You know how you know you're child has ADHD??? When you have to buy specific (expensive) underwear that don't bunch, ride, move, itch, scratch, lump or bump. That's how. It's pretty bad when her underwear cost double what mine cost.
It isn't easy... dealign with the little parts of a diagnosis like ADHD (or so many like it). You know about the big stuff. They are more energetic. They tend to be louder and more boisterous. They have a ton of energy. They have a hard time sitting still or paying attention. But there are parts that many people don't realize.
Do you know that they have a tendency towards anxiety disorders? Do you know that many kids with ADHD or similar diagnoses have "tantrums" to the point of screaming, puking, harming themself, etc? DO you know that they often can't wear most clothes or shoes because the discomfort it so overwhelming they can't function?
I didn't... until I was faced with raising an ADHD / Sensory Processing Dysfunction child. And now I am acutely aware that there is so much more to it than being wild and inattentive.
In our house "pick your battles" is a mantra. We all live by it. We have others like "don't poke the bear" (the bear being Grace) and "you're getting baited" (one Brian and I have to remind each other when she is pulling us into a fool's battle). But "pick your battles" is the one we hang our hat on. For instance we buy her pricey underwear that don't cause a fight. We allow her to wear only one kind of socks that she likes. We try to find tagless clothes whenever possible. We avoid things like collars and zipper.
However, she much have her hair pulled back out of her face (not her favorite thing). She has to wear presentable clothes to church. She must wear shoes instead of flip flops or uggs to school. Bathes must be done every other day. And on and on. These things may seem like silly, small things that all parents fight with their kids over. But in our house these "fights" look more like nuclear war on any given day.
We're still learning. We pick our battles and lose about half of them. But we are still trying. We have learned that raising a kid like Grace means accepting the fact that she will not fit into a mold. We have to find a daily balance between negotiating and getting played by a five year old. It's a tough wire to walk but we do it.
It makes it doubly hard that although people THINK they get AHD they really don't. They may see a battle going on in a store and think it's just a bratty kid who isn't getting their way. There is so much more to the picture. I think if the world were more accepting of the differences between typical kids and Sensory / ADHD / Anxiety Disordered kids there might be less need for medications. Maybe someday that will be the case.
But for now we pick our battles carefully, fight them as best we can and do the best we can for our kids every single day.