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When we were told that our son had ADHD, we tried to understand what it means. Here’s what parenting a child with ADHD is like.
I always wanted to be a good mother to my kids. After one miscarriage, I had conceived the second time. We had taken all precautions as per the doctor’s directions. And exactly at eight months of pregnancy, Akshat was born – he was a preterm baby and underweight.
From then on, every minute of my day was devoted to him, so much so that I would bathe and cook food only in the evenings. I still remember how worried I was about leaving him for a few days after the birth of my daughter.
Every single child is special and unique. Akshat had great logical and quick learning abilities. Academically, he had always been ahead of his class. His teachers would often say, ‘He asks questions beyond the syllabus and is quite far-sighted!’
Akshat often finished his classwork early and with the teachers’ permission, he would do some art or origami, etc. His teachers and I had to find ways to keep him busy so he wouldn’t go and disturb the other kids in the class. When the teachers couldn’t control his frequent visits to his friends’ seats, they sent him to the special educator to keep him busy.
We stay in one of the most polluted areas in the world – Delhi NCR. And due to that and quite possibly family history, when he was three, Akshat developed a ‘reactive airways’ problem. To cure this contraction of airways, we had to visit his paediatrician almost every other month.
Sitting still for a checkup was difficult for him and often frustrating for us. His doctor observed his behaviour closely and despite being asked to sit or stand properly, he continued to touch things on the doctor’s table. That’s when the doctor suggested that we check with a good counsellor to figure out the actual issue with Akshat.
We visited the best clinic in Delhi and when he was seven-years-old, Akshat was diagnosed with mild Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The doctor said that there was no need for medication. All he needed were a few therapy sessions with him to understand the function of Akshat’s brain and what we could do to live with the disorder.
The counsellors at the clinic and at school had sessions with all four of us individually, in pairs and as a family too.
Parenting a kid with ADHD isn’t easy. They defy all the rules of ‘normal behaviour.’ Though he understands every word everyone says and beyond the words too, he doesn’t seem to be listening.
His teachers often say, ‘He seems to be playing with erasers, pens or scale but when I go to his seat, all his work is complete.’ They also say that he is adamant and reluctant to take out his books. ‘He may recall all the subtle concepts of each subject but often forgets simple instructions like the exam dates.’ (Though that can also be blamed on the internet. Kids don’t seem to need to remember things since everything is available on the computer now.)
Akshat is cool and practical. He works well as a team and is a loving and caring person. Two years ago, my then 10-year-old daughter started expressing her frustration while dealing with Akshat. Thankfully, during the adversities of 2020, they learned to find ways to stay happy with each other. They are like all other siblings. Both my kids support me emotionally.
Now it is time that society also supports all with different abilities. A lot of us have to deal with some disorder or the other – some may or may not be severe. People have to deal with things like bipolar disorder, phobias and anxiety. And like it isn’t easy parenting a child with ADHD, it isn’t easy parenting a kid with any disorder.
However, with more awareness about mental and social health during this pandemic, we can recognise more of them. I often tell my kids, ‘recognising and understanding the exact problem is the most important – whether it is in academics or in life. It helps to find solutions easier.’
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Taare Zameen Par
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I am a civil society volunteer, Zero waste enthusiast, plant lover, traveler and juggling mother.
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