My personal struggles as a parent started way before the official ADHD diagnosis. Even in daycare, my son was “hard to handle”. He had emotional ups and downs. He had no control over his behavior. It seemed like he had no decision-making skills whatsoever because everything was impulsive. He certainly could not sit still. Even during nap time, the teacher had to put her legs on top of his so that he would stay in one spot. Bless her heart. Every night, I prayed for his teachers and prayed that he would not get kicked out of daycare. I was working full-time, and on the days that it rained I prayed for sunshine to relieve them of my son locked inside for “indoor recess”.
I am one of three sisters and my closest cousins were girls too. We all went to an all girls’ school. “He’s just a boy!,” everyone told me. But I watched him and I watched the other kids. I read A LOT of books. Something was not quite right.
It wasn’t until he was in first grade that the learning specialist took me aside and told me about ADHD. She encouraged me to sign up for a workshop series for parents about ADHD. But that didn’t start for another few months! I consulted Dr. Google, but who else knew about ADHD in New Orleans? Who could help me help my son? Did I need more than just his pediatrician? Did I need to find a therapist? What kind of testing did he need? Cognitive? Allergies? And what about when he got older? Who would I need to call then? Who could help me help him?
It turns out that I wasn’t the only concerned and confused person out there. Every week, I receive calls from other adults looking for solutions for their children or themselves. How do you choose what treatment or training to pursue? Do you need one, all or some combination of solutions? What is necessary and what is effective? Who do you trust?
To that end, I started collecting names, reaching out and collaborating with other professionals in the New Orleans area. This directory is only the beginning of what I hope will be a growing community. I don’t want other parents to feel like I did years ago. I want us to support and help each other. Having ADHD should not cause shame. It is something to celebrate! Who will you invite to the party?
Mind Coach NOLA is the leader in ADHD and Executive Function life coaching in New Orleans and the entire Louisiana area.