Monday, 23 May 2011

ADHD Myth and Reality

Since J was diagnosed iwith ADHD (along with ASD, Dyspraxia and Hypermobile joints). I feel I have waged a constant internal war with those who think ADHD is all rubbish and an excuse parents have dreamed up to excuse bad behaviour. "It's a myth", "just an excuse for letting a child run riot", "it's rubbish and about poor parenting", "we didn't have all these children diagnosed like this when I was a child", "it's all about getting extra benefits out of the system", they get their kids labelled and then they claim benefits (amazingly these people think it is THAT easy) etc etc etc.

I have heard all the above and more since J was diagnosed, maybe because I have read about the condition and made myself aware of the history and theories behind it. Sadly the above comments are not restricted to strangers and much to my irritation and sadness have come from members of J's family. And I say "irritation and sadness" because if J does not have his family behind him what hope is there that anyone else will support him.

Other little gems regarding his Dyspraxia and ASD have been "he's not THAT bad", "let's teach him to use a knife and fork right now" (as the Occupational Therapist has struggled I doubt YOU will have greater success) which also blatantly suggests the advisor in question has little opinion of my parenting skills.

But back to ADHD. There appears a concerted effort by the powers that be currently, to label anyone disabled and claiming DLA as a "scrounger sponging off the State". The Daily Mail and The Telegraph are cases in point and in no time you nave those who have swallowed their copy of the Daily Mail for breakfast spouting forth about those with disabilities for daring to claim the benefits they are ENTITLED to.
This is bad enough without getting the same people - and there are now thousands of them, onto the subject of the "hidden" disabilities. Evidently people like me are responsible for fecklessly allowing our children to run riot and we the then "get them labelled" to excuse poor behaviour. They are then full on in their condemnation of such parents "claiming benefits". They completely ignore the fact that many parents claiming DLA for a child might also be working and paying taxes, after all that does not fit with their narrow world view.
If only getting a diagnosis were that simple, in actual fact J was not diagnosed until he was over the age of 7 and even then it took time for the speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, educational psychologists and community medical officers to decide that J would benefit from being assessed by the social communication team. Once he was seen and assessed though the specialist team had no hesitation in diagnosing J with ASD. Getting a diagnosis of ADHD, although this was strongly suspected from the assessments which had already taken place took even longer, and was not formally diagnosed until other assessments had been completed.

So reading the continued propaganda being published by an increasingly Tory controlled press is disheartening,. I can tell myself that they are all arseholes ignorant people with a narrow world view, but this does not take away the fact that there are an awful lot of them with many hundreds of thousands of readers who hold an equally narrow world view. It is the. I feel depressed, it is then I despair, it is then I wonder about J's future life in a world which has decided his disability does not exist. All I can see for him is a future of isolation, an oddball with a made up label according to an increasingly intolerant and selfish population and a future of mental health problems as a result. It is then I want to cry.


Emma said...

Don't cry, it is your your fault, yet the fault of the narrow mindedness of the idiots who believe such tripe.

Although, I do not know the full pain of diagnosis I am on a path to get ds tested for a variety of things, and I have met some very clued up individuals and some idiots who refuse to believe ds could be anything but their version of perfect, when each child is perfect in his own rights.

What I am saying I suppose is teach J to believe in himself, challenge those that mock him and hold his head up high (there is nothing to be ashamed of) and that is all you can do :)

Order and Chaos said...

Thank you Emma, wise words indeed. This blog post was stimulated by reading comments on the TES community forum. Loads of people agreeing with Pete Hitchins of The Torygraph saying ADHD doesn't exist. It sent me into despair and rage tbh. And of course I then started thinking of all the other sarcastic comments I have experienced regarding J. Must really stop being so maudlin.

Timekeeper said...

Let me send you and J some of my musis. Please visit me on Youtube and enjoy my gift to you. You may have to cut and paste the link below. Blessings

heart rumbles said...

Hang in there. I appreciate your struggle. My Son has progressed into only "appearing especially shy stage". And his being a teen-age boy what's so wrong about that? Problem is sometimes I doubt myself and my abilities. I try not to. So we will hang in there together.

heart rumbles said...

Want you to know that last comment is a lot sincere and a bit sarcastic. I hope you know that the sarcasm is not directed at you. It is a struggle at times. My poem for My child on mother's day was written for all my kids. Check it out.