Can I have my rubber room now?
Plays piano too fast. Eats food too fast. Puts on too much ketchup, syrup, salt, Parmesan cheese, you name it. Bursts in the door talking at the top of his lungs without finding out what he might be interrupting. The excesses of ADHD. I can hear him gulping down everything he drinks, gasping for air in between gulps or chews or whatever else is going on in his mouth as he tries to breathe at the same time.
Sometimes I think I will go mad. He doesn’t have a clue. The body is moving faster than the brain. The body is moving in one direction and the brain is going in the other.
Oprah talks about mindful living – deliberate, thoughtful execution of whatever one may be doing. This admonition is not qualified by disorder or lack thereof. She’s speaking to people in general, not to ADHDers in particular. The ADHDer is equipped with a compromised executive function. The ADHD child can’t even begin to wrap his head around mindful living. The ADHD executive function can be improved with medication but only to a point. Teaching mindful living to the ADHD child rests with the coach. That would be me.
The difference between a high school coach, an Olympic coach, an ADD therapist (coach) and a parent coach is that the parent coach is coaching ALL! THE! TIME!! It doesn’t end. The limits of my patience are tested from morning to night, sometimes in the middle of the night, day in and day out. In all of this I must not lose sight of the limits of David’s executive function. If I can keep that in mind – a disability perspective – then I can handle it.
Yet, alas, I have more duties, responsibilities and, yes, desires than teaching and coaching my son. AND! I have limits as well. Like most of us, life in the 21st century is stretched to the limits. When it all becomes more than I can handle, I have found that honesty works. I don’t try to be something that I can’t be – like, uh, superhuman. I tell David what I need. There are times when my needs supersede his. I need quiet, I need a moment, I need a room with a closed door. If I can tell him what I need without exasperation, irritation and annoyance or the big whammo, anger, it’s as good as it gets. I don’t wig out. He learns consideration for other people. Win-win.
But, if all else fails and there HAS to be a loser, let it be the Barbies…
(be sure to click on the cartoon :))