In the previous post in this series, you met Teresa Lasher and heard just a little about her life with an ADHD child. Today, you can read her whole story.
Life with an ADHD Kid
People with good intentions said, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle,” or “God only gives special kids to special parents.” I didn’t feel specially blessed, but felt I was being punished.
My special child was labeled ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). ADHD meant our son had a short attention span, his mind circled continuously, and body rarely sat still for any length of time. I should have figured we were in for the ride of our life when I received a call from his teacher—it was the first week of kindergarten. Andrew had hit a classmate in the head with his metal lunchbox. Soon, I didn’t even want to answer our phone, suspecting it was either a teacher or the principal. Why couldn’t his teachers see the sensitive, needy individual beneath the crusty exterior?
About an hour before the school bus dropped off our children, a sense of impending doom crept over me. My head throbbed and heart rate increased to the point of feeling nauseous. Applying a cool cloth on my forehead, I’d crash on my bed for a few moments of peace before the storm erupted. I knew the moment my ADHD son opened the door (and possibly on the walk up our driveway) that there’d be no more solitude or semblance of order in our household.
Anything could (and usually did) happen when our son appeared on the scene:
- Taunting his sister/the dog/cat/bird/fish
- Wrangling over homework and chores
- Destroying property
- Biting words, such as “I hate you!”
Feelings of Inadequacy
Convinced no one would understand, or worse yet, label me an inadequate parent, I buried my pain deep inside which accomplished nothing worthwhile. When I reached the extent of my own powers, I began to honestly share our struggles with friends and family. I soon discovered the magnificent power of praying people. We didn’t need critical judgment or raised eyebrows. Our family needed a shoulder to cry on and practical advice such as:
- Keep loving him unconditionally—especially when I least felt like loving him.
- Daily and deliberately demonstrate love with a gentle touch on the shoulder, arm, or hand.
- Never, never, never give up!
Hope Beyond Hope
The following verses gave me hope while helping soothe fresh wounds:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord,” and will bring you back from captivity.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
I viewed our troubles with finite vision. God really did have our best interests in mind not wanting to harm us, but desiring our family to grow and prosper. Even though we as parents dearly loved our child, God loved him more than we could possibly imagine. And he was the one in control!
To read more about Teresa or to contact her, check out her blog.
Thanks, Teresa, for sharing your story. If any of you have kids with ADHD or ADD, please leave a comment about what helps you love your special needs child, even when it’s hard.
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