I decided to write this blog, while venting to my fiance, Jack, one night over a glass of red wine. Not necessarily the best circumstances to make such big decisions, I know. However I had been thinking and talking about finding a venue to tell our story since October of last year and it was time to take action.
My oldest son, Donovan, is now 12 years old and has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). He is an intelligent, curious, kind, compassionate and energetic child who is about to undergo a significant transition in life…one we’ve all been through and maybe even wish we could forget…ADOLESCENCE. Eeek!
I knew this day would come but I was unprepared for it to start so early. I was also unprepared for the changes it would bring to our treatment of his ADD.
Donovan was diagnosed with ADD as a young child. (Read more on his diagnosis at the bottom of this page.) After several years of research (and a degree in Google), he and I had tried many strategies to help focus on his strengths and find solutions to his challenges. Some had worked, many had failed. By the time he was 5 years old though, I finally felt like we had stopped drifting amid the many choices and treatment options and had finally charted our course for this new and improved way of living.
This didn’t mean that we didn’t have challenges to overcome or bad days we couldn’t wait to be done with. It did mean that we were both in a better situation to work through challenges because we were healthier and better informed. I knew more, so I could help and advocate for Donovan more. (And boy, did that skill come in handy when he started school!)
Then, this past year we saw such a significant change come over him. He became more easily frustrated, moody and argumentative and his confidence seemed to disappear. Suddenly, many of the ADD traits that we had been able to manage with diet, exercise, adequate sleep, behavior management, creativity and consistency were back with a renewed enthusiasm. We never knew what a day would bring, because Donovan would go from being an affectionate child who wanted to spend more time with us to a child who complained constantly about having such a difficult life because he wasn’t allowed to watch much TV during the week or because he wasn’t allowed to go to the mall alone at 11 years of age.
It was all drama, all the time, and it was wearing Jack and I down.
Over the past year, I found myself drifting aimlessly at times, not knowing what to do to make life better for all of us. Seeing Donovan so upset, so much of the time, has taken its toll on my optimism and faith in the plan we had. I have spent many nights crying, feeling like I am failing him because I can’t just put my arms around him and “fix” what he’s going through. I worry about him. Will he be able to handle everything he has already been through in his young life, plus all of the challenges that being an adolescent with ADD will bring?
I worry about my role as his mom too. Will I ever be patient and confident mom again? Will I ever succeed at helping him find the joy that comes when you achieve something you worked hard for? Will I be able to protect him from all the temptations that he’ll soon face?
The reason I am writing this blog is to capture OUR story. I hope that writing about our experience will help someone else, struggling through a similar situation. I also hope that those who read this blog have a better understanding of ADD and what it means to the families who live with its gifts and challenges everyday.
PS-For those interested in learning more about our story, please check out a few of my earlier posts, by clicking on the links below…
Please feel free to share your questions, ideas, tips or stories in the ‘Comments’ section of any post that peaks your interest.
Subscribe To This Blog
My Twitter Feed
Want to Browse?AA Acceptance ADD Addiction ADD Resources ADHD Al-anon Alateen Alcohol Assessment Biphentin Blogging Book Club Bullying Celebrities Characteristics Classroom CMA 2011 Dairy-free Diagnosis Diet Discipline Drugs Ellen Family Fear Food Allergy Frustration Gluten-free Health and Wellness Homework Jamie Oliver Jim Carrey Judgment Justin Timberlake Lindsay Lohan Medication Oprah Parenting Positive Preteen School Substance Abuse Teachers Tip Tuesdays