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Disclosure: I was gifted a copy of the book, Raising WILL, Suriving the Brilliance and Blues of ADHD by Katherine Quie, Ph.D. LP in exchange for my honest review posted on my site. I of course, only reccomend things I’ve truly reviewed and feel they are of value to my audience! Thank you for reading.
As an ADHD parent, only those of us who have lived it can truly understand the lifelong task it brings.
When our child is three, raging worse than any other three year old we know, and nothing we are doing is curbing their defiance. We wonder: Is this me? Am I just terrible at this parenting thing? We question if we have the energy to do this not just once, but twice because if this is parenting? Wow! It feels like a never ending marathon up hill.
Then at kindergarten we are frustrated.
Our child won’t even look at their homework let alone lift a pencil. And you are just the meanest, most terrible parent to try to make them do a sheet of five math problems! And again we ask ourselves: What am I doing wrong?
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Finally, we grieve for our child.
It gets brought to our attention that our child might have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Sometimes we stay in denial; Not my kid! Really? But they don’t bounce off the walls like they are high on sugar all the time? Other times, we know it’s coming and again we blame ourselves: Is this because I didn’t take my pre-natal vitamins the first trimester? Did I not read to him or her enough when they were a year old? Is this because I work full time and I’m not home?
Yes, indeed. Being an ADHD parent is a unique journey only few of us are blessed with.
Along the way we meet people who help us better understand our children, our lives, their struggles and their strengths. Among them are doctors, tutors, teachers, and peers. These people validate us. They remind us that it’s not our fault and that we didn’t cause it. It’s just genetics.
They give us strength to go forward with our new knowledge and remind us that our children are unique but not broken.
We also find true friends in other adults who have lived the same stress.
The author of Raising WILL, Surviving the Brilliance and Blues of ADHD, Katherine Quie, Ph.D., LP, is one such individual.
As a parent of a son with ADHD she knows first hand the ups and downs of an ADHD diagnosis. In her book, Raising WILL, Surviving the Brilliance and Blues of ADHD she gives her full memoir of raising him. From infancy to his now college age. She tells all.
And boy, does it make you feel good.
As an ADHD parent, you will feel her frustration when she struggles to get her toddler to take more than a 15 minute nap. You will cry with her when she finds out about Will’s struggles in elementary school and when she confirms diagnosis. You will cheer Will on when he finally finds that ‘THING’ he loves! But most of all you will see her strength and through that you will remember how much strength you have.
Because you’ve been right where she was. Or like me, you still are.
You will feel validated that you’re not a crazy parent, that parenting isn’t really this hard we’ve just been dealt a different hand. But you will triumph with her as she finds ways to help her son, just as we all do.
What I really love about reading Katherine and Will’s story? She is a Pediatric Neuropscyhologist.
So for all those times when we question ourselves: Did I do this right? Did I do that right?
She did that too. Even with her education of ADHD and it being a genetic disorder. She feels the same pain we all have.
To me, that was profoundly affirming.
As a parent of an ADHD child I may need every resource under the sun for behavior, tutoring, education, and physical health.
Mine and my child’s journey might send us to a neurologist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or all the above.
They will treat, and poke and prod. They will deliver us the diagnosis but none of them can do what Katherine does in her book.
And that is to stand by our side while we feel this rollercoaster of emotions.
Reading her book felt like I was hearing someone else say: It’s ok. I’ve been there too. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.
For those of us in the trenches of either our own ADHD, or our child’s ADHD light at the end of the tunnel is all we are asking for. Dim as it may be we need to hear from other people, other parents that we can survive it and so can our children. That is what Dr. Quie’s book does for us.
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Don’t mistake me:
No I do not think ADHD is a life sentence. But it is most likely an entire-life disorder. One that if left unchecked can lead into uncharted territory in substance abuse, job loss, lack of education completion, social interactions and even relationships.
It leaves no stone untouched.
Raising WILL, Surviving the Brilliance and Blues of ADHD feels like listening to a friend tell me that this is hard, but it’s a season. That this life is not made to break us but make us stronger. To make mine and my children’s lives stronger.
As an ADHD parent, how much better of a friend can you ask for?
If you haven’t read her book, I do highly reccomend it. You can find the link to her site where you can purchase it here.
Then, do what I plan to do: Pass it on to a parent you know needs to read it. A parent who needs the reminder that they aren’t failing, and that their child has a future as bright as anyone elses as long as they never give up on them. Dr. Quie never gives up on her son, at any stage of his life.
But just in case they are like me, gift it with a box of tissues as well.
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