”Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing that it is stupid. ”
A great Mentor once said, being “Different” is not bad; in fact, it can be incredibly good. Apple Computers, Tesla Motors, Amazon, Facebook were all different. Thanks to those creative, rule-breaking innovators for taking a huge leap in the human experience.
I gave birth to my children here in Japan. When they were still babies, I noticed that they have a high level of activity. Especially my first baby, he never stops punching and kicking when he is awake. Changing his diaper was both a struggle and a comedy scene. As soon as I lay him down to change his diaper, he would crawl away from me. I have to grip him in between my thighs so he can ‘t get away. Funny but it ‘s like a fighting scene every diaper change. I was starting to sense something was weird with my baby.
When me and my husband were having constant disagreements, I brought my children back to the Philippines. I enrolled my 4 yr old son in a private preschool in Bacolod City. At this stage, I noticed he has a delay in motor skills, speech and language and his energy is just fantastic. He never gets tired! He is restless, finds it hard to settle down, and sit for meals.
A year later he moved up to Kinder Level. His excessive and intense behavior worsened. Sadlye tends to disrupt activities and relationships with his teacher, classmates, and the people around him. He also has trouble paying attention and concentrating. I pitied my child because he has difficulty in learning. He had a tutor for every subject. But then his teacher gave up on him, she suggested we look for another school. The school principal sustained the teacher’s plea. I stepped out of that office punch drunk. Drove my car with a lot of things going inside my mind.
I then remember my friend who is a teacher in University. I called her up, she advised me to visit a private special school in Bacolod City for children with special needs. It is run and owned by a well-known Occupational Therapist in Negros. I immediately went to check on the school. They toured me in their classes. For ADHD students, they have a set up of 5 students and 2 teachers in a room, so no student will be missed out in each lesson and activity. I know their father would not like the idea of spending too much money for elementary education, but I insisted on enrolling him in that school because I know what is good for my child. His monthly tuition was almost 7,000 pesos a month. Aside from exhaustion, another big challenge of having a kid with special needs is the expensive education and treatment.
Eventually, he was diagnosed with ADHD at age 5. I accepted it right away. But, I can’t deny I was overwhelmed with mixed emotions. I was relieved that finally I know his condition and can research on how to help my child dealing with ADHD. I also felt sadness, fear and worry, but I decided not to submerge in those emotions and thinking, but chose to move on. My son needs me now more than ever to be strong for him.
After 10 years of mostly being away from each other, I finally brought back my sons here in Japan. Even though it will be a big challenge for them to learn the language and culture, the children made a choice to live with me because they are starting to be sad, me being away, and I know they need my presence and care. . Their father and I decided to part ways. The kids and I are now living independently. My everyday routine is not easy. 4 hours of sleep became customary to me. I am working two jobs to sustain our needs. Doing homework together. ending and picking them up to school and after class. Cook our meal, not to mention running the household stuff – you can imagine a stress-filled day. Being a single mom, doing it alone seems impossible, but they are the source of my strength and inspiration so I just don’t give up. Life is not easy but the joy of being together is priceless.
Presently, I also observed that my second son displays hyperactivity but he has not been diagnosed yet. Now at age 39, I’m getting my first strong hint that I shared my son’s disorder. In my research, ADHD is more heritable than most other mental conditions. I am now fascinated to make a new blog about that.
We have a mean world out there full of judgmental people, especially to those labelled “Different”. They will tell you you’re not good enough and you can’t do it. But I am their Super Mom and I will always be here to protect them. I will help my children discover their hidden talents and greatness. My goal is to raise them with confidence and be successful children with ADHD. With God on our side, nothing is impossible for an ADHD family.
Ana Mae Aguirre, Super Mom of Kids with ADHD