During this year’s ADHD awareness month, we’ve asked our very own Leila, recently diagnosed with ADHD, to tell us how it feels to be a parent-carer being neurodivergent.
Tell us about the first time you thought there was something different about you?
Leila: Life often takes unexpected turns, and for me, one of those turns came when I was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in my mid-30s.
I have always known that I was different; however, having my son with additional needs opened up a whole new world for me. I am not the one for research, so just getting to know my son as he grows and watching other parents carers and their children made me realise that I might have neurodiversity myself.
In fact, one of my fellow parent carer friends helped me start the process of getting the assessment and, eventually, a diagnosis.
How did getting a diagnosis make you feel?
Leila: Receiving an ADHD diagnosis as an adult can be a profound moment. Suddenly, many aspects of my life started making sense – my forgetfulness, impulsivity, and difficulties with focus. But this diagnosis wasn’t just about me; it gave me new insights into how I could support my child with multiple disabilities more effectively.
Being a parent carer is demanding, and adding ADHD to the mix brought additional challenges. I had to develop routines, strategies, and resilience to manage my responsibilities and create a nurturing environment for my child. These tools have not only improved my own life but have also helped me provide better care and support to my child.
Leila: Living with ADHD and parenting a child with disabilities has shown me the beauty of our differences. Our family is a mix of unique individuals, each bringing something special. ADHD and disabilities bring creativity and a unique perspective. Embracing neurodiversity allows us to celebrate our quirks and discover strengths.
What about parenting with ADHD?
Leila: Parenting with ADHD is a rollercoaster, especially with a disabled child. It’s a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. ADHD is just a part of my life, and I’m navigating it with change, empowerment, and lots of love as a parent.
Our family proves that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. We’re learning and growing together, finding strength in our quirks and embracing diversity.
Cheers to the wonderfully diverse adventure of additional needs parenting with ADHD!