Wordy Wednesday: Understanding ADHD

He’s there, he’s here, he’s everywhere. He is upside down on my couch, he is constantly kicking the band on his chair, he never. stops. moving. I was told time and time again that with the diagnosis of ASD, normally a diagnosis of ADHD is often assumed. It was with this understanding that we entered the public school system. However, it was this knowledge that even the most educated in the district over looks. It is common, but not, mandatory, that these two diagnosis’s be assumed as a pair. Often is the case that is hard to tell where the ASD stops and the ADHD begins. Which I have been told is why the diagnosis is assumed and normally not diagnosised dually. Why?

It is basically a double dx. If your child had ASD, it is assumed under the DSM that ADHD is also present. However, I ran into a huge problem in our educational system. Due to the fact ADHD was not literally on his iep paperwork, they would not treat my son as such. So instead they deemed him as having behavioral problems not associated with ASD. Back to the doctor we went and out we came with a diagnosis of ADHD.

It amazes me what has to be done to get the simple and average care for my child in school. When we turned in the letter from the doctor with his additional diagnosis, the school highly disagreed. They told us his teacher claims he is a model student and assists the other children when needed. There is no doubt in my mind he would. He is repeating kinder, he knows the route now and what to expect and knows what is expect of him. The bigger issue will come next year when he advances to first grade. Everything will be new, possibly including a new school, new state, new continent. What does surprise me is his physical behavior.

At home he is a enigerzeer bunny; no batteries needed. Why the rouse at school? People think I’m crazy, or that I have Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. But one day I saw something that made perfect sense and eased my worries about other peoples thoughts towards my kid.


After doing a little more research on the links between ASD and ADHD, I also learned there is more than just one type of ADHD that covers everyone. Learning more about different types and different reactions to ADHD has helped me better understand my son and ways to help him. I encourage you to do the same. It doesn’t matter the diagnosis, but educating yourself more will make you and your family feel more comfortable with any diagnosis.

How Do You Explain Thankfulness to Your Kids?

I have created a few fall DIY projects for around our home. The one I am most excited about is our “Thanksgiving Tree”. Its a take on the 30 days of thankfulness that spam Facebook every year. I strive really hard to make sure my children know the sacrifice their father makes and people who came before their dad and people who will come after their dad; including maybe them. But then we get into a slight issue that always makes explaining the definition of the words very hard. I was taught long ago, not to include the word you are defining in the definition. After I had children the questions of “w’ started to appear. Some are easy, and so are not. However, the problem I soon discovered was that with my children’s unique challenges explaining something to them they can not touch or see is harder than explaining the word. So how do you explain thankfulness to children? How do you explain it to children who do not understand anything than a tangible concept? For my “Thanksgiving Tree” idea to work, I first have to ¬†explain what thankfulness is. And here we are on day 11 and I still can not come up with a formidable solution.

I looked around Google and Pinterest for some ideas for activities or speeches to give and nothing really popped out at me. However, as I was looking I realized a few things that did seem to help me.

1) Children are children. They are egotistical and self-centered. Eventually, by the grace of God, they won’t be. But until they learn by life lessons what thankful means, they will all be greedy little creatures.

I typically get upset and irritated by their “I want” attitudes. They seem to think owning some ridiculous toy on TV will fill their happy bubble for life, or until the batteries run out. But after accepting the realization that they are egotistical and self-centered, I realized their normal for now. Until they are able to comprehend a life outside of theirs is just as worthy as theirs, I must pat their egos and lead them down a path to one day have that self realization.

One way I can do that is being positive. I used to be a Eeyore, as my mom called me. Much of my life with gloomy and grey. Then one day I had my own self-realization (mine was at age 30, I hope my children’s is before that!). Every day was the way I made it; the way I saw it. I realized always yelling at my kids on my gloomy days was turning them into me. I saw their sad faces and their cracked hearts from my words and realized words hurt (another lesson that took me too long to learn). One day I stopped pointing out all the negative- “stop hitting your sister”, “be quite”, “your room looks horrible”. And I started pointing out the positive- “You are being so nice to your sister”, “great job using your inside voice”, “I’m so proud of you for cleaning your room”. Eventually, I started seeing the result. My children are complimenting each other, giving hi-5’s when they have good reports for school and cheering each other on when trying something new for dinner. Trust me, I am not perfect, and I still have those gloomy days. But the realization that they do actually listen and learn from you is astounding.

So I may not be able to teach them what thankfulness is today; but maybe in a few years, without some intellectual speech, they will discover the definition on their own. There is always the chance they never will. I accept that. It will be a hard lesson for me to learn; but I will love my children regardless of their understanding of thankfulness. I know that every day I am thankful for my children and their presence on this earth. Even if that includes gloomy days.

Found the following image circulating around Facebook today.

Tricare/Therapy Thursdays – MyAutismTeam; Facebook for Autism

I used to be a social media junkie. But three kids later and I need more time in my day to sleep and shower rather than catch up on the latest “friends” who I haven’t seen or talked to in 10 years. Some may say sleep is over rated, but come on! I cut back on my tweets and dropped a few hundred friends and ditched MySpace a decade ago. But one thing I do keep up on are the support groups I am involved in through some of those social media feeds. A few I favor are MilitarySpecialNeedsNetwork, MilitaryOneSource, and a few Facebook groups where I have made some great connections across the world (ya, I’m that cool!).

But last week a friend of mine, who is also the parent of two ASD boys, turned me onto MyAutismTeam. I have spent a few days milling around their site, updating my profile, adding in my kids ASD characteristics and even friending a few moms. It seems like a great social media platform designed specially for those individuals with a relationship to a ASD person.


I realized there are still some people who have never created a Facebook account or those who have completely turned away from the time devouring platform. Which is who I believe this platform was intended for. No worries of signing in and a gaggle of Facebook chats popping up, or realizing you have 347 unread tweets to peruse. The only purpose of this social media site is to connect you with other moms (in my case) experiencing the same life ups and downs; to share your story with others and to make connections that you might not have been able to make elsewhere.


I also feel this is a great resource for those in the military. With moving from base to base every few years, it is hard to keep in touch with all the friends you make. But these friends wont move and if they do, you can easily still communicate with them via the site.

I also know from personal experience how extremely isolating it can be with special needs children. We are human and we tend to judge what we don’t know, don’t understand and what we have never experienced. I get tired of the stares, snide comments and rolling of the eyes from individuals who don’t take the time to educate themselves or who simply act like a 12 year old. This can be a site where everyone knows exactly what you are going through- as they have been there before. And if they haven’t, at least they know of a safe place to go to for support when it does.