I remember as a kid I loved to be creative. I think back now and I think it was because I wanted to be in my own world. A world without ridicule, condemnation, disrespect and the blatant disregard of my feelings… Really, a blatant disregard of who I really was.
My name is Melissa Langford Mueller and I have ADHD. My oldest son does as well. It has been said that it is hereditary. Usually one of your parents have it… There are a NUMBER of facets to my life journey but my ADHD journey has been interesting to say the least. You may be used to going on A Creative Journey with Melissa…. Now you will be going on A Personal Journey with Melissa too. I think any journey you take has meaning-even if it’s a lesson to be learned. Whether it is about strengths, weaknesses, what to do, what not to do, how to cope, what to tolerate or just share with others your experience so that they feel as if someone understands. If I can help just one person, mission ACCOMPLISHED.
How my journey started. I remember when my oldest son was around 3 and in pre-school. Being that he was my first child, I really didn’t have much to go on so to me, everything he did was normal and of COURSE EXCEPTIONAL because all of our kids are, aren’t they? We took him to a psychologist and she said he was too early to diagnose with anything but we would continue to watch him and see what transpires. The other thing she said was it was the first time in her over 20 years of practice that she had seen a 3 year old read a second grade level book to her. She wished me luck with that. Yeah, thanks A LOT! LOL He really loved to learn and was like a sponge! Time passed and challenges followed and he entered Kindergarten. He had two teachers. One was awesome and the other.. well not so much. The other teacher was more concerned with any additional effort or time she may have to make in order to challenge my child sadly, in many ways including intellectually. He challenged her much more than she ever did him. Then there was his other teacher-Mrs. W… Now this is what I would call a real Kindergarten teacher. She went above and beyond to ensure he was not only challenged but that he wasn’t moved up as was suggested by numerous others… that didn’t know him. She did ask if I wanted to do that and I told her to give him six weeks and if at that point she still thought it was a viable option, then we can talk further. In a week she said he isn’t ready and nothing more was said. You can teach intellectually but kids need social maturation to happen organically. You can’t teach that. It comes with time and experience. I felt as if I pushed him ahead I would be feeding him to the wolves.. and it would have been. He is 17 now… it was the best decision my husband and I ever made-more to come on that at a later date. Mrs. W challenged him by having him go to 1st grade to see Ms. M (LOVE HER TOO) for Language Arts but stayed in Kindergarten. As time passed he had another awesome teacher Mr. R. TALK ABOUT PATIENT! They really liked to joke with each other and he really got my son. They had a great relationship and my son says he was one of his favorite teachers. Still thinks of him quite fondly now at 17. Fourth grade came and things were changing with him. He was always a wiggly kid but it got to the point where he couldn’t sit down to save his life and when benchmark time came around (benchmark tests are tests that are given to see where the child has progressed throughout the year) he did worse in January then he did entering fourth grade. We took him to the psychiatrist and the decision came to where we were going to decide whether or not to give him meds. Heartbreaking, tear filled, horrified, saddened and all of the emotions you can imagine-this is what my husband and I felt. We decided to take the leap. It was one of the best decisions we ever made next to not putting him forward in grade levels. The day that we realized we made the right decision was when he said he felt normal and seemed to be progressing much better in school than he had been. Feeling normal as someone with ADHD is a huge deal. TRUST ME. You never really feel normal, like you fit in, like people get it and are harder on yourself than anyone could ever be on you. EVER.
There are a few things I learned with the previous discussed experiences:
- TRUST YOUR GUT- YOU KNOW your child. Period.
- Not everything is a cookie cutter situation-ESPECIALLY NOT KIDS WITH ADHD
- Boys mature later than girls. You won’t go wrong holding them back or keeping them from moving forward. EVER. Period.
- YOU are your child’s voice. USE IT
- If it doesn’t work, try something else. You can ALWAYS STOP.
As you can imagine this is a very long story with many experiences. Unfortunately, I need to go to a doctor appointment but I will be sharing more experiences in the future. Until then, if you have any input or questions please feel free to comment. This was published with my son’s permission as I wouldn’t want to disrespect him as so many have.
Here is some information to check out for statistics, studies and other info. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/index.html
TO BE CONTINUED……
Have a wonderful day!