This is the face of a child with ADHD. I have not blogged about it too much (more hints and innuendo than directly discussing it), not because I’m bothered by it, but because she has specific concerns about me blogging about her experiences. And, I respect her wishes on this. I’m completely and absolutely amazed by her bravery and her ability to confront this. Because she has some other diagnostic things going on (I know, again with the vagueness), she deeply feels the stigma (and yes, there is one…believe me there is) that goes with her ADHD.
I don’t feel I’m breaking her confidences by telling you this story. If it turns out I am, I’ll take this post down.
This summer, Steve and I sat in the child neuropsychologist’s office and discussed Gracie’s test results. We received her diagnoses and some of the things were painful to hear. The news wasn’t all bad. Really, in hindsight, I don’t think any of the news was bad. She was seven and two weeks into the second grade when we tested her. The interesting part to me was the results of her aptitude tests. The doctor told us that her math skills (her weak point) were on a third grade level, her reading skills on a fourth grade, and her spelling skills were above a fifth grade level. Basically, the doctor said, she’s a seven-year-old who thinks like a ten-year-old. Which I think helps to explain last night.
Yesterday, Gracie was tired and angry and a whole bunch of other exhausting emotions. So, she sat down and started to write in her journal. I could see the anxiety falling away from her as the words poured out onto the paper. She came out a little while later and told me that she’d decided to write a book for children with ADHD to help them understand what they were feeling. The book, she says, is going to have sections on famous people with ADHD (Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Robin Williams, Beethoven) and sections on how the children may feel and a final section on what they can do about it.
It blows me away. I remember reading somewhere that the best way to help yourself feel better when you’re going through a difficult time is to help someone else. I hope more than anything that I teach my daughters that learning from whatever experiences life throws at you is important, but that taking that knowledge and helping others with it is the most amazing thing of all. I don’t know that I taught Gracie that – I think she just knows it instinctively. I can’t tell you how much I love that girl. I am proud to be her mother!