After several years as a CHADD (Children & Adults with ADHD) support group coordinator, it is clear to me that both adults with ADHD and parents of children with ADHD experience a sense of isolation. It can be hard to escape the judgements and well-meaning advice from people who have not walked in your shoes. It seems that on a regular basis the media headlines yell at us that we or our parenting is deficient. A community that understands and supports us can balance out the negativity.
Recently, I was the presenter for a group of parents. One clearly conscientious parent came with a laundry list of questions. She was full of guilt and doubt. The irony is that this was coming from what I would see as a “model parent”. She is at every school meeting advocating for her child. She provides a consistent routine, structures and expectations along with with love and attention. She supports her child to succeed each and every day.
The missing piece for this mom is the support of other parents who are also dealing with kids who have ADHD issues. Sharing stories about struggling with meltdowns, getting out of the house in the morning and homework dilemmas might help her know that she is not alone.
Here in Hampton Roads we are lucky to have a CHADD support group where adults and families come together to learn and support one another. Often, in our day-to-day lives, we can find that there is no one that can truly understand our unique struggles. Together, we can relax a little and feel (relatively) more normal.