My husband and I have been blessed with two beautiful little boys: a 6-year-old and a 21-month-old. Our 6-year-old was always headstrong and temperamental, but two years ago (2010) his school requested that a psycho-educational evaluation be performed due to the extent of his behaviour issues in school. We were delighted as we had long suspected ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). A clinical psychologist was brought in and our suspicions were confirmed: moderate-to-severe ADHD and ODD at a level rarely seen in a child his age. (FYI, that diagnosis has been confirmed and reconfirmed by all manner of specialist.) I honestly wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry...so I've allowed myself to do both, as needed.
I know so much about ADHD and ODD because I have researched the hell out of them. I’m a writer and a researcher…I need to understand something in order to deal with it. I was that precocious child who insisted on my parents giving me a reason for their decisions. I had no intention of arguing with them, I just needed to understand. So to help my baby (fine, he's 6 now, but he's still my baby), I need to understand my baby. You’d be amazed at how your patience grows exponentially when you suddenly realize that your child has no control over his actions and is probably even frightened by how he’s feeling. Meltdowns are often more of a cry for help – help making sense of the crazy world around him that he can’t process – than they are about disobedience or anger.
In my quest for answers, I've become a bit of a crusader. These children, often labelled as "bad kids," are exactly the opposite. They are good kids who need help but who often begin to believe the worst about themselves. God help me, that won't be my child. He will grow up strong and happy, believing in himself and in his abilities. Get in the way of that happening, and I'll take you down.
Want to get in touch with me? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.