TV documentary on ADHD

As soon as I found out that there was going to be a documentary on ADHD with Rory Bremner, I couldn’t wait to see it. I’m always keen to learn more about the condition, hoping to hear a nugget of information that may help my Bam.

I’m pleased to say the documentary most definitely didn’t disappoint! ADHD can be very misunderstood among the general population so Rory feeling able to raise awareness of this condition is fantastic and very welcome.

The documentary talked a lot about how ADHD can be managed.  Interestingly, the documentary mentioned that ADHD can be reduced by quite a significant percentage when the person with the condition is outside. This is certainly true of Bam. His absolute favourite hobby is going to cubs. This is largely due to the amount of time that they spend outside. It’s amazing to see how happy and comfortable he is outside. This has always been the case for Bam, even when he was very small. He would like nothing more than finding a big open space and running free!

The benefits of excercise were also mentioned. For Bam this is very much linked with his passion to be outside. We rarely spend a day at home, it’s important for all of us to get out burn some energy and get some fresh air! We haven’t really found a sport that Bam likes yet, he enjoys riding his bike and running with me but his interest in these activities comes and goes.

Of course medication was also discussed. Rory actually took medication for the first time while he was doing the documentary. It was really interesting to hear how it affected him and how it helped him to be more focused. He referred to the medication changing his head from a busy noisy space to a much calmer one. It’s difficult for Bam to articulate the effect the medication has on him as he’s still very young, although one of the first things he said when he began taking the medication was ‘I can hear now’. I guess that reflects the experience that Rory described.

Finding out that the brain of an ADHD person is actually different to the brain of a non ADHD person is really interesting. On a MRI scan you could actually see the difference between the two brains. I was surprised to hear that an ADHD has something missing rather than something additional that causes the unique behaviours.

It’s reassuring to hear Rory speak of his experience and helpful to know that the things we do to help Bam are actually making his life a little bit easier. Interestingly, Bam is quite the comedian too (see Bam’s got talent) so I’m intrigued to see what path he takes in the future. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the additional fresh air we get, it’s a great way to keep fit after all.

The documentary was on BBC2 on Tuesday 25th April at 9am – worth a watch!

 

Bam’s got talent!

Bam bounces out of school full of enthusiasm and excitement (yes, even more than usual!). The reason for his enthusiasm? He’s going to enter the school talent contest.

‘I need you to print off some jokes from the internet, I’m going to perform a comedy act’

Eek, it’s really hard to make people laugh, a little knot appears in my stomach but I muster up lots of encouragement and put my own fears to one side.

Hubby prints off some truly corny jokes – you know the ones that make you groan ‘What did the duvet say to the bed? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Did that make you groan?

Bam sets to work planning his script for the auditions. He works really, really hard. Night after night he sits in his bed planning and writing.

The day of the auditions arrives. I’m in awe of his confidence, there is no doubt in his mind that he has this nailed.

I’m working all day on the day of the auditions, so I ask him to text me from Mum’s phone as she is collecting him from school. School kicking out time arrives and I eagerly await the text. My phone rings…..he’s done it!!! He’s got through. 12 people out of 200 were chosen….he’s as high as a kite. So he should be, what an amazing achievement.

More nights of writing and rehearsing ahead to prepare himself  for the finals. I’m oozing with pride, having the confidence to get up and perform in front of his peers is amazing.

He didn’t win in the finals but that didn’t matter. People voted for him – my confident, bubbly and funny Bam. You always make me smile young man, seems that you have the talent to make other people smile too. Next stop Britain’s Got Talent!

Life in the fast lane…

I’ve been reflecting recently on the family life that Mops, my youngest boy, is part of. Life is very chaotic, loud and active. For him life has always been like that so I wonder if he actually realises his life might be ever so slightly different to his friends in the classroom?

He knows all about Bam’s conditions and how they affect him. He’s very open about them and will chat to his friends about it. He’s adapts brilliantly to life with Bam. He’s so patient, much more patient than anybody else living in our household! Even if he has to ask the same question to Bam five times over, he’ll do it and persevere. I wonder if that’s because he knows he needs to be patient or because that’s his normal.

I often wonder that as Mops gets older, he’ll begin to realise how he adapts to living with a brother with ADHD and epilepsy. Does he enjoy charging around all of the time with his brother, climbing trees, scooting, generally living life in the fast lane or is he wondering about the next time he’ll get to sit and relax? I suspect it’s probably a little bit of both!

This weekend I took Mops out for some lunch, just him and I. So as we sat in Subway munching on our sandwich creations we chatted about school, play, friends etc. It was as we were walking through town I asked Mops if he had enjoyed his lunch. His reply was very simple but very powerful ‘Yes Mum, I have, it’s been very relaxing!’ So he does like a bit of down time, just to sit, just to chill, just to be able to eat a sandwich rather than gulp it down.

He’s still very young (5) but I wonder how he’ll handle family life in the future. I have a feeling he’ll adapt, just as he always has. Love you Mops for everything you do and I know Bam does too.

Super powers…

Last week I was fortunate enough to spend a week on holiday with my boys and enjoyed some proper family time. Away from the laptop, household chores and the general routine of life.

Whilst on holiday I was really struck by the boundless amount of energy Bam has. I know he has always had lots of energy but after spending a week with him it’s clear that boy is actually a Duracell bunny!

I watched him effortlessly climb large sand dunes in hot temperatures whilst the rest of us plod up the dunes, resting along the way!

I have watched him climb a small mountain in minutes. We’re still at the bottom while he’s nearing the top.

I have watched him run over and over into the waves, jumping each one enthusiastically.

And, whilst the rest of us have taken advantage of a lay in, he’s up pottering around eager to start his day.

I’m in awe of the energy that he has and I hope in the future he uses it wisely. It’s a super power that if used well could be a platform to a successful future.

ADHD – the bright side

We often hear of the challenges of raising a child with ADHD but what are the positives? Here’s my top 5…

  1. Boundless amounts of energy. Energy for running, energy for exploring outdoors and energy for helping Mum (well, he may have the energy for helping Mum but it may not always materialise!) Bam does run with me. I love having him as my running buddy, we really enjoy our running chats – although he is able to chat a lot more than me! We also both share a love of the outdoors. Bam loves climbing trees, exploring and camping. Move over Bear Grylls.
  2. Lots of fun and humour! There are plenty of opportunities to let loose and just roll with the chaotic lifestyle that we lead.
  3. In-depth knowledge on a few topics of interest. Bam reads lots of fascinating fact books – from the Guinness book of records to books on planet earth. He’s an avid reader of books at night so much so that whilst changing his duvet the other day I managed to find 14 fact books buried in there -not sure how he finds the room to sleep. He’d make a great addition to a quiz team I’m sure.
  4. Creative. Bam has the most amazing adventures. He doesn’t just go for a walk in the woods – it’s a bear hunt, a Gruffalo hunt, a  pirate adventure. The list is endless.
  5. Last, but most certainly not least, one of the absolutely best things about my boy is he’s absolutely oozing with love. He has the most wonderful caring side that when revealed it totally and utterly melts your heart!

There are many more positives too…I’m proud of Bam and everything he achieves. I have high hopes for that boy. After all,  Albert Einstein is reported to have had ADHD!

 

Coffee anyone?

I’m sitting looking at a cup of coffee, a coffee that I have bought but didn’t want – I’m not a cappuccino lover. Somebody had other ideas, somebody decided to press the coffee dispensing buttons resulting in me doing some kind of ninja move to quickly grab a cup to catch the hot liquid that was about to come flooding out of the machine. Luckily my ninja moves are good otherwise an unfortunate incident could have occurred.

From that day forward I resigned myself to the fact that ADHD and cafes probably aren’t a good combination. When you struggle to focus mealtimes are tricky. I know this, so why did I think a cafe on my own with two kids was a good idea?

Why then did I make the decision a few weeks later to go back? It’s like giving birth, you forget most of it apart from the good bits. Everyone’s fed, no washing up – but at what price?

So I find myself sitting in the cafe again, this time avoiding any coffee machine dramas. Instead, this time I find myself wondering how mash potato has made it’s way across the cafe. Well, I know how it made it across the cafe – it was catapulted via a fork. Somebody decided it wasn’t the best tasting mash in the world so decided to get rid!

It’s something that will always be tricky, I’m not sure what the answer is – no going out for tea on my own with the kids? Finding an activity to do during dinner? Reins 🙂

May be he has a future career as a chef – at least he won’t get fed up waiting for his food and he can cook it exactly how he likes it?