I won’t lie, it has been one hell of a journey, and my patience and understanding have not always been what it should have. But the moment my son walked up to me, crying, and said “Mommy, my brain makes me do things that I don’t want to do”, I knew it was his way of telling me that he needed help.

There are so many statistical articles about ADHD, outlining the causes and possible remedies. As a former teacher with qualifications in Psychology, I know the facts and I’m sure that I could fill this post with fancy words and descriptions that would probably be skimmed over, but as a mom, I’m not going to.

What I’m going to say, is that my son has ADHD (and high levels of anxiety) and I have no idea how to help him.

As a parent you do your best to do exactly what the experts tell you… doctors, OT, Speech, counselors, I’m sure many of you could add a few more. You drag your child from one appointment to the next secretly hoping that someone would just “fix” him.

But the reality is, he doesn’t need fixing? He just needs to be understood?

This is where I am struggling, I’ve always had this “suck it up and deal with it” attitude, not in the cruel sense but more like, “ok, this happened, let’s sort it out and move on”. And I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve probably dealt with many situations in the wrong way. I’ve probably made it so much worse than it should’ve been.

All because I did not/do not understand.

Standing in yet another office, watching my son colour whilst we wait for yet another doctor, I found myself staring at the wall, so many thoughts entangled in my head. Aimlessly perusing through leaflet after leaflet pinned to the notice board, I came across this poem.

“Take my hand and come with me, I want to teach you about ADHD. I need you to know, I want to explain, I have a very different brain. Sights, sounds, and thoughts collied. What to do first? I can’t decide. Please understand I am not to blame, I just can’t process things the same.

Take my hand and walk with me, let me show you about ADHD.
I try to behave, I want to be good, But I sometimes forget to do as I should. Walk with me and wear my shoes, you’ll see it’s not the way I’d choose. I do know what I’m supposed to do, but my brain is slow getting the message through.

Take my hand and walk with me, I want to tell you about ADHD. I rarely think before I talk, I often run when I should walk. My thoughts are outside having fun. I never know just where to start, I think with my feelings and see with my heart.

Take my hand and stand by me, I need you to know about ADHD. It’s hard to explain but I want you to know, I can’t help letting my feelings show. Sometimes I’m angry, jealous and sad, I feel overwhelmed, frustrated and mad. I can’t concentrate and I lose all my stuff. I try really hard but it’s never enough.

Take my hand and learn with me, we need to know more about ADHD. I worry a lot about getting things wrong. Everything I do takes twice as long. Every day is exhausting for me. Looking through the fog of ADHD.  I’m often so misunderstood, I would change in a heartbeat if I could.

Take my hand and listen to me, I want to share a secret about ADHD. I want you to know there is more to me. I’m defined by it, you see. I’m sensitive, kind and lots of fun. I’m blamed for things I haven’t done.  I’m the loyalist friend you’ll ever know, I just need a chance to let it show.

Take my hand and look at me, just forget about the ADHD. I have feelings just like you. The love in my heart is just as true. I may have a brain that can never rest, but please understand I’m trying my best. I want you to know, I need you to see. I’m worth more than a label, I am still me”.

The author is unknown, and I wish it wasn’t so. I really wish that I could thank whoever wrote this. Because it made me step back and re-evaluate the situation we find ourselves in.

I’m sure I’ll make many mistakes along the way, but for the first time I’m looking past the label and looking at my son. I’m going to take his hand.

Previously published on Parenty