I share our personal journey because I believe it helps other families realize they are not alone in the struggle. Navigating the emotional and physical challenges of a disorder is not easy, but worse is watching your child fall prey to failure, a lack of self-esteem and an overall sense of worthlessness.
Even under the most difficult of circumstances, you are capable of drawing a line in the sand. Raise the bar! Challenge your child, challenge yourself and by all means - challenge the system!
Our personal journey with ADHD began when our son was first diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) in preschool. It would take years to obtain a full diagnosis, develop a successful treatment plan and learn to navigate the education system. Those years were both isolating and exhausting, significantly impacting our family.
Because ADHD and SPD are often in their own "camps," it was difficult to get the answers we needed. The lack of a coordinated, whole-child approach meant that we were searching for answers and solutions through a complex practice of trial and error of traditional and non-traditional strategies.
The situation further deteriorated in kindergarten and by the end of first grade he had attended three different schools; each with their own approach to "deal" with his challenges. Soon after a traumatic school incident (our defining moment), I made the decision to resign from my career and begin homeschooling.
At that point we sought a second—and far more thorough—evaluation, which revealed ADHD, SPD, anxiety and gifted/2e. Armed with the full scope of the situation and the extensive experience we had gained over the years, we began implementing successful strategies to address his sensory, behavior and social-emotional challenges.
By third grade our son began a successful transition back to school, and—with the help of amazing teachers and a wonderful 504 support team—he is now a happy and successful sixth grader.
And learning to adapt to mainstream expectations certainly did not dampen his personality! In fact, it served to further enhance his creativity, comedic skills, athleticism, extroverted personality and excessive need to share fun facts! In other words, he discovered balance and is now living a happier, healthier life.
Although our journey with ADHD persists, we are continually discovering new insights and opportunities for success! I am forever grateful for the amazing people who blessed our journey, providing the support to see beyond traditional boundaries and expectations.
I am honored to welcome you to our community! Remember, your journey is unique to you and your child. There are no cut-and-dry answers, but we are here to help you discover, explore and succeed!
Ivy Wild Kids creates engaging, inspirational and research-driven resources to help children, and parents of children, with ADHD realize their full potential and live happier, healthier lives.
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