In an instant I went from a fiercely independent “caretaker,” to the one being cared for and dependent on everyone else for simple tasks. A few weeks ago, I slipped on ice and broke my leg.
Four days later, I was hit upside the head with the flu – for the second time since mid-December.
How does this pertain to you, a caretaker of a child with a learning disability or ADHD? My personal experiences over the last couple of weeks have allowed me to experience some of the struggles our children might face.
Planning, and Organizing, and Prioritizing, OH MY…
Intellectually, I understand the complexities of these “executive function” processes and the challenges faced by those who are weak in them. But now I appreciate how much mental energy and motivation it takes to get things done when every task must be planned and managed.
Planning the most efficient use of my one-legged steps, navigating transportation of items from one spot to another, and gathering things I’d need close at hand so I could keep my leg elevated was exhausting. Failing at any of these meant not having what I needed, a possible setback in my recovery from overexertion, or falling again and making matters worse.
What must it be like, day in and day out, to know that you risk failure if you don’t use strategies to support weak executive skills?
Just Let Them Help!
Everyone wants to help, everyone asks to help, but for some reason, it is so hard to let them. Accepting help felt like I was help-less, and that was an awful feeling.
I wonder if this is how a child feels when everyone is always assisting you, telling you how you should be doing things and all the while you feel inadequate, broken and helpless. It sure would explain why children act out, lash out and proclaim they can do it themselves, or shut down and do very little.
Always Seeking The Lesson
I’ve learned that it’s important to remind ourselves to think about what the child is going through, and I know that I’ll use that lesson and others I learned here as I work with parents, students and professionals. I am grateful for these lessons, as difficult as they’ve been. I am also grateful for my family, friends, co-workers, and the amazing children at Springer who every day ask me what they can do for me…and I let them.