If you read my previous post you will know that we were (are) on a bit of a mission to find out what is going on within our little boys cute little self. If you haven’t read that, you might want to start here https://aprilmartinphotography.com/2015/03/12/keegans-journey/ …. go ahead, I’ll wait …
Shortly after that post Keegan went for his formal assessments. We sat there and were explained to that while they found zero signs of Autism, there was “no doubt” according to the psychologist that he has ADHD. Rewind about 2 hours before this, I woke up with the flu, felt like absolute ass (which is a ridiculous statement I know, but paints a comical picture) and really wasn’t sure how this was all going to work but I knew that we needed to battle through the morning and get to the bottom of this. “Bottom” haha … silly me thinking this was going to be any kind of ending. Little did I know that our journey was only about to begin.
So there we sat, going over all of the findings. Some I agreed with, some I did not. Some I already knew but still needed to have them confirmed in order to process it all, and some I thought “we paid how much for this??!!” Don’t get me wrong, we were dealing with very educated, capable, intelligent people who knew what they were talking about. It is bizarre though, to digest that this small amount of time, only a matter of hours in total start to finish, was going to forever change things. Us as parents, our son, our family dynamic, and on and on.
Before you get all “it doesn’t have to change anything.” Or “it will only change things if you let it.” I know that how we deal with that change is entirely personal but let me just rip the band aid right off for you. The change itself, is not optional. Things change, in fact a lot changes.
We asked any questions we had, we took our stack of papers, and we went on our way. I was thankful for the flu that morning. Any emotion that I had, that otherwise would be been cried and blown out into tissue was completely stifled by the concentration it took not to throw up all over the psychs table. At one point Lane asked me how I was doing, I think he meant with the diagnosis but I can’t be sure. In either case I said “Im fine” which really was a lie no matter which way you looked at it.
For a long time now, as a coping skill, when Keegan acts out I have thought to myself before reacting, “he doesn’t like this any more than I do.” It’s a simple statement, but it helps me. It helps me to not be angry with him. It helps me to understand and try to come down somewhere in between where my blood pressure is and where his little mind is. When we stop believing that absolutely everything is a conscious choice, we learn to look at things with an open mind. I know when Keegan is being silly, and testing me. I know that when he comes over to me and says “can I have the iPad cause I looooooove you?!” and plants a big kiss on my face, he knows what he is doing. I also know however, that when it’s been a long day, or maybe we have been in an overstimulating place, and he has nothing else to say but “you’re a bad mom and I don’t like you” I know that those words have escaped his mouth without a choice and those words are usually followed by “that wasn’t nice was it? Im sorry.”
So now I decide, as a mother, what to do with this. I choose to embrace it. I am not “April Martin, ADHD parent” but I am the parent of a child with ADHD and that is important, because it plays a part in my daily life. I choose to move forward and learn how to help Keegan iron out his wrinkles. I choose to believe, and to help HIM believe that life won’t always be so frustrating. I choose to believe that he CAN learn coping skills, and that his quirks are things that he HAS, not things that he IS. We all have our things. For example, I have an intense hate for olives. I cannot avoid them everywhere I go however, so I have just learned over time to pick them out. I will help Keegan pick the olives out of his life until he can do it for himself. That is my job, I am his person.
So that’s where we are. In the very beginning of what I thought was the end, of a very long road. I am thankful for patience (most days), for knowledge, for a plan greater than I can see, and for a partner in life who walks this road (holding our kids hands) with me.