You are Not The Only Person Parenting A Neurodivergent Child(ren); I See YOU

You are Not The Only Person Parenting A Neurodivergent Child(ren); I See YOU

Try to remember or imagine playing “Babies” as a child. Did you imagine that child being neurodivergent, having non stop energy, speaking incessantly, interrupting conversations, asking the same questions over and over? No, as kids we pretend that that baby is neurotypical; they listen to commands: listening when you tell them to listen, eating without getting up from the table, can sit through a 2 hour movie or play, and can finish a project in one sitting. Neurodivergence includes ADHD, Attention Deficit HYPERACTIVITY Disorder, and my babies could be poster children for it. Real life parenting is similar to those days of playing for some people, but for those of us that have neurodivergent children, life is twenty percent of what you had imagined. These children did not choose to have ADHD; my children were born with the disability and anyone who personally knows them knows that they are extremely bright children. But like the name of the disorder, they are not capable of focusing and just like their brains, they do not stop.


One of my babies would sit in their bouncy seat and literally try to catapult themselves out of it. And when they moved on to a walker, you had to be vigilant because you would get a whack in the shins if you were not paying attention. Little did I know that they would not stop, ever! Once they began to walk, any semblance of life as we knew it was over. 

Although one of them would stop and watch programs with a lot of music such as Barney or Little Einsteins they were constantly on the go, too. One of our good friends let it slip out, “What is wrong with them?” At the time, I had no frame of reference.

I would half jokingly tell people that God made them cute for a reason, but the truth is that they were exhausting, up early EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK, no sleeping in on the weekends and you can forget naps, that went out the window after they were six months old. 


One child is still like the Energizer Bunny these days and does not stop until their eyes shut around 9:30 at night, and not because we start their bedtime routine late, but because they are unable to shut their brain off,  a microcosm of their life. Nighttime routine? What is that? Imagine telling your child to brush their teeth but they keep getting distracted and still have not brushed their teeth 20 minutes later. One child literally forgot their book bag on the way to school. Yes, we were almost at school and then we had to turn around to get it. 

We are still in this stage and we are handling it the best we know how … with love, patience and protecting them every step of the way. 

Tired parents, child energy and parent care burnout with anxiety from adhd children at home. Headache, stress and noise from girl kids in a living room busy with mom and dad on a sofa with fatigue

I’m not talking about my children as adults because they are under 18. I’m talking about parents of other children, people that do not have children, older people that forget what raising children was like, and those that think that we are not disciplining them enough. “I would spank it out of them if they were my kids.” Thankfully, we have some family and a lot of friends that love them just as they are because they certainly can not just stop having the disability.

One child was on a team where an adult told their child who told my child that “they do not belong on this team.” What does that mean exactly? They are good ball players but need redirection. How about calling me and telling me, the parent, that can handle the criticism, and not my child? Some coaches that do not have experience with neurodivergent children have no frame of reference so a little patience would have been appreciated. 

Most of their teachers, on the other hand, have been wonderful, but just like any other student-teacher relationship, it depends on each teacher as to if they have enough patience to get through the day. Many teachers have my phone number and email for any questions, which I appreciate more than they know. Imagine sending your children off to school only to have to worry about how an adult is treating your child. It does nothing for our anxiety as our children are “literally our hearts walking outside of our bodies.”


A friend recently told me that she admires our patience with our children. I have always thought that I have a patience deficit, but she is correct. These two require all of my patience, and I could not imagine giving every ounce of it to any one else in this world. Life is a continuous cycle of redirecting and refocusing these two, but thankfully, my children are healthy and bright, and with medication and our help, they are able to compensate. So when you see a child running around, talking their parents’ ears off or are extra handsy, kill them with kindness and treat their children with kindness because they need it most.

Sad boy holding small board

Kathy Magri
Kathy is a Metairie native who lives in River Ridge with her husband, Mike, her children, Finn and Nina, and her 3 pups and a cat, Rex, Beau, Hans & Toula. She enjoys double dating with friends on Friday or Saturday nights and brunching with her girlfriends. A lover of all people (particularly babies and children), she is usually volunteering in various organizations and supporting her children in their extracurricular activities. You may catch her reading about World War II or listening to an assortment of music. An avid traveler, she can be found in her parents’ homeland, San Pedro, Belize, enjoying time with family, snorkeling, riding golf carts around town and eating the best food in the world.



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