Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy ADHD Awareness Month?

Which I'm slightly dubious about. I like the idea, let's say, but the execution, in past years, has seemed ... a bit circular. Are we raising awareness among each other or the general public? Because if the general public hears the same conversational checklist every year about why ADHD is real, isn't the general public going to get annoyed and tune out?

Also I think the general public might be more concerned with Ebola right now.

And the thing is, I don't need my awareness raised. I'm pretty well aware. What I could use is some advocating. Like, can some awareness-raising expert also explain why I can't find a social skills group that takes insurance? Or why the one group my insurer recommended that allegedly does take insurance explained to me they'd just hired several facilitators that wouldn't be covered, and there's no way of knowing whether the person who'd be running my son's group would be someone covered or not covered, but hey, want to schedule an intake appointment anyway, because why are you getting hung up on whether this group is affordable, you self-centered mom who only cares about paying the bills? Isn't your son worth all your savings?

Sorry, I might be over-extrapolating.

After the enormous debacle of the private occupational therapy company that swore they'd take insurance but really meant they'd screw up three months' worth of invoices and then nag us to send them the cash, I'm not interested in taking on another facility that kinda sorta maybe well-it-depends takes insurance. I'm interested in dealing with actual experts who know how to file paperwork. These do not feel like high expectations.

My point? If we're going to go on and on how ADHD is real and get archly defensive about how medication is sometimes necessary, shouldn't we also go on and on about how potential alternatives to medication, or at least supplements to medication -- like OT, like social skills groups -- are either not covered by insurance or are completely unattainable? Shouldn't we also describe how trying to do the right thing for your child can frequently mean wanting to throw something at the wall? (Usually the phone.)

And our family is in a relatively good position, comparatively speaking, in that kiddo has a behavioral therapist, an IEP, a special education teacher who seems to be trying hard to do right by him and relatives who support him without carping that ADHD isn't real. Yet still some days are a trial.

So you'll forgive me if I'm not precisely on the awareness bandwagon. I guess I'm sitting in the corner going, "But what does all this mean to me?" And if that's self-centered, well, so be it. Possibly I'm not the activist type. More of the "get things done so I can go to bed" type.

Anyhow. In the interest of absolute fairness, here's the official link to ADHD Awareness Month. By all means, decide for yourself about it.

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