There is Hope.
I believe, as I always do, that there is a great deal of hope. There are so many dedicated parents out there. We are all committed to working towards good outcome for our children. We just need to know how to know how to do it. Give us the lens to see through and we will use it. I think that answer lies in working together, sharing our stories, our knowledge and our experience in the interest of strengthening each other and through that, ourselves.
Parents, like any group, have a myriad of complimentary skills and knowledge among them. I mean, let’s be honest, no one can read all the books out there on ADHD and still have enough time leftover to sleep, let alone apply the ideas to parenting your own unique child. We can, however, read the books that we feel are relevant to our own needs and attempt to apply them to our own lives. Through coming together it becomes possible to share our knowledge with other parents and begin to point the way for each other towards effective resources, and through those resources, positive growth.
The body of knowledge out there is vast, and growing everyday. The problem for parents is that there is no road map. ADHD is not a one size fits all diagnosis. Not only are there four subtypes, there are also multiple other factors that affect how each subtype can be expressed in a single child. Those factors include gender, socioeconomic status, marital status of the family (whether single, married or divorced), culture, religious affiliation…. the list goes on and on. The hundreds, if not thousands, of books out there address many different strategies, some of them conflicting. Each one cannot apply to all diagnosed children, or all families struggling with this. The ideas, theories and paths crisscross and there are few, if any, signposts indicating which way each person ought to turn.
How, then, are we to navigate this labyrinth?
In my mind this does not fall to any one professional. They are all charged with serving an ever growing population under the influence of an overburdened system. They cannot possibly have enough compassion to give the depth and breadth of support that parents so desperately need. Not that they are not giving all they have, it’s simply that all they have is not enough to do all that is needed.
In my world, when there isn’t anyone else to do what needs to be done, it falls to me to do it.
I think this is a powerful message. We are passionate, committed, educated adults most of us. We have the power to organize, and come together to build a road map for ourselves. Each mew story that is shared, each new person that walks their path leaves a fresh trail of breadcrumbs. From those breadcrumbs we can begin to clear the path through the maze. As time goes on, we can erect signposts for others, pointing the way through. We can mark the pitfalls, and lay action plans for the puzzles. Together we have the tools to help ourselves.
Loneliness and self doubt have been my biggest hurdles along this path of special needs parenthood. I propose that we come together, strengthen each other and share our stories towards the goal of creating a path through the darkness. The darkness is not full of monsters, as we imagine in our fear. Rather it is filled with tools and keys that we can use to unlock the doors that stand in our way.
It’s time someone turned on a flashlight.
Always remember, if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, maybe it’s because you are the light.
Shine. Together we can defeat the darkness, find our tools and light the way for others.
I’m already shining.
Join me. 🙂