Eva was always a little bit 'different'. The differences became apparent soon after she was born. Eva was my first baby so I didn’t know what to expect. I was a new mum. The second day after she was born I was invited to a lactation class. Eva was having difficulty breastfeeding, so I was keen for support. Unfortunately she cried so loudly that we were asked to leave. I left feeling despondent, hopeless and very much alone. Little did I know, that this was the beginning of our ADHD journey. The struggle continued when I brought Eva home. She was certainly not the typical baby, but I had nothing to compare her to. She would scream whenever she was put down and had to be rocked to sleep constantly. She craved movement. I literally couldn’t sit down – I lost my baby weight in a matter of weeks and became thinner than before I got pregnant! Eva hated to be confined. At only 9 months she found her feet and started walking everywhere. I have a photo taken at a picnic with her baby group where all the other babies were sitting happily with each other on the picnic blanket with Eva in the middle on her feet looking for an escape route. When she started school Eva struggled to join in on the class activities and learn. She just wouldn’t stay in her seat. Instead of doing her worksheets she would draw and dream. When she was actually engaged in her learning she would call out or get so hyper-focused she couldn’t transition to other activities. She started to see herself as stupid and at home would beat at her head berating herself with frustration every time she had to do her homework. It broke my heart… When Eva was diagnosed with ADHD, as a family we all had to learn about it. The more we read, the more Eva’s behaviours made sense. It was a huge relief and gave us the ability to separate Eva from her more challenging behaviours, from her ADHD. Understanding what was going on made all the difference to our approach to her.
We started adapting to Eva’s needs and getting specialist help to support her. Quickly we saw her confidence and self-esteem restore. My little girl was back, and what a force she was! I am so grateful to this day that we learned about Eva's ADHD as that knowledge has empowered us, and her, to mitigate against her challenges and harness her strengths... We have been able to tell a new story, not just about her, but about our entire family - a story full of hope, love and compassion (everything that this little girl embodies!)
“Strong Together” - The ADHD Advocate Singer