When my son was diagnosed with ADHD and a “mild case of Aspergers” back in 2010, I had my suspicions already. I had the info already and seriously, I was the one who diagnosed him BUT I had NO WHERE to turn after getting confirmation. After tests had been done, I felt like I didn’t have the support I needed to move forward with it. My husband wasn’t very supportive, something he admits to now. He admits to NOT being supportive at the time, but he thanks me everyday for going with my gut. My mother thought I was INSANE and I know other family members frowned upon me, but I didn’t give a flying fig what they thought! What I did need was someone to tell me that it would all be okay and that I was doing the “right thing” by my boy. Since I wasn’t receiving support in the usual places, I had to get creative. Here are some of the ways I thought outside the box and got support for myself as a parent with a child with ADHD and Aspergers. These are truly the things that helped me get through it all.
I confided in many of my friends who are teachers and shared what I observed in my son. I wasn’t ashamed of it, but instead I genuinely wanted to learn and to help my son. I saw other children in school go undiagnosed and it broke my heart, it still does. I didn’t want my child to be one of those kids and he wouldn’t be! I was his mother, I knew my rights and I would get him what he needed. Without this support group I would have cried and broken down feeling weak (still did and sometimes still do) but with them by my side it made my direction clearer and gave me strength!
Reading articles and books
Reading has really helped me put the pieces of this puzzle together. Whatever I can get my hands on about ADHD or Aspergers, I read and I underline and delve into with a fine tooth comb. I try to make the connections and see what else I can get for my son, to make his life simpler in regards to services at his public school as well as adaptations at home and in the community. Whether they be children’s books that can help me help him to understand himself better, or for me to better understand what he’s going through… I read!
What I know, you know! I love to share and those who know me know that this is nothing but the truth! I am your cheerleader, I am the one who shares because I know that from sharing we all benefit. Besides, this is for our children. We all want the very best for our children, for ALL children! I am here to help any mother who has questions. I speak openly about the road I took to get my child diagnosed, evaluated, and what I am going through now to make sure he has the very best placement for middle school.
This path has NOT been easy, but it certainly has been worth it! I definitely could NOT have done it without the support of those rooting me on and telling me to go with my gut. I don’t even say, “What if I would have listened to so and so” because it doesn’t matter to me what they thought or if they still believe the same misinformation of the past. What matters is that I am getting my son what he needs to be a successful individual and an outstanding citizen who can function in our society on his own unique terms. I will continue to advocate for him and help as many as I can in the same way many have helped me along the way. It’s all about the support, and for that I am truly grateful.
Care to share: What kind of support do you have with raising your children?