Friday, May 31, 2013

When ADHD kids socialize ...

... it's actually kind of wonderful, because they won't spook each other with their massive amounts of energy or their way of saying exactly the thing that's on their minds or their notion of "personal space" as merely a suggestion and not an ironclad rule.

Kiddo now has two such fellow ADHDers: his friend J., and his cousin E.

J.'s mom and I found each other through the ADDitude board for parents of ADHD kids. Turns out we each have a son with ADHD and a younger daughter, and we live pretty close to each other. In other words, instant playdate. We've gotten together a couple of times -- playing Legos at their house, playing stomp rocket at our house -- and we met up at the Fairy and Pirate Festival (where kiddette and N. proceeded to take over the bounce castle and the trampoline). Kiddo and J. had a slightly rocky start, in that kiddo's super-over-enthusiasm banged up against J.'s desire to exert total control over his environment (J. semi-near the end of a playdate: "Can we go home now?" I actually find the forthrightness a little funny). But by the second playdate they were buds, running around the house together.

Cousin E. is the son of my cousin H., whose voice of experience has been an enormous help through this whole ADHD journey. After much discussion and debate and one cancellation-by-strep-throat, we finally made the several-hour trek to visit them -- cousins H. and R., and kids E. and L. (yeah, I know the initials thing is getting silly. There's no way I can come up with nicknames for everybody) -- down South for the weekend. How'd it go? I've never seen kids who'd never met each other before decide quite so instantaneously that they were going to be friends and have the bestest of times together. (Sheesh, kiddo couldn't even wait for us to get out of the car when we got there. He ran on up to the front door and invited himself inside.) They played in the park together. They watched the Rolling Thunder motorcycle procession from the highway overpass together. They had massive giggle fits at the breakfast and dinner table together, while we parents listened in, chuckling, from the dining room. They played a rousing game of basement dodge ball together with R. -- except for L., the curly-haired little pixie, who peered over the banister to smile at me while I was taking pictures of the game. (She is so cute I can't stand it.) Kiddette and L., apparently in total solidarity, blew off their naps together. Kiddo and E. curled up on the couch together, practically on top of each other, while E. played video games. Kiddo announced to E. that he loved him.

One game they very quickly seized upon revolved around a sparkly wand thingy that they found enticing. E. announced that the wand had "the power of cuckoo!" and he and kiddo  spent much time chasing each other around to acquire the power of cuckoo from each other. Kiddo explained later that the power of cuckoo gives you the power to run really fast. Which means he's a little fuzzy on the definition of "cuckoo," but whatever.

The side benefit for me in all this, of course, is getting to bond with other moms who are dealing with the exact same things I'm dealing with. J.'s mom -- hereby known as L. -- and I almost immediately started in with "What works for you? How do you handle X? How does the school handle it? Is he on medication? What kind? Is it working for him? Are there side effects?" H. and I have been discussing such things for months, and she's helped me understand what occupational therapy is, what behavioral therapy is, etc. It's just nice to talk openly to another mom about this stuff and not have to defend or explain yourself.

And on that note, H. and I are both going to this conference in July, designed for moms of special needs kids. The first conference was held last year; I figure if it was successful enough to have a second one, it must have done well. There are going to be talks on how to successfully advocate for your child, and also spa treatments. I'm pretty psyched to go, to hang out with H. and to meet other moms, and I assume there will be wine available at some point.

So if you happen to also have a special needs child, come join us! There's no power greater than that of being understood.

... except, perhaps, for the power of cuckoo.


  1. Behold the power of cuckoo!

    (Seriously, it was amazing how quickly they bonded, and how they sat as if they were glued together.)

    1. I feel like "the power of cuckoo" needs to be some sort of T-shirt.

      And it was pretty amazing.