though!
Staff, H. (2007, June 6). Can You Relate?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/adhd/articles/day-in-life-of-parent-of-adhd-child