Was This My Fault?

 

pexels-photo-235554.jpegKnowing that your child has a neurological condition such ADHD or any other issue for that matter is devastating.   I considered myself one of the lucky one’s, my son could  have had a much more hindering diagnosis.

Right away I started researching anything I could on the internet about ADHD.  You could say I was somewhat obsessed.  My best friend Kathy told me to stop wasting precious hours on the internet and use those hours for more productive things, like sleep. I didn’t listen to her wise advice.  I was staying up all night researching.  Trying to find out if this was my fault, could I have done something differently, etc… TOTAL waste of time!

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It took me a while, but finally stopped the all night research and started to realize  that this was not my fault!  The majority of the time ADHD is inherited and there was nothing I could have done differently (some other causes can be problems during pregnancy, drinking and or smoking during pregnancy, being exposed to toxins while pregnant, like lead paint and exposure to drugs, among other environmental poisons).

I decided to think proactively and think about how can I help My son?  What can be done to make his life easier?  How can I make him happy?

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Up next:  How I found the support I was searching for.

 

 

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Finding Support

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I was hyper-focusing on who were the experts in my community that could help me help my son. There was not much information out there.  It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  I could not understand why there was not any info readily available for me.  I had no one to talk to about this either.   All of my friends kids were Perfect, so they couldn’t help me.

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One day I found my guardian angel, Evelyn.  Evelyn worked at a non-profit advocacy center.  I was so excited that  I found someone who wanted to hear my story and had answers for me! Evelyn heard the uncertainty in my voice as I was telling her my story along with a gazillion questions.   Finally Evelyn couldn’t take my blubbering and told me to get a piece of paper and a pen and write this list down.  She wanted me to follow the list precisely and call her back when I finished the list.

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I was finally getting somewhere! Evelyn was an advocate for children with disabilities.  Evelyn’s job was to help parents learn how advocate for their children.

You can find your guardian angel by going to this website:

http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/
Click on the right side the menu bar and find parent center, then press on the regional PTAC ( parent technical assistance center) press on  initial in your state and you will find the center that you can get assistance from. Once you have found your PTAC, get to know these experts, ask tons of questions, call them on a regular basis to let them know what’s going on.  Pretty soon they will know you by name, like mine did (lol!).

Join the ADHD support group CHADD:

http://www.chadd.org/

Go on this website to find your local CHADD Chapter and attend the monthly support group meetings as well as the lectures.  This is a great way to meet people that are in the same shoes as you.  Go to the vendors there and check out the products and services they offer and really get to know these people.  These are the individuals that will help you on your journey.

Join your local SEPTA (special education parent teacher association). You can find this support group in your school district.  The easiest way to find them is to look on your school district’s website or just call the school and ask.   Once you have joined this group you will be making even more friends that have children just like you.  The President and Vice President will be extremely valuable to you since they have been doing the advocating game for a while now and will be extremely helpful to you and may even be able to help you at your child’s CPSE (Commitee On Special Education) or CSE (Committee on Special Education) meeting.  You need to join this group, even if your child is in preschool.  As you go on this journey of yours you will need to plan one year ahead to keep your head above water.

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Next is to join or create your own Mom’s Group.  This is where you and your child get to have fun and meet lots  interesting people.  Make sure you join a group that has children the same age as yours, so they can actually play together.  Your child will get plenty of great role models to play with.  I personally looked on the internet for a Moms Group and joined.  After a while my friend and I decided to create  our own group.  I can’t even to begin to express to you how much that group helped me get through the roller coaster ride of ADHD. Most of these women have become my best friends.

 

Up next:  How do I Ask For Help through My County or School District?

 

 

 

 

The Diagnosis

 

 

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So now I realize something is going on.  What should I do???? Most of my friends told me my son was fine, but I knew something was not right.  My mom-in-law told me that if I felt he should get checked out by a specialist, then I should.   She said it was up to me.  I took her advise and did.

Getting a diagnosis is not as easy as it sounds.  We went to a well known Pediatric Developmental Dr’s office, but was getting no where.  We did not find them  to be professional at all and seemed to be delaying a true diagnosis.  This also wasted precious time, I am talking months and months. So then we found another doctor ( 6 month wait for an appointment) and finally got a diagnosis of ADHD.  We were so thankful, but really wanted to make sure  (an autism diagnosis was always in the back of our minds) and sought out a second opinion with a Pediatric Neurologist who agreed with the ADHD diagnosis. This was a long excruciating process, but you CANNOT be deterred by the paperwork, phone calls, wait time, etc… All the work was worth the diagnosis.   So now we know it’s ADHD, now what???….

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baby-boy-hat-covered-101537.jpegEleven years ago our miracle baby was born. After trying to get pregnant for a number of years and nothing working my doctors decided I just cannot get pregnant and I was never going to have a baby. Then ten years later I miraculously get  pregnant with no help from doctor’s, just my husband of course!

We were ecstatic in fact our whole family was stoked.  I had a normal pregnancy with no complications and did everything the doctor told me to do.

Then our precious son was born and everything was perfect.  As he got a little older I noticed he got very frustrated if he dropped a car he was playing with and could not reach it. I can’t even tell you how many times I had to pull  the car over to pick up a toy car to get this kid to stop crying!  My son had some speech, but not enough for his age. His peers had a larger vocabulary than him. My son never crawled. He did the belly crawl, but no crawling on his knees. He absolutely hated tummy time. He cried every time  I put him on his belly. He always slept with his hands behind his head ever since he figured out how to move his arms. We tried putting him on his side, but he always moved to his back and his hands behind his head.  He was the sweetest baby, but deep down I had a gut feeling something wasn’t right….

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Listen To Your Gut