Every human being knows what it means to be tired. Life is hard, work is taxing, parenting is exhausting. We all get what it means to be tired on some level. But, when an autism mom says she’s “tired,” there’s a whole lot more to it — and few people understand that whole lot more. Let me try to explain it…
I’m a sucker for a TV show or movie about kids with disabilities. I glean hope from success stories and a feeling of belonging and validation when I see other families with similar struggles. In that vein, I’ve been watching the new A&E series, “Born this Way.“ The show focuses on the everyday life experiences of seven young adults with Down syndrome.
I wasn’t sure there would be a lot of similarities to my own life, since Down Syndrome is a very outwardly visible disability, and “high-functioning” autism and ADHD are very much invisible disabilities. I was happy to be wrong about that. While every story on the show isn’t similar to my own experience in a literal sense, raising kids with ADHD, autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities and raising kids with Down Syndrome are a parallel experience in many ways. I can really relate to these parents, and that’s so validating.
The most impactful aspect of the show for me actually comes from one of the adults with Down Syndrome, Megan. Read More
A couple weeks ago I was on the ADDitude Magazine ADHD Experts Webinar series, talking about how to advocate for your child in school, in the community, at the doctor’s/therapists’ office, and at home/within the family. It was a great webinar!
As with many webinars, not everyone could make the one and only time it was happening live, so ADDitude offers a replay of the webinar and a download of the slides. Access my webinar and slides here >>>
Parents are my superheroes. Who else but a superhero would wake up multiple times every night to help a crying child calm down? Who else would carry a baby everywhere, even when it means that they cannot sleep, sit, or eat? Who else would drop everything and dash to the aid of their child when he is in danger? Who else would endure the slings and arrows of adolescence and still work to guide their child to a better life? Who else would toil behind the scenes to make sure their children have what they need to survive (and even succeed), requiring no acknowledgement?
But sometimes we don’t behave like Superman. Read More
You can’t fix it.
When my son started struggling in school (from Day 2 of kindergarten, mind you), all I wanted to do was fix it. I was on a mission to put an end to his problems in the classroom — I just had to figure out how.
After a year, I realized I needed help with my fix-it mission. Every DIY approach I had concocted had failed. One-hundred-and-seventy-nine days filled with painful school experiences proved that this issue was bigger than me and my little boy.
I marched into the pediatrician’s office bewildered and desperate, and marched out of the developmental doctor’s office three months later with a name for this school-spoiling beast — ADHD (autism wasn’t added until years later).
“Fantastic!” I thought. “Now I have a name for the problem. Now I can fix it.”
Do you see what was wrong with this picture? Do you see the valley of quicksand and how I was going to continue to move in place in that muck for a long time to come? Two long years, to be exact? Read More