My son has ADHD. This statement is not nearly as frightening to me as it was when I first came to terms with it two years ago. My wife and I were initially reluctant to jump into the wide world of attention deficit medications. While we agreed that if we had no other options that we would take that step, we were just not ready. We had experienced some limited success with altering his diet and by cutting out certain food additives and artificial colors. We had also seen some benefits from the use of homeopathic medicine.
Just like many things there are good and bad days. I can vividly remember one of those bad days a year and half ago. We had recently walked through some days that were challenging at best. On this particular day I was at home working and the phone rang. I looked at the caller i.d. and noticed it was the school. My first thought was I wonder which kid is sick. It turned out that neither child was sick. The school was calling to inform me of an incident that had taken place in the classroom.
During my sons math instruction he became upset and proceeded to do something that looked like he was choking himself. I have to be honest, I wasn’t all that concerned. I have seen him do stuff like that and I immediately knew that he was most likely pulling on the skin on the front of his neck. It was his tick when he got frustrated. However, the school was very concerned and so we scheduled a meeting.
Through the process of talking to his teachers and also speaking with him directly we were able to figure out what had happened. He had been working on his math, which is his favorite subject. Somewhere along the way he found himself in a position where he was not getting his questions answered. He was unable to adequately express himself. This lead him to act out because he was ill-equipped to handle the emotions that he was experiencing.
That evening I remember discussing with my wife the entire situation. Has we sat there discussing the events that had occurred and the subsequent meeting at school I became very emotional. My thoughts had shifted to how he must of felt trying to focus on that math problem. I thought about how the frustration must have boiled to the surface all these feelings that at age of 7 he was not capable of understanding. “No one will listen to me! Why won’t they listen?!” My heart hurt for him.
A short time later the kids were sitting at the dining room table doing their homework. Things weren’t going well and I had reached my own frustration limit. My wife got home from work and immediately sensed that dad was reaching his boiling point. She didn’t say anything. She gave me a loving nod as she walked over to our son and scooped him up. For the next few moments she sat there holding him. You could see the frustration melt from his little body has mother and son shared a special moment.
How many times had my boy been upset, not knowing what was going on with his own body? How many times had he felt scared and unsure? There were other questions as well. What could he have done to possibly deserve this? If not him, was there something I had done that was wrong? So many questions and not enough answers. I imagine that most of the questions were probably coming from his mother and I. Through it all what he really needed was for someone to say it’s ok. He needed to be loved and reassured.
John 9:1-3 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
When Christ looks at my son he does not see a boy that has A.D.H.D. He doesn’t a boy with a learning disability. He just sees a boy that needs his love. He died for this boy and this boy has the potential to do great things for the kingdom. Disability is not disability where Christ is concerned. It is not a punishment for sin, merely a part of my boys story that will show how Christ takes things that seem like setbacks and turns them into victories.
We have seen him grow in a number of ways since that dark day. He still has the occasional bad day but they are outnumbered by the good. Christ is in control. A little grace and love can go a long way when Jesus is the source.