Did you know this about ADHD?

I’ve been researching and watching lots of videos and attending webinars from professionals in the field of child and adult mental health and my mind is blown. I will be the first to admit when I thought of ADHD before I thought of a hyper, bouncing off the walls, misbehaving child. That was through my lack of knowledge and I suppose assumptions. Until I my own child was assessed and given that diagnosis. The latest one I attended was about schools age children with ADHD.

Some of the topics covered are below and if you are interested they are worth researching and seeing if they are relevant to you and your child.

Working memory and short term memory

Executive functioning

Assistive technology

Movement breaks

Neurodiversity

A go to person in school

Being flexible in your thoughts about school

What you should ask the school

Mental health =first priority

I am not a professional and could go into these topics in detail but that’s not me. I’m picking one that stood out for me and one that has kept me awake many a night and worried me in the day. Being flexible in your thoughts on school.

A bit of background.. My daughter attended the same school, her elder brother did and I did as a child and my father before me. It wasn’t anything special about it . It was part of our community and I felt very tied emotionally to the school. Our church, our local clubs, family fun days etc all revolves around the school and our connections in the community.. It suited my sons needs and my daughters needs until last year. I had so many happy memories in the school myself and wanted them to have that too\.selfish reasons i know plus dont get me wrong it was a great school…If in my opinion you don’t have additional needs then its a whole other ball game..

Fast forward with a diagnosis of ADHD and anxiety and school refusal.She was embarrassed, felt shame and guilt, she at her worst had hit a teacher and ran through the corridor screaming for me on days when we had tried a gradual reintroduction.That does not paint a pretty picture but alas that is what it is.It was not easy for her or me and it didn’t work.We tried everything you name it.I was met with even more reluctance, tears and panic attacks about going so I was advised by her play therapist to stop.Stop trying for the moment and lets see with some patience, understanding, therapy and removing any pressure would it help her.

Covid saved us from school refusal and her anxieties have softened and she is progressing. It was a welcome break from my worry and hers about school and school work and what her friends thought.As I’ve spoken about before it was just time to be. Last week during the webinar the section on being flexible really hit me.I was asking her to be flexible, to compromise to do something she was really unhappy about and then it struck me.WAS I BEING FLEXIBLE?

No is the simple answer.I was yes doing my best but wasnt really willing to be flexible on where she went to school.At the beginning of refusal, I offered it as a solution but not as a definite and that is where my mistake was. I needed to be the adult and make the decision and then inform her of the plan. I do think children should get a choice in some matters but serious life events are to be chosen by parents or parent in my case.

I was scared, scared of making the wrong choice for her and regretting it later. Was she better with her friends in a school that had limited resources and had already judged and that she was familiar withand had been settled and ok in all these years or do I give her a school where she could have the chance to shine, have all the resources and experience she needs and repeat the year and makes new friends. It was a very hard decision to make. It came with tossing and turning, lying awake thinking of the pros and cons of a move and trying to think of her best interests. Would she be happy, would it help, would she settle, would sue make friends.

Mothers guilt was truly taking over the decision process.But after talking it over with our Marie’s .. my Therapist and my daughters play therapist share a name . Apart from the last letter, so we call them our Marie’s. I decided to bite the bullet. I told her we would be returning to our ‘normal’ in September. And she would be attending a new school where some kids we know go. She was angry but she actually accepted it within 3days and then announced she needed to pack her pencil case. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or break out the champagne.Its a giant leap in the right direction and I’m so glad I listened to the webinar . I often find listening to podcasts, webinars or even conversations that I might just find one or two helpful things but some of those things can be life changing. This I feel is going to be the start of ours.. Fingers crossed .

Just keep swimming 🏄🏻‍♀️

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