The question remains in the minds of parents with ADHD kids – how are we going to handle him/her during this lockdown? I have a mommy friend who called me because she was terrified. Yes, terrified. “I don’t know how to handle Mickey! He is so irritable, and always running around, Mila. How do you do it? How do you cope with Angelo always jumping and screaming? I love my son, but he is making me go nuts!!!”
You know what I answered her? “Ariel, my Angelo can cope with himself, but I do remind him if he forgets. When I look at him, he behaves and he chants. ‘I have to relax. I have to relax. I am calm. I need to be calm. I am cool.’ And then, I tell him he is doing a good job. Our therapist said that he has to be self-aware that he has ADHD and that he must also learn how to cope with it. This is one of the ways for him to live normally when he grows up and when I am not around anymore to prompt him.”
“What? So your son can go from tantrums, impulsive actions, and hyperactivity to relaxed mode?” She asked me.
“It is not always like that. But I do know how to manage my son when he behaves that way. He also knows the consequences if he is being naughty or not responding well. I mean, we have to discipline them Ariel. Can I ask openly about your son? So that maybe I can give you some suggestions. I can also share with you what I did with Angelo during those first few weeks. It worked for us. Hopefully, it will work for you too.”
“Sure, ask away,” she said.
“Is Mickey high functioning or low functioning?” I asked boldly.
“Okay, you have to be honest with me. What are his common actions or his symptoms? Is he violent? Can you talk to him normally? Does he comprehend what you are saying? I think Mickey is teachable. I have spoken to him once or twice. Your son approached me in school, twice, I think. He was very inquisitive.” I said.
She laughed and said, “Oh, those must be his good days. He has bad days too and when it is up, I just cannot deal with it. I am stressed at work as it is and when I get home, I want everything in order. Can we not ask for that?” She sighed.
“Girl, we are ADHD moms. Normal for us is extraordinary for some. Order for us is running around and comforting a crying child, or watching our kid do his weird thing. I guess, the first step for us to blend in with this reality is for us to accept that our kids are different from the rest. And then, we adjust to that different so that it will be bearable for us.” I said to her.
She was quiet for a moment and said, “I guess you are right. You have been doing this for a while and Angelo seems to be a behaved boy. Can you tell me what to do?”
I told her that she has to enroll Mickey to a therapist that will suit his needs. The therapy would be at least once a week and then, she will also have to practice some at home coping mechanisms to help her son behave accordingly. Since there is a pandemic, all sessions are online. I also told her that it would be best to set a daily activity schedule with Mickey during this lockdown. It was a very long video call as I had to tell her what I personally do with Angelo, and she was listening. I do hope she will have some kind of relief after this.