Wow, the response to last week’s post, What I Would Want a Mother of a Typical Needs Child to Know” (http://www.lipstickwisdom.com/2009/09/15/what-would-i-want-a-mother...
), has been tremendous. I have seemingly been able to verbalize in my post what many mothers of special needs children feel in their daily life. Frustration with a lack of understanding and consideration is a common feeling among those of us with special needs children.
What, in my opinion, are the two most often cited sources of frustration and lack of understanding? I feel they are extended family and the school system. So I have been asking myself for days – how can I help to educate those who don’t know and don’t understand?
The problem is there is no universal definition for ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s, Anxiety or any number of neurological disorders (what is with all the “A”s?). Many of the symptoms can be associated with bad behavior, or lack of motivation or any number of negative things. There disabilities are particularly challenging, in my opinion, because they are “invisible”. I find that what little awareness exists is focused on the hyperactive and impulsive symptoms of ADHD which certainly can be challenging, are very visible but are not, often, the most challenging aspects of the disability.
The questions I have been asking myself include:
How do I quickly define what it is … It must be simple and direct calling for understanding …
What form should it be in so that it can be effective yet not require too much effort on the part of the receiver of information ?
Can it be something that can be handed to the individual to cause them to stop, reflect and want to understand more?
Jenn over at www.canmombecalm.blogspot.com is asking the same question. View her thoughts here http://canmombecalm.blogspot.com/2009/09/adhd-awareness-week-what-d...
I am trying to model my response to my own questions by looking at CC at http://www.ifonlyihadsuperpowers.blogspot.com
) as an example. CC was challenged by her principal “to consider our students in twenty years. What values and life skills do we hope they will learn from our class? Beyond the day to day articulation drills, what impact do we aspire for in their lives?.” This could be viewed as a tough and complicated question to answer. CC very cleverly answered it in the following way, “In speech, we learn self confidence and clear communication skills!”
Is there a simple and eloquent way to quickly make others stop and think about ADHD? I would love to hear your thoughts as I continue to mull over this vexing problem. Please comment with your thoughts and forward to family and friends for their thoughts. Let’s answer this question together and help educate those around us on ADHD and its implications.