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Friday, June 06, 2014

Cody had one of the worst cases of ADHD the doc had ever seen. I felt like I was always yelling and that he was always being punished. I decided to look for the things Cody was doing right, ignore the bad stuff to the best of my ability (in other words, choosing my battles wisely). Unfortunately at first I never could catch him doing anything right! So I had to start small. If he took his plate to the kitchen, "Thank you sweetie for taking your plate to the kitchen, you really are helpful”. For NOT yelling in the car "Cody, I really appreciate you talking in such a calm tone, it helps me drive better and understand you more”. Of course at first, whenever I'd mention what he was doing right, he'd act out Immediately, like in the car, start yelling, because obviously he’s forgotten himself and was being good. He was uncomfortable and unfamiliar with my behavior so it was understandable. I just ignored it and turned my attention elsewhere. "Cody, isn't that the restaurant that had those horrible hamburgers? or " Do you know what kind of tree that is?" After some time and TONS of patience he began getting used to the positive affirmation and the results were noticeable. Since he has two brothers, I had them in on it. As annoying as he was to them, it was important to have them back me up. The other thing we did was play a game together. Every time we went through a stop sign or a stop light and every time we walked thru a door, we said "I'm valuable and lovable" OUT LOUD. Both of us. We felt totally stupid at first of course, then it was kind of fun to beat the other to the punch, or catch one another forgetting. ADHD kids are competitive, so he enjoyed the game once I got him to buy into it. After some time, I really noticed a difference, in myself primarily. I'm positive that these new tools helped us turn a huge corner. 
It was important for me to get a proper diagnosis as well. I began taking medication and it was like someone had taken the hundreds of puzzle pieces of my life and fit them all together. I distinctly remember saying "Oh my God! This must be what NORMAL feels like!" I said it out loud in my living room, I was alone but it's one of those memories that is etched into my soul permanently. When my behavior cleared up, it was much easier to see the situation clearer. Getting the right meds was trying at best, but mostly very very frustrating. But it was worth it in the long run. Back then we had two ADHD meds available, Ritalin (which I took,) and Cylert for Cody. We were in the midst of what I called "the coping years". Cope. That is the best we can do at times. 
Cody had more ability than disability. ADHD people have some remarkable talents and gifts. My job as a parent was too think outside the box. I gave up the idea that he would ever  be like anyone else. That took a lot of the pressure off of him. I found a website that showed famous people with ADD, it’s now posted on my blog. Thank God for ADHD, we bring color to the world.

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